One more global Ford product is taking a step closer to the "One Ford" mantra as the Ford Vertrek Concept makes its debut at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, previewing the next Escape.
Billed to replace America's Escape and Europe's Kuga, the Vertrek is our first indication of where Ford is going with the next-generation crossover. It may look something like a lifted Focus hatch, but the new sheet metal works well in crossover proportions. It looks longer and sleeker than the Escape, but Ford says it offers the same interior space.
The concept is powered by Ford's new 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbo four, which will likely carryover to a production model. It's also designed to hold Europe's TDCi four-cylinder turbo diesel, which we probably won't get in the U.S. The concept is also fitted with auto engine start/stop and a regenerative braking system. Check out all the details in our First Look.
Ford also took the opportunity to introduce the new U.S.-spec C-Max seven-passenger MPV. The real story, though, are the hybrid variants. Both five-seaters, they will be offered as the more conventional C-Max Hybrid and the all-new C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid. The C-Max Hybrid will feature a new-and-improved version of the hybrid system currently found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, with the C-Max Hybrid promising a greater electric-only top speed and even greater fuel economy. The C-Max Energi will be Ford's first plug-in hybrid vehicle and offer 500 miles of total range, 150 miles more than the Chevrolet Volt.
Ford also took a minute to talk up some of its plans for the near future. 20 new or improved vehicles are coming to Europe by 2013, including all-new versions of the Transit and Transit Connect vans. Europe will also get Sync and MyFord Touch later this year and a new B-segment vehicle is on the way along with a new 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine. The global Ford Ranger will launch later this year everywhere but the U.S. and Asia will get 50 new vehicles and powertrains by 2015. Through 2012, Ford plans to add over 7000 new jobs to make it all happen.
Back in the U.S., the C-Max will go on-sale in late 2011, followed by the Hybrid and Energi variants and the new Focus Electric in 2012. The next Escape will follow sometime thereafter.