The spy photographers for Automobile Magazine snapped photos of the next-generation, 2013 Ford Escape testing on public roads. The Escape wears only minimal camouflage and, by the looks of it, is close to production-ready.

First previewed by the Vertrek concept (pictured at top) that bowed at this year's Detroit auto show, the new Escape is a global vehicle that replaces both the Escape on our shores and the Kuga in Europe. The small crossover wears styling cues seen on other recent Ford products, like the Focus and Explorer. The car spotted here has tidy, stylish lines and a more rounded shape than the current Escape.

The new Escape will be powered by one of three four-cylinder engine options. The base mill is a 2.5-liter inline-four, carried over from the current model, with 171 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. From there, buyers can upgrade to one of two EcoBoost engines, each with direct fuel injection and turbocharging. A 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline-four produces 180 hp and 170 lb-ft. Although that's barely more than the base engine, Ford says it will return trump the base enigne's fuel economy, and bring home 31 mpg on the highway. The top-spec engine will be a 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four. Ford has yet to release power figures for that mill, although the same engine is rated for 240 hp and 270 lb-ft in the new Ford Explorer.

Ford has confirmed that we will see the new Escape in production form at the Los Angeles auto show in November. That could mean it will go on sale here as early as spring 2012. We'll bring you more photos and information live from the show.

Until then, click here to see the complete gallery at Automobile Magazine.

Source: Automobile Magazine