Ford disagrees with the philosophy of singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson, who intoned “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” The company’s new “One Ford” policy wisely dictates that Ford harmonize its global product lines and sell the same cars and trucks around the world—instead of engineering similar but ultimately separate vehicles for different markets. Part of that scheme includes the merger of the fossilized trucklet we know as the Escape with Ford’s Focus-based Kuga, which is a hit in Europe.
Although we have caught the next-gen Escape out for tests in the past, we’ve seen only mules and heavily camouflaged development vehicles. The spy shot shown here gives us our first look at the 2013 Escape’s interior, as well as our first look at any part of the new Escape without a disguise.
Overall, the Escape’s interior stays true to what we saw in the Vertrek concept, which previewed the new Ford soft-roader. The Focus roots are easy to see here, with a dashboard that’s very similar to what you’d find in a spec’ed-up 2012 Focus. The center stack has the same bobblehead design as does the Focus, with the infotainment screen and centrally mounted vents occupying a lot of real estate. It looks like the nav system will have controls mounted just in front of it, which is similar to what Infiniti offers in its products—and which isn’t the most ergonomically friendly configuration. The only other useful detail we can glean from the image is that, like the Focus, the Escape will have a manumatic option for the transmission, as evidenced by the “S” on the base of the gear lever, and the upshift/downshift rocker switch on the gear knob itself.
2011 Ford Escape interior
You can read more about our expectations for the Escape in our previous coverage of it here. In short, we expect it to offer the modern car-like dynamics of the Focus—rather than the more antiquated experience of helming the current Escape—and a range of four-cylinder engines, including a hybrid version. Ford will no doubt cram the Escape with SYNC and its vexatious MyFord Touch system, which trades traditional buttons for frustration-induced banging on the dashboard.
We’re expecting the new Escape to land at November’s L.A. auto show, and it will probably hit the market early in 2012. That’s the right timing to ensure that shoppers can choose between it and the new 2012 Honda CR-V. Check back for more information as we head into the fall.Tags: American, compact, crossover, Ford, Ford Escape, Ford Vertrek concept, spy photos, SUV |