The guys at Ford Philippines sure like their surprises.
After over a year without a compact SUV (the EcoSport is a subcompact), Ford Philippines has given visitors to the 2014 Manila International Auto Show a glimpse of their next model: the 2014 Ford Escape.
The Escape that the Blue Oval displayed at MIAS is the U.S. market version; a third generation model compared to the one Ford Philippines sold and manufactured in Santa Rosa, Laguna until its closure; itself a first generation model since 2001. With its closure at the end of 2012, Ford did not have a model to compete against the Tucson, RAV4, CR-V, Sportage, et al.
The U.S. version comes powered with either a 1.6L EcoBoost, a 2.0L EcoBoost or a 2.5L Duratec (non-turbo). It is manufactured out of Ford's Louisville, Kentucky plant. Asian and European versions are known as the Kuga.
Ford says they will be offering the Escape in Q4 of this year, though they still haven't given any indication of pricing. When it is offered, the Escape will slot in to fill the crossover SUV gap between the EcoSport and the Explorer; the Expedition and the upcoming Everest are both body-on-frame, truck-based SUVs.
There is, however, one more model being worked on by Ford's global development team. More on that later.