Drive Type: 4x4
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: Rock Crawler
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
There has been little news about Ford's China-focused Escort concept since debuting at last year's Shanghai Motor Show, but the no-frills sedan has shown its camouflaged face again during cold weather testing in Northern Sweden. While far from a guarantee, the test location might hint that the Blue Oval plans to market the car outside of Asia.
The Escort's black robe and zebra paint make it hard to tell if anything specific has changed about the design, but the shape of the sedan looks close to what was shown in Shanghai. Under the disguise, you can still make out the hexagonal front grille from the concept. When Ford announced the model, the company said that the design wasn't supposed to be "arrogant or pretentious," and it certainly achieved that. The engine range is still a mystery, but it seems safe to expect small, economy-focused powertrains.
A report from last year indicated that Ford may be considering broadening the new Escort beyond Asia and possibly even selling it in Europe. The fact that the company brought it to Sweden for testing could bolster that argument. A release date hasn't been set yet, but the automaker has promised 15 new products for China by 2015. The basic sedan could be on the road soon.
Ford took in $2.6 billion in pre-tax profits in the third quarter of the year, making for a record trio of months that saw the Blue Oval's year-over-year earnings increase by $426 million. The earnings are being attributed not just to improvements in North American sales, but sales around the globe.
Revenue was up 12 percent, to $36 billion, although net income took a hit, dropping $359 million to $1.3 billion. Ford was dinged with $498 million in pre-tax charges, which are being blamed for the drop in net income.
The news has boosted Ford's hopes for full-year results, bumping it's total profits up past $8 billion, according to Automotive News. The Dearborn, MI-based manufacturer is still expecting a loss in Europe, although it's forecasted less than the $1.73 billion it burned in 2012. In fact, according to CFO Bob Shanks, Ford's European losses dropped by 51 percent year-over year, a huge improvement for the brand.
Despite having to share Ford's Detroit Auto Show stand with the hot new 2015 Mustang, the brand-new F-150 was arguably an even more important debut. Why? Ford moved some 700,000 examples of its F-Series truck in 2012, making it not only the best-selling pickup truck, but the top-selling vehicle in the US, by a long-shot.
The 2015 F-150 raises the bar for pickup trucks in a big way, with big-time use of aluminum. Because of this, roughly 700 pounds have been removed from the truck's overall weight, making it even more efficient than before, while still offering all of the capability that pickup owners expect. And with a host of engines under the hood, including a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, the 2015 F-150 will surely offer something for everyone.
During the Detroit Auto Show, west coast editor Michael Harley took a closer look at the new F-150, talking to some of the truck's engineers. Have a look at the full video, below.