Engine:7.3L 445Cu. In. V8 DIESEL OHV Naturally Aspirated
For Sale By:Private Seller
Drive Type: RWD
Trim: Custom Standard Cab Pickup 2-Door
Lake Orion, Michigan, United States
Here's the thing about China: The folks buying cars there have a very different set of standards than shoppers in many other markets around the globe. While we all drool over hot metal with bold designs, and while we appreciate automakers going an extra step to inject even their cheapest offerings with aggressive and interesting cues, that sort of sheetmetal sex appeal doesn't always sell in the People's Republic. Case in point is Jaguar, which may be designing a more traditional-looking version of its XJ for the Chinese market, or more to the point of this story, Ford currently sells the less-exciting, last-generation Focus compact in China right alongside the new one.
So consider this new Shanghai-bound C-segment concept a preview of what's to come for that more traditional, budget-minded, less-sexy market. More proof of this pudding: Ford's even calling this concept the Escort - a nod to the Blue Oval's compact car days of yore, and a name that stirs up thoughts of basic, affordable transportation rather than great driving dynamics or bold design. "Customers in China described seeking a vehicle that is stylish - but not one that is arrogant or pretentious," Ford states. And this new Escort concept previews a possibility of providing exactly that for this rapidly expanding automotive market.
What you're looking at, then, is one of the most simple Ford designs we've seen of late, though it still incorporates all of the automaker's latest DNA. The signature hexagonal grille is front and center, flanked by attractive LED headlamps and chrome-rimmed foglamp housings. The entire car's design focuses on clean, smooth surfaces, with one strong character line flowing from front to back just below the beltline. We will say that the car looks decidedly more premium from the rear view, where narrow, horizontal taillamps with an LED accent give the car added visual width. Bland as it may be, it's a handsome little concept, though fear what would likely happen if all of the conceptual details get dumbed down for a production model.
While its days may be numbered, Ford isn't just going to let its Falcon sedan limp out for the Australian market. No, the Blue Oval is releasing a refreshed Falcon for its final years, and it's lead by this, the new XR8. That's right, this dead-car-driving is going to go out on a high note.
Ford's global design DNA dominates the looks of the new Falcon, with a grille reminiscent of the US market Fusion and the European-market Mondeo. The headlights aren't a straight port, and boast their own unique LED running light pattern (at least on the XR8), but the overall look is strikingly similar. Out back, LED taillights highlight the rear of the Faclon. Despite the substantial new fascia, this is still a mid-cycle refresh. That means most of the rest of the Falcon's body panels are carryovers from the current model.
The XR8 model, shown above, arrives with a supercharged V8, allegedly displacing 5.0 liters. Unfortunately, details on the Falcon's mechanicals are in remarkably short supply. Ford has committed to a range of turbocharged four, as well as turbocharged and naturally aspirated six-cylinders, in addition to the V8, although specifics on those mills aren't available.
Ford buyers appear to love their cars more than customers of any other automotive brand, returning back to the American automaker when it comes time to purchase their next vehicle. According to a study by Experian Automotive, six of the top 10 vehicles for customer brand loyalty wear badges from the Blue Oval. That includes the Ford Fusion (62.4 percent), Ford Edge (57.9 percent), Ford Five Hundred/Taurus (56 percent), Ford Freestyle (51.9 percent), Ford Escape (49.4 percent) and the Ford Focus (47.57 percent).
Other vehicles making up the top 10 include the Toyota Prius (52 percent), Chevy Impala (51.7 percent), Toyota Camry (47.8 percent) and Toyota Corolla (47.56 percent). This brings up an interesting question: With the closing of automotive brands like Saturn and Pontiac, where are those buyers to turn for their next automotive purchase?
Apparently, not back to General Motors. According to Experian, Pontiac owners are most likely to look to the Ford lineup for their next car or truck and Saturn shoppers will switch to Toyota or Honda - not particularly surprising given that Saturn was meant to compete with import brands. Experian predicts that GM's overall market share will fall from 20 percent to about 17.5 percent, with most of the slack being picked up by Ford, Honda and Toyota.