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Auto blogTue, 01 Apr 2014 11:29:00 EST
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.
The 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost represents a huge change for the Blue Oval as the first pony car in decades to be available with a four-cylinder engine. But a recent tweet (below) from Road & Track raised our curiosity about the new vehicle. Editor Jason Cammisa pulled a fuse while driving the latest 'Stang with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, and he found that both the stereo and engine went quiet in the cabin. That indicated the coupe might have some form of artificial engine sound being piped in - a feature not previously heavily reported for the model. Autoblog spoke with Ford engineer Shawn Carney who confirmed that only the turbocharged four-cylinder Mustang comes with this system, called Active Noise Control.
@jasoncammisa pulls fuse 27 on 4cyl #2015mustang EcoBoost. Both stereo & engine go quiet. #FakeEngineNoise #busted! pic.twitter.com/WNzQefCbtQ
- Road & Track (@RoadandTrack) September 17, 2014
It turns out the image we saw back in February did, in fact, reveal the next-generation Ford Edge - at least in concept form. We still have to wait to see what the design will look like in production guise, but until then, Ford is giving us a good idea thanks to the Edge Concept being introduced at the LA Auto Show.
The new styling is an evolution of the current crossover's face with narrow headlights and a prominently slatted grille, while the rest of the design adds a more dynamic appearance with interesting body creases and horizontal taillights. We haven't gotten a look inside the Edge Concept just yet, but Ford is promising a suite of advanced driver-assist technologies including a new self-park system that allows activation from inside or outside the vehicle along with obstacle avoidance and an adaptive electric power steering system.
Ford will continue to offer an EcoBoost engine option in the upcoming Edge, and it will get active grille shutters to help maximize fuel efficiency. No word yet on when we'll be seeing the next-gen Edge in production form, but as we reported recently, it will become a global model in markets including Europe, China and South America. Ford's press release is posted below, but we'll have more information and images up later today.