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Ford Escort
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Small car initially sold by Ford of Britain as the estate counterpart to the Ford Anglia 100E, with its name revived in the 1960s as the successor to the 105E and 123E models. The Escort was the first proof that Ford could develop a car between its German and British outposts jointly, and proved to be very successful, if conventional. A Mk II model followed suit, which was similarly conventional. The Mk III of 1980 was advanced for the time, with its sharp styling and front-wheel drive, even if its CVH engines were not the most reliable. At this time, the Escort was introduced into North America under a “world car” programme, and that model (twinned with the Mercury Lynx) at least shared the same platform and suspension. Both models were replaced by 1990 with new-platform ones: the American Escort went the way of the Asia-Pacific Laser, by going on to a Mazda Familia (BG) base; the European Escort was a unique model that underwhelmed journalists, being the product of corporate cost control. The latter was hurriedly revised (Mk VI by this point) before a final facelift in 1995. American Escorts soldiered on the BG platform through to the end of the 2000 model year, with the ZX2 coupé made till 2003 (albeit without Escort badges in its final years). The saloons, sedans, estates and wagons were replaced with the world-beating Ford Focus Mk I in 1999, this time more properly a world car. After an absence of a decade, the Escort nameplate reappeared on a Focus-based four-door sedan in China.

Marque: Ford | Predecessors: Ford Anglia, Ford EXP, Ford Focus | Successors: Ford Anglia, Ford Probe, Ford Focus, Ford Tierra, Ford ZX2


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024