Ford Escort 2

Spies have manage to photograph the Ford Escort undergoing winter testing in Europe. The budget sedan was previewed in concept form in Shanghai last year.

While the Escort has only been announced for the Chinese market so far, its presence in the Arctic does raise a few questions. Apart from preparing the car for harsh winters in northern China, it could also point towards Ford readying the Escort for international sales, including in Europe.

If it does reach the continent, it would likely be sold in some parts of Central and Eastern Europe such as Turkey, but Renault-owned Dacia’s success in the west under dire economic conditions could also see the Escort follow in its footsteps.

Ford Escort 8

Expect the Escort to look pretty similar (yes, Aston Martin-esque grille included) to the concept, losing only some of the showcar-spec details like the LED headlights and pillarless windows.

Technical specs are unknown at the moment, but it could use engines from the Fiesta, such as the 1.5 litre Ti-VCT four-cylinder and the turbocharged 1.0 litre EcoBoost triple. The six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch transmission is also expected to be offered.

Rivals in Europe would include the Peugeot 301 and the Dacia Logan, both no-frills sedans that straddle the B- and C-segment markets. Should that battle commence here as well?