The Ford Escort badge has returned, more than 10 years since the small car last starred in showrooms. For now, though, it's a mere concept, designed for the Chinese market.
"This compact concept highlights the strength of our global One Ford approach to vehicle design, and represents how we can make use of our global design language to bring refined designs to attainable vehicles," Ford's Jim Farley said.
"Designed with the Chinese consumer in mind, the new Escort Concept has the potential to strengthen our product portfolio here in China as we take advantage of opportunities for diversification within the compact car segment."
The Escort was last seen in Ford Australia showrooms in the early 80s, when it was replaced by the Mazda 323-based Laser - later succeeded by the Focus - and the Meteor sedan.
In Europe, Escort production continued until 2000, when the last of a sixth-generation Escort - largely a facelifted fifth-generation model - rolled off the line in Halewood.
With the Focus range filling Ford's small-car needs in Australia, a local debut for this new Escort is unlikely, but we might expect to see elements of its styling in future models.
The new Escort's development was not without Australian involvement however, with spokesperson Neil McDonald confirming with TMR today that the concept was a global effort, including input from the brand's local designers and engineers.