Ford announces 2020 Escape-based off-roader

Is it the mysterious baby Bronco?

Ford made the 2020 Escape (pictured) more car-like than its predecessor. The shift was necessary because the firm is gradually getting rid of sedans in the United States. The Blue Oval will cater to buyers who want a crossover that's a little bit more rugged by releasing an Escape-based model with more off-road prowess.

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing, told The Detroit Bureau that the yet-unnamed soft-roader will be boxier than the Escape, and taller thanks to additional ground clearance. Its windshield will be more upright, too. It sounds a lot like the so-called baby Bronco Ford has talked about before, but the firm might have several off-road-inspired models in store.

The model will share its platform with the Escape and the newest Focus. There's no word yet on where production will take place. Technical details remain under wraps, too, though we're not expecting anything bigger than a four-cylinder engine.

Ford's mysterious crossover will arrive in showrooms about six months after the Escape, according to The Detroit Bureau. The Escape is scheduled to arrive in the fall of 2019, so its more adventurous sibling could start appearing on dealer lots in the spring of 2020. If that time frame is accurate, it will make its debut before the long-awaited born-again Bronco.

Photo by Byron Hurd.

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