Ford Planning Three-Row Escape For Europe, Maybe US
The fourth generation Ford Escape is one of the automaker’s global players. It is also offered as the Kuga in Europe, where it is currently the best-selling plug-in hybrid model across the continent. As it turns out, Ford is planning to further expand the Escape / Kuga lineup with a new seven-seater version.
According to a new report from Ford Authority, the Blue Oval is currently working on a three-row Escape / Kuga based on the same C2 platform that also underpins the new Bronco and Euro-spec Focus. The duo will adopt a longer wheelbase and receive a more conventional roofline than the five-seater variants for more headroom in the rear.
Inside the cabin there will be no drastic changes but, obviously, the interior will gain a third row of seats, which will be accessed by a second row of sliding seats. The powertrain lineup will carry over from the five-seat Escape / Kuga.
Known internally as Project CX430, the new seven-seater will be launched on both sides of the Atlantic. Here in the United States, it will position itself as a direct rival to the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace and others. In Europe, it will replace three Ford models at a time – the slow-selling Edge and the S-Max and Galaxy minivans, which will be discontinued after their current generations.
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On the Old Continent, the new family carrier will most likely receive the nicknames Kuga Max or Grand Kuga. It will be produced at Ford factories in Valencia, where the Mondeo is also assembled, and will go on sale in the first months of 2022.