What would it take for Ford to get you interested in a new Escort? In its heyday, the Escort was quite popular, but managed to build up a bundle of negative brand equity. In less than three years, Ford reportedly hopes to woo Escort buyers back with a 100 mpg plug-in hybrid model. Numbers like that would certainly get some interest, and give competitors like GM's Volt and Toyota's Prius plenty to think about. And if the 2011 Escort looks anything like the renderings on Next Energy News, it should be able to make lots of money for Ford.

According to the report at Next Energy, the new Escort would be a single mode hybrid more like Toyota's drivetrain instead of the dual-mode system GM and Chrysler are developing. But the new car would be a brand new platform for Ford, and wouldn't be built using another company's proven hybrid system.

Ford's hybrid would likely utilize A123 Systems nanophosphate lithium-Ion batteries, which are also being used by the Saturn Aura and Chevy Volt.

[Source: Next Energy News via GM Inside News]