The new Focus cues are apparent even with a well-covered front fascia. It has a long, flat hood and fenders that help give it less of a cab-forward, front-drive look, just like the Focus. Also like the little car, the Escape has its headlights mounted high in the corners. What we can see of the taillights also looks inspired by the Focus. Other interesting design tidbits include the much more raked rear hatch that gives this Escape a sportier profile. And in general, the new Escape's sheet metal looks like it has less exaggerated creases and lines, like the new Focus and Fiesta.
We were expecting the new Escape to grow a bit in its next generation, and possibly even get an optional third-row seat. The reason being that Ford already has an EcoSport that fits below the Escape, and there's a baby Bronco coming that would also probably fit between the two. Going bigger would add some breathing room for the smallest SUVs. It would also allow the Escape to compete with the handful of other compact crossovers with available third-row seats, including the Mitsubishi Outlander, VW Tiguan and Nissan Rogue. Then again, growing the Escape might intrude on the Edge's territory, and having a third row isn't strictly necessary in the compact segment, as evidenced by the current Honda CR-V and the all-new Toyota RAV4.
This Escape prototype looks pretty far along in development, and considering how old the current model is, we'd say the production model will be revealed relatively soon. We wouldn't be surprised if it's revealed sometime in the coming auto show season, no later than the 2019 New York show. Powertrains are likely to be similar to the current lineup, but since Ford is trying to streamline some of its models, the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder might go away in favor of just the turbo 1.5-liter and turbo 2.0-liter engines.