This is the compact SUV of the future according to Ford. It may be called the Vertrek concept for now, but it’s actually an early look at the 2012 Ford Escape due out later this year.
The Vertrek is Ford’s next worldwide crossover. It may not get the same name in Europe as it does in America, but they’ll all be more or less the same underneath the skin.
Built on the same platform as the 2012 Ford Focus, the Vertrek concept is bigger than the Escape in most dimensions. Although the Vertrek is only about 4 inches longer than the Escape, the concept’s wheelbase is nearly 7 inches longer. The overall width is up by 2.7 inches.
The only dimension that is smaller on the Vertrek is its height, as the roof is nearly 2 inches lower than the boxy Escape. Ford says the sleeker shape of the Vertrek makes it 5 percent more aerodynamic than the Escape. We would have guessed it was even more.
Given its Focus roots, it should come as no surprise than the Vertrek is powered by a 1.6-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. Ford says the next-generation Escape will most likely use this engine as well as a 2.0-liter EcoBoost and possibly a 2.5-liter, normally aspirated four-cylinder.