These are the very first pics of the production version from the China-made Ford Kuga/Ford Escape. Full production will start in November and the Kuga will be launched on the Chinese car market in early 2013. Chinese name will be 翼虎, Yihu, best translated as ‘Escape’, which is also the name used in the US.
There will be two engines available: 1.6 GTDI and 2.0 GTDI, mated to a six-speed tiptronic. Ford will not offer a manual, at least not at launch, but might do so later to create a cheaper entry-level model. The Kuga will be made in China by the Chang’an-Ford joint venture and will be, believe it or not, Ford’s first SUV for the SUV-crazy Chinese car market. Ford has been ignoring China for far too long and in a way they still are. Ford can’t decide whether to bring American Fords to China, like the Mustang, while GM is doing very good business with the Chevrolet Camaro.