Ford Escort (North America)

Ford Escort (North America)

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Ford Escort (North America)

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See also Ford Escort .


The Ford Escort is a compact car that was manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. The North American Escort adopted both the badge and the general design of a redesigned European model, and the name has been applied to several different designs in North America since its introduction as Ford's first successful world car.

The Escort was Ford's first front-wheel-drive car built in North America, replacing the dated Ford Pinto subcompact car (1971–80) with a modern front-wheel drive design popularized by the Volkswagen Rabbit. It also effectively replaced the smaller Ford Fiesta which was imported from Europe from 1978–80. Though mechanically sophisticated, the Fiesta was too small, even for a Pinto replacement.

The Escort was one of Ford's most successful models in the 1980s, earning a much better reputation than the Pinto, which faced widely publicized safety issues. In fact, the Escort was the single best-selling car in its second year in the United States and during most of that decade.

First generation (1981–1990)

Introduced in 1981, the first American Escort was intended to share common components with the European Mk III Escort (as with its sister, the Mercury Lynx), and was launched as a 2-door hatchback and as a 4-door station wagon, with the 4-door hatchback following a year later. It had considerably more chrome than the model sold elsewhere. The car was freshened in 1983. There was also the Ford EXP, and sister version Mercury LN7,...
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