Vertrek concept points way to new Ford Escape

Ford shows off the new Vertrek concept at the 2011 Detroit auto show.

Ford Vertrek concept
Ford's Vertrek concept shows the design direction for an Escape update. Josh Miller/CNET

DETROIT--Ford rolled out a new concept, the Vertrek, at the 2011 Detroit auto show, defining a new small SUV. Significantly, the Vertrek is based on Ford's new C-segment platform, which also supports the Focus and C-Max models.

Ford says that the next version of the Escape will be based on the Vertrek, replacing the current boxy model. Vertrek also solidifies Ford's Kinetic design language for a small SUV, with a trapezoidal grille and dynamic side contours.

Cabin tech was not the focus of the Vertrek, as the car mostly demonstrates exterior design and power train tech. For the latter, the Vertrek uses Ford's new turbocharged direct injection 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.

Taking fuel efficiency further, the Vertrek also uses an idle stop system, which may become common on Ford cars. This system shuts down the engine at traffic stops. A regenerative braking system helps keep the battery charged.