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The current generation Ford Escape — known in Europe as the Kuga — is one of the solid all-rounders on the market but it lacks the wow factor when it comes to its design. Ford probably knows that and will try to inject a little more excitement into the design of the crossover when the facelifted model arrives. It is currently under development and we have a new spy video showing two prototypes testing on public roads in Germany. Plus, a new rendering provides an accurate preview.

The CarSpyMedia channel on YouTube takes us to Germany where Ford is conducting tests with the refreshed Kuga. The two trial cars have a decent amount of camouflage covering their front ends, though the updated design is not really a secret. New thinner headlights and a reshaped radiator grille give the front fascia a more solid appearance. The hood also appears to be tweaked to fit the new slimmer headlights. At the back, there are fewer modifications as the taillights retain their design but gain new internal graphics.

Gallery: 2023 Ford Escape / Kuga facelift renderings

As Kolesa.ru’s pair of renderings show, the final design of the refreshed Kuga / Escape duo could be significantly more attractive than the outgoing model. The wider front grille combined with the new headlights will result in a more modern overall look and there could be a new selection of wheel designs and exterior colors to supplement the visual improvements. We also believe the cabin could receive a new infotainment system with a larger tablet-style screen on the center console. Tech upgrades across the range are most likely in the cards, too.

As far as the engine options are concerned, we don’t expect big changes for both the Escape and the Kuga. The latter will probably come first and will carry over the range of electrified powertrains of the version that’s still on sale in Europe. One of the prototypes in the video above sounds a lot like a diesel engine, which probably means the compression ignition option will also remain available.

The Escape is Ford’s second best-selling crossover in the United States, being beaten only by the Explorer. With 145,415 deliveries last year, however, the vehicle was down 18.5 percent compared to 2020.

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