A plug-in hybrid version of Ford Motor Co.'s next-generation Escape, due in 2019, was photographed during testing last week.
The two-row crossover is Ford's No. 2 selling nameplate behind the F series, and the automaker hopes to continue the success with the Escape's first redesign since 2012.
That includes a plug-in hybrid variant, which Automotive News first reported last year. Ford has since said it will offer an electrified version of every new crossover and SUV moving forward.
The vehicle caught by spy photographers was heavily camouflaged but hints at what's expected to be a new front end. The Escape looks to be getting a more sophisticated design to stand apart from an upcoming, similar-sized off-road SUV that Ford teased this year. The interior of the redesigned Escape is expected to be roomier and more refined.
Powertrain details are unclear, but it could get the 1.5-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine Ford offers in Europe. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder offered in the current Escape likely would remain available as an option.
Ford sold a hybrid version of the Escape from 2004 through 2012, when it was discontinued because of slow sales and the launch of the C-Max hatchback, which was made as a plug-in and a traditional hybrid.