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Ford will offer a plug-in hybrid version of its 2020 Escape.

A fresh round of spy shots has confirmed that Ford is planning to offer a plug-in hybrid version of its next Escape crossover utility vehicle.

We've heard rumors about a possible plug-in drivetrain for the next Escape, due out next year as a 2020 model, but so far our spy photographers have only managed to snap pictures of the standard version of the SUV. But that changed today when our spy photographer caught up with a prototype for the 2020 Escape plug-in hybrid.

Overall this prototype looks nearly identical to the one that was spotted back in April, but there is one major difference — look closely at the front fender and you'll see what looks like a fuel door. But Ford hasn't moved the Escape's gas tank to the front end, what you're looking at is actually a door to conceal a charge port.

Details on the Escape's plug-in drivetrain are scarce, but the Escape will carry the torch for Ford's plug-in efforts now that the C-Max and Fusion have been canceled. It's also possible that Ford could introduce a normal hybrid version of the next Escape as well.

The standard version of the next Escape is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder with around 180 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. A more powerful turbo-four will be the Escape's top engine offering.

No launch date for the new Escape has been set, but we could see the Toyota RAV4-rival at the 2019 Detroit auto show. Sales will likely begin during the second half of next year.