Ford made the best of what it did not have by using the Escort name which was well known for the ZX2.
Thus they did not have to spend the advertising dollars that they did not have for this car when they launched.
On the other hand by calling it the Escort, they alienated many potential buyers of the car. Those would be the young folks who would normally be attracted to Acura Integras, Honda Civic SIs, Neon ACRs, etc. Since Escort is not normally associated with performance cars in the US. (not the case in UK with the Cosworth rally cars)
Today Ford calls it the ZX2 period. The Escort name plate does not even appear on 2001 model.
The ZX2 does not share a single exterior body panel, nor headlights, not even the windshield with the Escort. The engine is different, a 2.0L DOHC engine Zetec (which is now used with a few modifications in the Focus ZTS and ZX3).
What it shares is the platform which is a previous generation Mazda 323 (not Protege) platform. This platform was used in the Ford Escort, Mercury (Ford Australia) Capri convertible, and Mazda MX3.
In some other countries this platform also was the basis for a Ford Laser.
Job 1 for the 2002 ZX2 is in July 2001.
Assembly plant in Hermosillo Mexico.
Thus, the ZX2 will live on until next year.
There are rumours that a modified 2-door Focus coupe (with a trunk) will become the ZX2 for 2003.
Speculations of the form range from a Ford Puma and Cougar like body to just a simple 2-door Focus.
ZX2 enthusiasts like their cars because of the engine's performance with the 127lb.ft of tq available across the rpm range, because of its 130 hp, and its 0-60 of 7.4 seconds. Oh and it sits 3 inches lower than the Focus.