2015 Ford Edge (ier) Close-up Look by Steve Purdy +VIDEO


A Slightly Edgier Edge

By Steve Purdy
The Auto Channel
Michigan Bureau

We had just had our first look at the all-new Ford Edge, the mid-size, 5-passenger crossover that has led its segment nearly since its introduction in 2006. I recall being on the launch event for the Edge in San Francisco and being impressed with its style, convenience and drivability. This new one will update all that and could continue to lead this high-volume, ultra-competitive market segment.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

When we see the term “all-new” we’re always a bit skeptical. In this case the platform is all-new, at least for Edge. It’s on the more rigid European-based platform used for the new Fusion and Mondeo as well as the current Lincoln MK-Z. You’ll find the new Edge looks similar to the current Edge, particularly in its overall shape and profile, partly because it has been so popular with buyers that Ford does not want to make it too different. They have succeeded, in my view, in bringing this new design to an impressive level of panache.

Exterior and interior styling and design get significant upgrades, including quality of materials and content, in order to keep up with intense competition throughout the industry. Although the shape and profile of this the new Edge matches that of the outgoing model Ford has held back nothing in updating it to a bolder, sexier, brasher look with strong character lines, LED lighting bigger wheels, and just a much more edgy look and feel. Ford’s design boss, Murray Callum, calls it a look of being “shrink-wrapped around the mechanics.”

More big news from Ford is that this will be the first Edge to be sold in Europe. This one will be amenable to right hand drive and in Europe it will sport two diesel engine options there. No gasoline version will go to Europe. Currently the crossover only comes from Ford’s Canadian assembly plant but we got the distinct impression it may soon have to be built elsewhere as well to sate anticipated demand.

Ford will be throwing every bit of new technology it can into the new Edge, like: lane departure and lane keeping, self parking and new system that will get you out of the parking spot called Exit Assist, adaptive cruise control, 180-degree front and rear cameras, adaptive steering, automatic start/stop, Curve Control and Collision Mitigation to keep you out of trouble plus all the conventional stuff like ABS, stability control and brake assist. It is not a stretch to see that all this brings us, and Ford, another step closer to autonomous vehicles. The new Edge will also have inflatable seat belts in the rear and a front knee airbag that pops out of the glove box.

Three engines, but only one transmission, will power the new North American Edge. The six-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters standard on all models) will be mated to a new 2.0-liter EcoBoost I4 (the base engine), a new EcoBoost 2.7-liter V6 and the carryover 3.5-liter, normally-aspirated V6 for the Sport model. Ford has been putting most of their powertrain eggs in the EcoBoost basket – their name for a broad line of engines with direct injection, turbocharging and dual variable valve timing. The powertrain team is not ready yet to provide EPA or power numbers but imply improvement over current ones.

The new Edge is incrementally bigger in just about every dimension than the outgoing model. A good share of the extra length goes into rear seat room but cargo capacity is improved as well. The Ford team claims class-leading numbers in interior volume.

Pricing will not be announced until much closer to launch and we anticipate an increase. In Europe the Edge will compete head-to-head with offerings from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi so will have some pricing flexibility. In the US it will have to compete more intensely with great products from just about every manufacturer from Kia to Acura to Cadillac to Lexus.

The new Edge is expected at dealers in the first quarter of 2015, though timing has not been announced for European or Asian markets.

ęSteve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved

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