Ford has announced that the launch of its Edge SUV in North America early in 2015 will be followed by a worldwide roll-out, including a first foray into Western European markets. Built on the same platform as the Fusion, the Edge will debut a number of new technologies for Ford, such as variable-ratio steering and active noise cancellation.
In the USA, the 2015 model will be offered with three different engines, two of which are new to the Edge.
The first is a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost making around 245 hp (183 kW) and 366 Nm of torque. The engine has a lighter block than previous EcoBoost motors, and uses an aluminum balance shaft to save weight. It also uses lightweight pistons and an integrated exhaust manifold, which is coupled with high pressure fuel injection to save fuel.
For SUV drivers with a lead foot, Ford has also announced an Edge Sport. In keeping with the name, the faster Edge is fitted with a larger, 2.7-liter EcoBoost motor, which is expected to make around 300 hp (224 kW). Beyond changes to the engine, the Sport also is blessed with a sharper suspension set up than the standard Edge, with stiffer springs and anti-rollbars than the base model. Ford's 3.5-liter V6 will also be offered with the American Edge.
In Europe, the Edge will be available with two variations of Ford's TDCi Diesel engine. To optimize fuel economy, all engines are coupled with a start/stop system that stops the engine idling in traffic. All Edge models have a six-speed automatic gearbox, with steering wheel mounted paddles as standard. The gearbox can be coupled with a constant all-wheel drive system, which varies the power sent to each wheel if slip is detected.
Aside from the powertrain, the new Edge debuts a number of new technologies for Ford. These include Ford's new adaptive steering system, which adjusts the steering ratio based on the car's speed. This allows for light steering at low speeds, and a more stable, heavier set up at high speed.
Ford has also placed a big focus on refinement in the car's cabin. All engines are said to idle more smoothly than their predecessors, and the Edge Sport is fitted with Active Noise Cancellation, which uses three interior microphones to detect and cancel external noise.
As well as being quieter, the 2015 Edge is available with the latest iteration of Ford's SYNC infotainment system, operated through an 8-inch touchscreen.
To our eyes the Edge looks good, with 20-inch wheels giving it a solid presence and aerodynamic styling that incorporates special ducting to create an "air curtain" around the car at speed to reduce drag and improve fuel economy.
The Edge is a big model for Ford as it looks to make a mark in the incredibly competitive compact-SUV class. In Europe, it will slot into the company's lineup between the Ecosport and Kuga.