Even though Ford rolled out a completely new Edge just three years ago, the market for SUVs is so hot right now that the company is giving its 5-seat midsize entry a significant refresh for 2019.
Part of a major shift in emphasis at Ford that will see the company reallocate some $7 billion of capital from future spending on sedans to the big money-makers (SUVs and trucks) such as the upcoming 2020 Bronco, the 2019 Ford Edge receives new front styling, increased power, a new 8-speed automatic transmission, safety and infotainment upgrades, and an all-new ST performance trim level.
With SE, SEL and Titanium trim, the 2019 Edge continues with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, with output bumped from 245 horsepower to an even 250. Torque remains the same at 275 lb.-ft.
A new wide-ratio 8-speed automatic replaces last year’s 6-speed automatic, bringing a lower first gear for improved launch acceleration and taller overdrive gears for more relaxed cruising. The 2019 Edge ditches the traditional PRNDL shifter in favor of a beefy rotary E-shifter knob on the console, like the one used in the current Fusion sedan. It frees up some console space for things like an available wireless phone charger.
Standard stop-start shuts off the engine at stoplights or when the Edge is stationary. EPA estimates for the 2019 model were not finalized as this preview was written, but Ford expects improvement to both the city and highway ratings.
Tech-tonic shift to connectivity and safety
Called the Edge SE, the base model gets more standard technology, such as voice-activated Sync 3 AppLink, which supports a new Ford+Alexa voice assistant app for accessing smart home controls, media content, calendar items, even shopping and other services while on the road (hopefully with minimal driver distraction).
A Wi-Fi hotspot with an imbedded modem is also standard, and is called FordPass Connect. It will work with up to 10 paired devices within 50 feet from the vehicle, so tailgate parties won’t be starved for data (but maybe dip). With the FordPass app, an Edge owner can lock, unlock, locate and start their car using a smartphone app.
Mirroring the standardization of advanced safety systems in new models from Toyota and Honda, all 2019 Edge models will get a full suite of driver-assistive technology as standard equipment. This list includes automatic emergency braking to a full stop, blind spot and rear cross-traffic alert systems, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist systems, automatic high-beam headlights, and more.
Also available for the first time in some Edge models will be evasive steering assist (to help a driver maneuver around an accident), adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and post-collision braking (to slow down and stop a vehicle after an initial impact to limit further risk and injury).
Ford has also upgraded the front structure of the 2019 Edge with the goal of improving its small-offset frontal impact performance in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, aiming to raise the SUV’s rating from “Acceptable” to “Good.”
ST is an edgier Edge
At 46 percent, the current Edge has the highest female-buyer ratio of any Ford product. In a bid to widen the Edge’s net and attract performance-oriented buyers, Ford is adding a testosterone-laden Edge ST variant to draw more Y-chromosome interest.
Replacing the previous Edge Sport, the new 2019 Ford Edge ST is the first of its kind in the company’s SUV portfolio. Developed by the Ford Performance team, the Edge ST cops some attitude. And like the Focus ST and Fiesta ST, the Edge ST sports a gloss black mesh grille, aggressive-looking front fascia, ground-effects side skirts, and large-diameter dual exhaust outlets.
Inside, the ST is decked out with leather-and-suede-trimmed seats highlighted with silver accent stitching. The ST’s front bucket seats (not Recaros, Ford-designed) receive added bolstering with increased bottom- and back-cushion lateral support. A digital instrument panel is customizable and can display a tachometer and a turbocharger boost gauge.
Beneath the ST’s freshly sculpted hood is the twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 from last year’s Sport model, now boosted to 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s a healthy increase of 20 horsepower (+6.3%) and 30 lb.-ft. of torque (+8.5%). Ford says it accomplished this with valve timing and other calibration changes.
A freer-flowing exhaust gives the ST some “voice” and, like the Focus ST, is bolstered by an active noise cancellation system that both reduces unwanted low-frequency booming sounds when cruising at low rpm and, under acceleration, enhances midrange “throatiness” from the intake piping via the SUV’s audio speakers.
In order to effectively get all of the power to the ground, the Edge ST is equipped with standard all-wheel drive.
Putting more “sport” into sport-utility
As with the other ST versions, the Edge ST also receives stiffer springs, shocks and anti-roll bars, plus larger-diameter rear brakes. An optional high-performance brake system (not Brembo, says Ford) is also available, promising improved initial response and fade resistance. Both 20- and 21-inch wheels will be offered on the ST, and the latter can be fitted with summer performance tires.
The Edge ST’s stability control system has a selectable “relaxed” setting that allows drivers to probe higher limits for more “fun” on twisty roads before intervening. A Sport mode button in the center of the rotary shifter enables quicker throttle response, holds lower gears longer and provides rev-matched downshifts.
Ford insists the Edge ST is not a hard-edged hotrod but rather an “everyday performance vehicle” with a firm but compliant ride. We’ll have a chance to test that theory this coming August at the 2019 model’s introduction to the media, right around the same time that the updated Edge and Edge ST go on sale.
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Source: Technology – Google News