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Ford Edge SUV sharpens up its act

Ford Edge SUV sharpens up its act

Ford adds the sporty ST trim level to its Edge lineup as part of a midcycle refresh of the 5-passenger midsize SUV that goes on sale this summer as a '19 model.

Ford Motor Company of Canada said it has redesigned its Edge SUV for global export, with preparations already underway for production in Oakville, Ont. Ford plans to export the vehicle, which features an array of smart technology, to 100 countries in 2019.

But Ford, by applying an ST badge to its new high-performance version of the 2019 Edge, has raised an interesting question: Is vehicle performance truly the only essential character quality of an ST, or has the badge come to stand for something more?

No pricing details are available at this point for the new Ford Performance Edge ST model, but a 2018 Ford Edge Sport retails for roughly $40,000. Power is provided - just like in the Sport model - via a 2.7-liter biturbo V6, for the ST providing 335 hp (250 kW) and 380 pound-feet (515 Newton-meters) of torque, against 315 hp (235 kW) and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) in the Sport. This is 20 hp and 30 lb-ft of torque more than the 2017 Edge Sport. "From a performance standpoint, and with its SUV silhouette and versatility, it sets a new standard Edge fans will love to drive". Stability and traction control programming is also new, with relaxed modes allowing for more slip angle before intervening.

The new Edge ST more than looks the performance part it offers higher performance with a 335-horsepoewr V6
The new Edge ST more than looks the performance part it offers higher performance with a 335-horsepoewr V6

What we do know is that the Edge has been tightened up all around in ST spec: the suspension, throttle response, shift patterns, engine braking, exhaust note, and styling have all been sharpened. This includes standard pedestrian-detecting automatic emergency brakes, post-collision braking that slows the vehicle after a collision occurs, adaptive cruise control with lane centering assist and an Evasive Steering Assist system that uses the steering wheel to actively help guide a driver around obstacles ahead in the event of an impending collision. But Ford's approach to the Edge ST is significant in that many so-called performance models are little more than appearance packages with no changes under the hood.

The vehicle was created to have better handling and braking capabilities through features that can reduce the impact of collisions and help drivers maneuver around vehicles that are stopped or driving slowly. New options include a 12-speaker B&O Play premium audio system by Bang & Olufsen, Qi wireless smartphone charging and remote start.

Ford has whipped the covers off its Territory-replacing Endura due in the fourth quarter, with the large SUV making its debut this week as the facelifted Edge sold in overseas markets.

Notable tech features include the ability to locate, unlock, start, and lock the vehicle with a mobile app and connect up to 10 devices to in-car WiFi. Drivers can also upgrade to SYNC 3 with an 8-inch touchscreen for enhanced in-vehicle experience.

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