Ford is in the midst of revealing the next generation of its Edge crossover vehicle and announced it will be the very first Ford model to come with an EcoBoost engine as standard.
When launched in late 2006, Ford said the Edge helped to define the crossover sport utility vehicle segment in North America, the biggest such market in the world. With a car-based design, the Edge delivered better on-road comfort, fuel efficiency and overall driving dynamics than any truck-based SUV.
The 2015 Edge revealed June 24 in North America and Europe is, per Ford, all-new from wheels to roof, designed to reset the standard in the two-row utility vehicle market. Based on Ford’s successful, global midsize vehicle platform, Ford said the Edge has been reimagined with a stronger, more athletic shape.
The New Edge To Be sold In Over 100 Markets
The original Edge was our first entry into the world of crossover utilities – a technologically advanced vehicle that was the perfect blend of sedan comfort and efficiency with SUV functionality,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Now, we are building on that success, and building on the emotional appeal of the vehicle by offering more of the technology our customers want in a package that meets the highest expectations for quality and craftsmanship.”
With the 2015 Edge, Ford added it is also building on its utility vehicle leadership around the world. Last year, the company sold a record 1.2 million utility vehicles in markets across the globe – up 38 percent from 2012.
In North America, Ford was the top-selling utility vehicle brand for a third consecutive year in 2013. Ford utility vehicle sales have been strong elsewhere as well, increasing nearly 20 percent in Europe last year. In China, Ford’s share of the utility vehicle segment is growing exponentially, increasing to 4.5 percent in 2013 from less than 1 percent in 2012.
Two New Engines, Three Power Options
Ford announced in North America, the 2015 Edge will feature three engine options, two of which are new powerplants – a standard twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6.
A normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine will also be offered and all engines will be equipped with dual output exhaust and a six-speed automatic transmission.
Ford stated the Edge is the first Ford vehicle to feature standard EcoBoost power.
The twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost, offering an estimated 245 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, is significantly improved over the previous 2.0-liter EcoBoost, said Ford. Beyond efficiency advantages, this new engine will also provide more capability. Edge equipped with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost can be specified with newly available all-wheel drive and a towing package capable of hauling a 3,500-pound trailer.
Ford explained among a host of changes to the 2.0-liter EcoBoost is a twin-scroll design enabling optimized camshaft timing for improved engine performance and reduced turbo lag. A new, lighter engine block casting along with new aluminum balance shaft assembly shaves six pounds from the engine’s gravitational weight. Other changes include lighter pistons; a newly designed, integrated exhaust manifold; and a new, high-pressure direct-injection fuel system for finer fuel atomization. These upgrades pave the way for an increased compression ratio of 9.7:1, up from 9.3:1, for improved overall fuel efficiency.
Ford added its Auto Start-Stop system will also be available with the twin-scroll EcoBoost engine on the new Edge. In heavy traffic, this technology can seamlessly shut down the engine to decrease fuel consumption, reducing tailpipe emissions to zero while the vehicle is stationary and the engine is off.
On the other side of the engine spectrum is the Edge Sport, with an exclusive, all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine that Ford believes will provide an exceptional combination of power and efficiency. Setting a new standard in world-class powertrain engineering, this twin-turbocharged V6 is said to be one of the world’s most advanced engines.
The 2.7-liter EcoBoost uses the same compacted graphite iron in its cylinder block as is used in the 6.7-liter Power Stroke. This advanced cylinder block allows for a remarkably stiff and compact design that returns exceptionally refined noise, vibration and harshness control. The compacted graphite iron core is mated with a die-cast aluminum engine-block ladder frame and composite oil pan, saving weight by applying advanced materials where they are needed most.
Expected by Ford to deliver more than 300 horsepower, Ford is convinced this 2.7-liter EcoBoost will ensure Edge Sport is the highest-performance Edge ever.
Adaptive Steering Technology
The all-new Edge will be the first Ford product to feature the company’s adaptive steering technology, which will make the vehicle easier to maneuver and more fun to drive.
A standard feature on Edge Sport and available on the new Titanium series, adaptive steering changes the ratio between a driver’s actions at the steering wheel – the number of turns – and how much the front wheels turn. In traditional steering systems, this is a fixed steering ratio. With Ford adaptive steering, the steering ratio continually changes with vehicle speed, optimizing steering response in all situations.
Ford explained its system uses a precision-controlled actuator placed inside the steering wheel, and requires no change to the vehicle’s traditional steering system. The actuator – an electric motor and gearing system – can essentially add to or subtract from a driver’s steering inputs. The result is a better, more engaging driving experience at all speeds.
All three engines are mated to Ford’s SelectShift six-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift activation. Drivers will have the ability to manually select gears via race-inspired paddles on the steering wheel, said the company. The paddle-shift system is standard on all models.
The SelectShift transmission is said to feature two modes of operation – drive and sport. Sport mode offers a more aggressive shift pattern, allowing the engine to rev higher during acceleration, and hold lower gears longer to support spirited, fast-paced sessions.
The 2015 Edge will be a technology leader for Ford, said the company, with a suite of standard and available technologies designed to improve the driving experience and the level of occupant comfort. Technologies being offered for the first time include adaptive steering, enhanced active park assist, side parking sensors and a front camera with washer.
“The new Edge is a rolling showcase of Ford’s commitment to developing and offering the latest, most advanced technology in the business,” said Curran. “We know our customers have embraced technology – from smartphones to wearable devices that track their health. Technology is part of their lives. We want to make it part of their driving experience as well.”
As listed by Ford, key technology features include:
Active Grille Shutters: Available on select models to help counter air resistance
Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support: Uses radar to detect moving vehicles directly ahead and change the cruising speed if necessary
Adaptive steering technology: Most advanced steering system ever from Ford makes Edge easier to maneuver and more fun to drive by optimizing steering response in all conditions
Air curtain: Creates a curtain of air alongside the vehicle using smart duct work, improving aerodynamics at high speed
Auto Start-Stop technology: Turns the engine off to save fuel when the vehicle is stopped, then restarts the engine in milliseconds when the brake is released; specially tuned for Edge
Blind Spot Information System: BLIS uses radar to trigger a warning when another motorist is in the driver’s blind spot
Cameras: New 180-degree front camera with washer featured for first time on a Ford vehicle; standard rear camera
Cross-traffic alert: Uses radar to help alert drivers to oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space
Enhanced active park assist: Builds on Ford parallel parking technology and includes a system to guide the vehicle into a perpendicular parking space. The system can also steer the vehicle into and out of a parallel parking space
Forward and reverse sensing systems: The systems provide audible alerts designed to help drivers avoid obstacles when parking
Hands-free liftgate: Allows customer to move leg below center of the rear bumper to unlock and raise liftgate
Heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel: Amenities make occupants more comfortable, and every drive more enjoyable
Lane-keeping system: Alerts driver to steer the vehicle back into its lane if the vehicle is allowed to drift
Side parking sensors: uses sensors and algorithms that measure speed and steering wheel angle to warn drivers of obstacles on either side of the vehicle during parking or low-speed maneuvers
SYNC with MyFord Touch: Becoming available for more trim levels; standard on Edge Sport and Titanium series
The 2015 Edge will be available in four trim levels. These include SE, SEL, Sport and – for the first time – a top-of-the-line Titanium series to meet market demand for more premium offerings, explained Ford.
“We really focused on meeting the highest craftsmanship standards in developing the all-new Edge,” said Kim Cape, marketing manager, Ford Large Cars and Utilities. “The idea was to create not just a high-quality exterior and interior, but to give the customer a holistic, premium experience. The Titanium trim level has been a real success story for Ford – particularly in products such as Fusion, Escape and Flex. Our customers are telling us, ‘We are interested in technology and a premium look and feel.’ Titanium delivers that.”