Edging upwardly global
For the second incarnation of its midsize Edge crossover, Ford is taking its show on the road. Late in the inaugural Edge’s life, exports began to China and quickly escalated to 10,000-12,000 units per year. It seems two-box utes are as hot there as they are here and as they’re becoming in Europe, where sales will also commence for 2015. Yes, the new Edge has been developed with diesel engines, right-hand-drive, full pedestrian protection and low-speed damageability standards in mind. That’s good news for the North American faithful too.
The Edge follows the Fusion onto the latest CD platform, hewing a lot closer to the sedan’s architecture than the last one did. This will make it easier to decide in the future to build the Edge alongside Mondeos/Fusions in other global plants, should sales demand it. Naturally the new body structure is stiffer in bending and torsion (by 26 and 16 percent, respectively), but of even greater benefit is the transition away from the previous model’s trailing-arm control-blade rear suspension to a proper fully independent setup that we’re promised delivers greatly improved ride while reducing body roll and increasing the overall handling limits by 15-20 percent.
Sizewise, there’s growth in almost every direction. The wheelbase is up an inch (to 112.2), with length and height increasing by 3.9 and 1.6 inches, respectively. Only width is decreased, and by only a tenth of an inch. Ford makes that 4 percent increase in outer space count, however, by increasing inner passenger space by 5 percent, while cargo room jumps by 7 percent overall and an impressive 22 percent with the rear seat up. Yes, that rear window is more steeply raked than before, but there’s a lot more length and height below the window.
And as is so often the case these days, savvy use of ultra-high-strength steel and other advanced materials is expected to drop the average curb weight by 50 pounds despite the addition of myriad new technologies, a few of which are making their production debut on the Edge, including the steering-wheel mounted ratio-varying adaptive steering, Enhanced Park Assist (which can now back the car into a perpendicular spot and drive you back out whatever parking spot you’re in), side parking sensors to warn of impending brushes with poles or building corners in tight parking structures, and a 180-degree front camera for peeking out of blind alleys (it cleans itself whenever you wash the windshield). Practically every other feature Ford has ever dreamed up will also be available, including adaptive cruise, lane-keeping assist, auto start-stop (a separate option on the 2.0-liter), the glove-box-door knee-airbag, and inflatable rear shoulder belts.
The Edge becomes the first Ford with a standard EcoBoost engine — the all-new 2.0-liter (only the displacement and bore-center spacing carry over) gets a new twin-scroll turbo to fatten the low end of the torque curve. Unlike the current 2.0-liter EcoBoost, this one will be rated to tow 3500 pounds and will be available with all-wheel-drive (output and fuel-economy figures haven’t been announced yet). Next up the option sheet is a 3.5-liter V-6, which will probably produce 285 hp and 253 lb-ft as before. The top-of-the-line choice, powering Sport models, is the 2.7-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6, probably rated near the F-150 version’s anticipated 320 hp/370 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic with standard SelectShift paddle shifting backs them all.
Along with the twin-turbo engine, Sport models will get standard 20-inch footwear (21s optional) and a suspension fortified with fatter anti-roll bars, 10 percent stiffer springs, and starchier dampers (special monotube units in the rear). Lower-body splitters and cladding distinguish sport models, along with blacked-out side-window trim, a darker finish to the wheels, lamps, and grille, and more aggressive body-color fascias. Inside there’s carbon-fiber-look dash trim and suede seat inserts. All Edge interiors look slightly ritzier, with real aluminum trim available on the upper models.
Look for the 2015 Edge to make a fashionably late entrance in North America early next year, with global sales starting shortly thereafter.
A few Tech Highlights:
2.0L EcoBoost: New cylinder heads feature larger exhaust valves and incorporate the exhaust manifold, twinning the two center cylinders and the two outer ones into what looks like a single large-diameter turbo inlet pipe. It’s bifurcated so that the inner cylinders feed one scroll while the outers feed the other. This setup traditionally bolsters low-end torque, but both cams have wide authority over valve timing and lift, so greatly increasing the overlap improves the breathing enough to add ample power at the top end as well.
2.7L EcoBoost: Borrowing a technology from European big-rig diesels, the block and ladder-frame bearing carrier are cast together as a single compacted-graphite-iron unit. Lasers then etch notches where the bearing caps want to be split, and a mandrel goes in and expands to crack the ladder off. This makes for an extraordinarily precise and strong connection when the crank is installed. This is claimed to be a world-first for a light-duty vehicle engine. Another first: The upper ends of the connecting rods do not use bushings. The rod ends are machined to a shape that anticipates the maximum amount of piston-pin flex, then they’re dipped and coated in a molybdenum material that fills the space. This simplifies assembly and lowers the ultimate engine height by the amount of the bushings (2mm).
|2015 Ford Edge|
|BASE PRICE||$29,000-$41,000 (est)|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 4-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINES||2.0L/245-hp*/275-lb-ft* turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4; 3.5L/285-hp/253-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6; 2.7L/320-hp*/370-lb-ft* turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6|
|CURB WEIGHT||3950-4400 lb (mfr)|
|LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT||188.1 x 75.9 x 68.6 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.8-7.5 sec (MT est)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||Not yet rated|
|ON SALE IN U.S.||1st quarter 2015|
|Ford Edge Dimensions|
|Wheelbase||112.2 in||111.2 in||1.0 in|
|Length||188.1 in||184.2 in||3.9 in|
|Width||75.9 in||76 in||-0.1 in|
|Height||68.6 in||67 in||1.6 in|
|Front headroom||40.2 in||40 in||0.2 in|
|Front legroom*||40.4 in||40.7 in||-0.3 in|
|Front shoulder room||60.3 in||58.9 in||1.4 in|
|Front hip room||55.9 in||54.8 in||1.1 in|
|Rear headroom||40.3 in||39.3 in||1.0 in|
|Rear legroom||40.6 in||39.6 in||1.0 in|
|Rear shoulder room||60.5 in||58.7 in||1.8 in|
|Rear hip room||57.5 in||56.3 in||1.2 in|
|Total passenger volume||113.9 cu ft||108.4 cu ft||5.5 cu ft|
|Cargo volume behind front row||73.4 cu ft||68.9 cu ft||4.5 cu ft|
|Cargo volume behind second row||39.2 cu ft||32.2 cu ft||7.0 cu ft|
|*Note: Ford is listing 42.6 inches for the 2015 front legroom, but that figure is with the seat pushed all the way back, while the rear legroom reported is measured at the seating reference point. Front legroom at that point is 40.4, so this is the correct number to report.|