More power, torque vectoring, and maybe even a manual
Earlier this month, on the drive launch for the 2019 Ford Edge ST, we had a chance to chat with Ed Krenz, the Chief Functional Engineer for Ford Performance. In that conversation, we asked Krenz what he would do if Ford tasked him with developing an Edge RS. Interestingly, he seemed to already have an answer.
“Now that would clearly be a bit of a white space vehicle, so it’s not something we’d go and say, ‘Let’s go copy X, Y, or Z.'” Krenz told Motor Trend. “We’d be able to create kind of that segment of non-premium, ultra-high-performance SUVs. What would we like it to be? The RS would have to bring more power. The RS would have to bring additional vehicle dynamics. That could be done through even more aggressive tires, more aggressive suspension setup, active dampers, torque vectoring. Those are things we definitely know how to do if we decide that we want to do it.”
While he didn’t go into specifics, if the Edge RS ever does happen, don’t be surprised if that extra power comes from the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 that currently makes 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque in the F-150. We’d also expect an updated version of the torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system used in the Focus RS. As for the transmission, don’t assume the Edge RS would be automatic-only.
“I think there is definitely a manual transmission enthusiasts group,” said Krenz. “It’s something on a Mustang product that we refused to walk away from, the manual transmission. You know, the Fiesta and Focus STs traditionally have had that capability. I think we’re gonna learn a little bit, whether or not this segment really requires that.”
Of course, what Krenz said is far from a confirmation that there’s a 375-hp Ford Edge RS with a manual transmission and a drift mode in the works. But if Ford’s going to drop most of its U.S. car lineup, it’s nice to know its people are already thinking about how much performance they can get out of the crossovers that remain in the portfolio.