Ford just updated a popular SUV with a version that's ready to hit the race track
- Ford unveiled its 2019 Edge ST, a high-performance version of its Edge SUV, on Thursday.
- The vehicle joins the Ford Performance lineup of vehicles, which includes the GT supercar and the Shelby GT350 Mustang
- Ford also refreshed the regular Edge with tech features that include the ability to locate, unlock, start, and lock the car with a mobile app and connect up to 10 devices using in-car WiFi.
But the company isn't quite ready to give up on the driver. On Thursday, the carmaker pulled the cover off the lastest member of its Ford Performance division: the Edge ST SUV.
The Edge ST - Ford's first-ever race-ready ute - joins the hot-hatch Fiesta ST, the Focus ST and rally-ready Focus RS, the Shelby 350 and 350R Mustangs, the F-150 Raptor mega-pickup, and the $400,000 roadgoing version of the Le Mans-winning GT supercar.
"Edge ST puts a new animal on the road - a performance SUV with a track mentality," Ford Vice President Hau Thai-Tang said in a statement. "From a performance standpoint, and with its SUV silhouette and versatility, it sets a new standard Edge fans will love to drive."
An Edge with attitude
With an uptuned 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 under the hood, the Edge ST takes Ford's popular suburban crossover and raises the horsepower from the top-spec Sport's 315 hp to 335 hp (plus 380 pound-feet of torque). The eight-speed transmission with steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters is also ready to push the vehicle harder than one might on runs to the grocery store.
"A new Sport Mode allows Edge ST drivers to experience more aggressive throttle response and shifting patterns that hold gears near redline through cornering maneuvers, sharper engine braking, and a more resonant exhaust tone," Ford said in a statement.
The suspension has also been beefed up, the front seats have sportier bolstering, and the mesh grille was widened to improve the cooling of those turbos. Ford has also added dual exhaust ports out back and special ST branding throughout.
Pricing wasn't announced, but Ford Performance vehicles that are based on familiar platforms carry a premium. It's safe to assume that the Edge ST will be cheaper than speed-merchant SUVs from Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover, Audi, Maserati, and others.
The numbers that matter to enthusiasts weren't on offer, but we're probably OK in guessing that the Edge ST will turn in a quicker 0-60 mph time than the stock Edge's 7.5 seconds.
A refreshed Edge
Ford also rolled out a refreshed Edge ahead of next week's Detroit auto show. The design is bolder, and the 2.0-liter V6 makes five more ponies than the old version's 245 and comes with a fuel-saving-and-emissions-reducing stop-start feature that Ford says can turn the motor on and off seamlessly.
In a statement, Ford said that the updated Edge was Ford's "smartest SUV ever," adding that "every model comes standard with more driver-assist technology than any other midsize SUV.
The vehicle was designed 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. An enhanced cruise-control system can help keep the car in its lane and at a comfortable distance from cars in front of it in high-traffic areas.
Notable tech features include the ability to locate, unlock, start, and lock the car with a mobile app and connect up to 10 devices to in-car WiFi.
The Edge is an important vehicle for Ford, which is coming off its best-ever year for SUVs. Consumers have gravitated toward utes and away from passenger cars as the US market has enjoyed record or near-record sales since 2015.
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