Looking to expand the global audience for its sporty sport utility vehicle, Ford unveiled its all-new 2015 Edge on Tuesday.
The overall shape and size of the crossover remains nearly the same, with all four wheels pushed toward the corners for better handling and a crisp, athletic look.
The sporty compact crossover slots between Ford’s cheaper Escape and the three-row Explorer. Since its debut in 2006, the Edge has found an eager audience and healthy sales by targeting a more upscale buyer than its family-oriented brethren.
“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,” Raj Nair, Ford’s vice president for global product development, said in a statement.
The second-generation Edge will share a platform with the Ford Fusion sedan as the automaker moves to reduce its total number of global vehicle platforms to nine from 15 by 2017. Front-wheel drive will be standard, while all-wheel drive is an option.
The current Edge has found a loyal audience in the U.S. among women and wealthier households that are less likely to have kids. Buyers with more cash also tend to spend more on options, boosting Ford's profit. Sales in 2013 were just under 130,000 units, a strong showing for a first-generation vehicle at the end of its lifespan.
The automaker also has high hopes for the Edge in markets like China, South America and Europe, where crossover SUVs are becoming more popular. In Europe, Ford’s SUV sales were up 20% in 2013, while its market share in China grew from less than 1% in 2012 to 4.5% in 2013, Ford said.
Based on the earlier model’s success, the 2015 Edge fine tunes the recipe without drastic changes. Cargo room inside is up 7 cubic feet, while front and rear passengers get slightly more legroom.
The base engine will now be a Ford’s EcoBoost 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 245 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It’s a heavily modified version of the engine that was an option on the first-generation Edge.
Moving up the ladder, buyers have two optional powerplants. A 3.5-liter V-6 remains the stalwart -- though less efficient -- choice for buyers looking to tow. Meanwhile, a second option will be an all-new 2.7-liter, turbocharged V-6 that the Edge will share with the new F-150 truck due out next year. This EcoBoost engine is expected to make at least 300 horsepower, Ford said.
All three engines will come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a sport mode.
Looking to expand the range of options, the 2015 Edge will offer a new Titanium trim package, as well as adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, automatic parking assist, 180-degree front camera, lane-keeping assist, a nearly four-foot long panoramic moonroof, active noise canceling and an 8-inch touch screen infotainment system.
The Edge will be built in Ford’s renovated Oakville plant outside Toronto. Pricing on the 2015 model will be announced closer to its on-sale date early next year, though it will likely be close to the current generation’s $28,995 base price.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times