Ford Takes Us To The Edge

Let’s throw it back to 2006. It was a transitional period in American history and culture. While the stock market was hitting records highs and banks were freely peddling millions in shaky loans to a falsely inflated housing market, there were early indicators that the next decade of American economics weren’t going to be that great. The earliest and clearest indicator of trouble ahead was a simple household number: The price of a gallon of gas. The gas price in metro’s like New York City, had settled comfortably over the $3 line and was showing no signs of stopping. Mixed with the first honest realizations that the “debate” over global warming was over and that it was, as close to as makes no difference, fact … and you had a quickly changing automotive scene.

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The next few years would see hybrids, EV, clean diesel and extremely high efficiency power trains and vehicle design. But this was the beginning. People simply weren’t ready to give up the decadent ways of the 90’s and early 2000’s. The SUV, America’s favorite environmental hazard, was still envy, desire or pride of every American driveway. Enter the “crossover”. Half car, half truck … all American. It was born, as most great things are, out of necessity. The casting call was for a light SUV that had the frame of a car, the body styling and some of the utility of an SUV and had to packed with the technological features that could help this become to the vehicle to a new era in the American motoring story. In some ways the design ethos of crossover would go on to drive the governing school of thought for the eco-auto synergy of the next decade and going.

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When mentioning the crossover, one of the first and most prevalent names to come to mind is the Ford Edge. Ford had spent a decade prior selling some of the most beloved American SUVs (Explorer, Expedition and Excursion), it was only fitting that they would be one of the first to bring about the model of change with their new crossover SUV. With a car-based design, Edge delivered better on-road comfort, fuel efficiency and overall driving dynamics than any truck- based SUV. It was proof a utility vehicle could meet the demanding needs of an everyday commuter.

Fast forward 8 years and a lot has changed in the automotive landscape. Eco-vehicles are a total norm and Tesla EV’s are every 100th car on Long Island (America’s Suburbia). The world of motoring has changed, but the the idea that the Ford Edge is on the forefront of technology that fits the times … that fact has not. Welcome the 2015 Ford Edge.

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The 2015 Edge revealed today in North America and Europe is 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, Edge has been reimagined with a stronger, more athletic shape. It has been retooled to meet higher expectations for quality, and reengineered to add more features and technologies for a more rewarding driving experience. The all-new Edge will be sold in more than 100 markets across the globe.

“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.”

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The 2015 Edge, now based on the same global platform as the award-winning Ford Fusion that debuted in North America in 2012, will deliver the confident, smooth driving experience drivers loved with the Fusion. Central to the improved driving dynamics is an entirely new body structure and redesigned suspension – front and rear – developed specifically to better isolate road imperfection and absorb noise without compromising handling. The front-wheel-drive Edge retains a MacPherson-type front suspension, but features an entirely new, sophisticated integral-link independent rear with coil springs and a 23-millimeter antiroll bar. The advanced new system has been tuned to deliver a more dynamic, engaging ride customers will feel immediately. Compared to the 2014 Edge, the new model shows a 26 percent increase in stiffness when reacting to bending forces and a 16 percent increase in stiffness when reacting to twisting forces. This means less noise, vibration and harshness characteristics, giving Edge customers a quieter, more substantial ride. As a result, Edge is well suited for an everyday commute, but ready to attack when the road opens up.

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Part of what sets the edge apart has all ways been the efficiency of it’s powerplant. In North America, the all-new 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. This would make it the first Ford vehicle to be offered with the a EcoBoost option as the standard. For the fans of the old school, a normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine will also be offered. All will be equipped with dual output exhaust and a six-speed automatic transmission.

The twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost, offering an estimated 245 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, is significantly improved over the previous 2.0-liter EcoBoost. 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. Meanwhile, for the slightly more power oriented the 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost is a brand new engine to the Ford line up, and one that, dare I say, they are quite proud of.

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Finding it’s roots in the design on the Ford Super Duty Power Stroke diesel, this 2.7- liter EcoBoost provides a remarkable combination of advanced materials expertly applied. The strength of the compacted graphite iron cylinder block allows the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine to produce impressive power and torque for its size. Compact and efficient, the all-new engine can produce the power and torque of a mid-range V8. Expected to deliver more than 300 horsepower, this 2.7-liter EcoBoost will ensure Edge Sport is the highest-performance Edge ever.

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All this gear head talk is great but seeing as people will spend most of their time inside the car, what is it like on the inside? Well … it’s surely got more than a few toys. The 2015 Edge will be a technology leader for Ford, 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 Judy Curran, vehicle line director for Ford. “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.”

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The new Edge is then true to it’s predecessors. It lives on to carry the torch the the crossover concept and the Ford Edge in general has carried for a decade now. A paradigm of efficiency, power, comfort, style and just enough of a feel that you can still, even at a impressively high MPG, conquer anything.

 

 

 

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