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Ford's hot rod SUV shows need for speed survives sedan slump

12 January 2018

Yes, the mid-size SUV is getting Ford's full performance treatment, the first Ford SUV to go on the ST meal plan.

Southfield: Ford Motor Co. has long souped up its sedans to satisfy customers looking for high performance.

Like all ST models, Ford Performance tuned the suspension for spirited driving.

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The Edge has been a popular midsize SUV choice for those needing more space than the Escape without the size of the Explorer or all-new, full-size Expedition. Instead, it sits in the lineup as the SUV that does FoMoCo's bidding in the premium crossover segment, which has seen a Bitcoin-rivaling explosion these last few years.

Images of the Edge in Titanium guise depict subtle front-end changes over its predecessor, with key differences being a wider front grille that is flanked by new-look LED headlights, foglights and daytime running lights, as well as a redesigned bonnet and bumper. 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 the US Ford has also improved the standard kit list on the Edge, but it's not yet know if that will be reflected on United Kingdom models. Using radar and camera information, the steering feature reads driver response to slower or stopped vehicles ahead. An enhanced cruise-control system can help keep the auto in its lane and at a comfortable distance from cars in front of it in high-traffic areas. FordPass Connect is standard, including a Wi-Fi hotspot that gives internet access to up to 10 devices. Engineers said the service is free for a trial period, after which owners will have to pay for the connection through a provider.

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SYNC with AppLinkTM, an enhanced voice-recognition communications and entertainment system, is also standard. All Edge STs will come with all-wheel drive and the same eight-speed automatic as regular versions.

The 2019 crossover is by no means the first utility vehicle to get the performance treatment. It's an every-day driver that adds some pep to a smaller SUV.

The Edge Sport has been rebadged as the Edge ST for 2019, with the 2.7-litre turbo V6 now making 335 hp in USA spec (up 20 hp) and 515 Nm of torque. Connected to a quicker-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, the engine has the ability to route power to the four wheels. Bigger brakes are standard on the ST, while an even more capable performance brake system is optional for more stopping muscle.

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Ford's hot rod SUV shows need for speed survives sedan slump