By Steve Laser
Ford invited Motor Press Guild members to a special preview of its all-new 2015 Edge today in Irvine, Calif. In addition to a tasty lunch, we were treated to presentations by Ford executives and then allowed to crawl-around a 2015 Edge Titanium prototype.
The Edge is Ford’s midsize crossover with two rows of seats. Those seeking three-row capability can opt for Ford’s Explorer. (Which, we were told, will be updated for 2016 with new styling and technology, and premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2014.)
While we’ve seen photos of the new Edge, this was our first chance to get up-close and personal with the new model. The first thing we noticed is the styling. It’s more dynamic and upscale than the first-generation Edge, and should do well attracting shoppers in this segment. The lineup includes S, SEL, Sport and Titanium models.
Craig Patterson, Ford’s North American Utility Vehicle Marketing Manager, said that the new Edge has shifted to a global platform that underpins products such as the European Ford Mondeo. The reason is that Ford will be ramping up exports to Europe and China, the latter being one of the largest growth areas for utility vehicles.
Christina Aquino, Edge Marketing Manager, took us on a deep-dive into the new product. In addition to covering its market segment, she spoke about the attention to detail developing the new model, with tidbits like the “touch points need to feel attractive and authentic to customers.” She targets 31 percent of Edge sales for the upscale Sport and Premium models.
Following the presentations, it was our turn to take a closer look at the new Edge. The room full of journalists armed with cameras and notebooks crawled around every nook and cranny of the lone Edge on display. Ford’s presenters and PR staff answered questions and also explained new Edge technologies.
One that they’re proud of is Adaptive Steering, debuting on the Edge. Mark Schirmer, Ford Global Product Communications, explained that this available feature changes the ratio between the driver’s actions at the steering wheel – the number of turns – and how much the front wheels turn. The system is designed to make parking at lower speeds easier and highway driving more precise.
The new Edge, set to go on sale early in 2015, will offer three different powerplants. A 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder, 3.5-liter normally aspirated V6 and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. Available safety features include an active glovebox knee airbag, AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™, inflatable rear safety belts and Curve Control.
Our impressions of the Edge were positive. Although we didn’t get to drive the new model, Ford has done its homework and we expect the new Edge to be a very competitive entry in a crowded segment.
For more information on the 2015 Ford Edge, visit www.Ford.com.
Story, photos and video ©2014 CarNichiWa