For those interested in the motor world who may have been living under the proverbial rock may not know that Ford Motor Group have all but ceased manufacturing cars, save for the lone Mustang, and we may even see an SUV version of the Stang in the not too distant future. In the wake of all this kerfuffle has been left a void in the sports car enthusiast market.
Now if your really smart, and I know Ford is, why reinvent the wheel. So what better way than for Ford to look to its own stable to inject some sports DNA. Now I am going to divert a little to set the framework for Ford’s ingenious move.
When people who are looking for a well equipped midsize SUV, with room to fit the full family and still stretch your legs along with your cargo, you can’t go wrong with the Ford Edge Titanium. For 2019 the Edge Titanium receives an updated front and rear fascia; a wider, more masculine grill with LED lighting all the way around. The rear exhaust tips are doubled to add to the sportier masculine appearance.
Space abounds; this is one area the Edge has never had an issue witch is due in no little part to the wheels being pushed to the edges (no pun intended) of the body, increasing interior space. To ensure your precious cargo is well looked after Ford endowed the Edge with a host of safety features called Copilot-360, including the added protection of features like: pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and auto braking, forward collision warning and dynamic braking support, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert, active lane departure assist, automatic high beams, and a rear camera that comes with a lens washer. Other standard assist features include post-collision braking, which reduces the force of a secondary impact after an initial impact is detected, and hill start assist. Please remember all of these driver assists are a welcome addition but should not be relied upon as primary measures but fallbacks if something unforeseen happens.
Gusto for the Edge comes from the 2.0L Ecoboost 4 churning out a respectable 250 bhp and 275 lb-ft of grunt. Very similar to the outgoing version, however, this time Ford mates it to a new 8-speed auto. Buyers still have the option for front and all-wheel-drive system with active disconnect, that automatically switches between all and two-wheel drive for the most efficiency. The system fully combined is very intuitive and imperceptible. Please note, you will have to drop down from Titanium Trim level to spec front-wheel drive. The Edge never seems to be hunting for the right gear, downshifts are direct and responsive. Ride comfort is plush but not sporty, and Edge Titanium seems to wallow a bit if pushed too hard (wait for the solution).
All in all the Edge Titanium provides a great foundational SUV for the family. So Ford thought what better model to give it the ST (Ford Racing) enhancement. Imagine the love child of the Ford Edge and Ford Focus ST – and what you have is the Edge ST. I have long been a fan of the Edge Sport. It was one of the first in the segment that took the sporty design cues, like lowered front and rear facias or valances, side skirts and big wheel concept and applied it to an SUV for the masses. The Edge ST takes things to the next level.
Start with twin-turbocharged 2.7L Ecoboost V6 putting out 335 bhp and 380 lb-ft of torque, the most of any ST ever. Add suspension stiffness all around, bigger brakes, anti-roll and sway bars. Add the ubiquitous Sport button to the rotary dial shift selector and the package is complete. The “S” sharpens throttle response, transmission mapping (with rev-matching and paddle shifters) and fills the cabin with a raucous of engine and exhaust sound.
Overall the interior is much like the standard trim Edge but adds ST specific seating with heavier bolstering and ST specific wheel with Alcantara inserts. The final result is a beastly machine with blacked-out body cladding, grill and wheels. The Edge ST hits 100 in six seconds and carves the back roads in a confidence-inspiring manner.
However, there is something missing. The Edge ST replaces the Sport, and fills the Focus ST shoes. The problem is those shoes are really big, I mean, REALLY BIG! The Focus ST was one of those cars that you drove just for the fun of wanting to drive it. It had just the right amount of power that you could always use it and not get into trouble. It handled impeccably. Proper feedback and limits that could be attained without causing a heart attack. The Edge ST lacks some of that. It feels slightly numb. I gather some of that comes from increased size and weight and although the Edge ST reigns in some of those issues with increased power and electronic handling aids, bigger brakes etc., it all leaves the Edge ST, excuse the pun, slightly dull. That stated the Focus ST was around for 7 years, and Ford had a lot of time to adjust the hot hatch to it’s levels of perfection. The Edge ST is massively ahead of where the Focus ST was first time around. Let’s give Ford Racing some time to work out perfection again.