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Ford Edge ST customized to make movie magic

Ford’s mid-size SUV has required performance and room for a camera-car

Published: October 31, 2018, 1:30 AM
Updated: November 7, 2018, 3:29 AM

Ford Edge ST camera car

The Ford Edge is going to be an action-movie player, but not in a starring role. The new performance-intended Edge ST will be behind the camera … more accurately, it will be under the camera, and holding it.

Ford Edge ST camera car

Ford has teamed up with camera-car company Pursuit Systems to take advantage of the Ford Edge ST performance intentions (the first SUV to get the Ford Performance treatment) in creating a camera car designed to film high-speed chase scenes and other hard to capture, usually-1-take action footage for upcoming productions.

“We’ve never done anything like this before with an SUV because there’s never been an SUV like Edge ST in our showroom,” said Mark Grueber, Ford SUV marketing manager. “It has the performance chops and utility to keep up with fast-paced moviemaking.”

Ford Edge ST camera car

Camera cars are specially-customized high-performance vehicles capable of speeds in excess of 160 km/h and precision handling and braking, while carrying a film crew and equipment, and a roof-mounted crane that weighs up to 455 kg.

Intrigued by the potential of the Edge ST’s versatility and performance capabilities, Pursuit Systems sent a team to Dearborn for an early look at the Ford Performance take on the Edge. They were particularly intrigued by the twin-turbo 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6, the performance brake system, the quick-shifting 8-speed automatic and selectable traction control.

Ford Edge ST camera car

So that provided a good base, but the Edge ST had to be adapted to handle the extra bulk — the roof had to be structurally reinforced to accommodate the 450-kg Pursuit Arm, which extends far away from the vehicle to capture unique angles at speed, using a gyro-stabilized remote control camera.

That also required the engine to be retuned and adding an individual-wheel air suspension, all to counter extra weight of the camera arm and other equipment, including a roll cage to protect the film crew in the camera car.

Ford Edge ST camera car interior

Other modification included gutting the interior to accommodate film equipment such as monitors, and running wiring to easily plug-and-play those monitors. And to finish it off, the interior had to be completely wrapped in matte-black so it doesn’t reflect light onto the vehicle being filmed.

“Speed, acceleration, braking, handling, even roominess — Edge ST has it all,” said Pursuit Systems president and CEO Mike Johnson, a racer and stunt driver. “Our shoots often demand a lot of the equipment we use, and especially the vehicles. In every way, Edge ST measures up.”

Ford Edge ST camera car

The completed Edge ST camera car joins the Pursuit Systems stable of A-list camera cars that includes a BMW X5 M, Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Discussions are already underway to include the Edge ST in upcoming projects.