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FIRST LOOK: 2015 Ford Edge

All-new, Canadian-built Ford Edge is set to become a global player

2015 Ford Edge - Titanium

DEARBORN, MI – Ford revealed its all-new, second-generation 2015 Edge utility vehicle to the media today at the company's Product Development Center in Dearborn. A simultaneous unveil in Europe underlined Ford's commitment to make the Edge a global player.

The current model, which is built exclusively in Canada, at Oakville, Ontario, is already exported to China and Europe will be added to the new vehicle's destinations. In fact, Ford plans to sell it in 100 markets world-wide.

In appearance it's a near clone of the Edge concept that was unveiled at last fall's Los Angeles auto show and made its Canadian debut at the Toronto show in February.

More sculpted and edgier than the first-gen version, which was introduced in 2006 as a 2007 model, it adopts Ford's now-signature grille outline and full-width LED rear lighting. But, with its long-wheelbase and short-overhang profile, it remains clearly an Edge from every angle.

There's much more to this second-generation crossover than just its looks, however. It features two new engines, an additional trim level and a host of new driver-assistance functions.

The standard engine in all but Sport models is an all-new 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger that aids both performance and efficiency.

Exclusively, within the Edge lineup, the Sport gets a 300-plus-horsepower version of the 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6 recently introduced in the F-150. The 3.5-litre V-6 that's standard in the current vehicle becomes an option in the other models.

Those other models now include a top-of-the-line Titanium trim level, as well as the base Edge.

All-wheel-drive is now available with all engines and the 2.0 is offered with an automatic stop-start system.

Based on the same mid-size C/D-class architecture as the Fusion, which was introduced in 2012, the new Edge features an all-new body structure that is significantly more rigid than its predecessor's, plus a new four-wheel-independent suspension system similar to that of the sedan.

That combination is central to improved driving dynamics that better absorbs noise and isolates road imperfections without compromising handling, according to Ford.

The new Edge offers all the advanced driver assistance features offered on the Fusion – adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, lane keeping assist, roll stability control and curve control, collision warning with braking and more – and adds a few of its own, including the first application of Ford's Adaptive Steering technology, as an option.

The Adaptive Steering mechanism, which is totally contained within the steering wheel, changes the steering ratio according to vehicle speed. To ease low-speed parking maneuvers, for example, it reduces the turns of the steering wheel by up to one-third but at highway speed the steering ratio is increased, enabling the vehicle to respond more gradually and thus enhancing driver comfort.

Other innovative technologies include a front camera with a 180-degree view to aid low-speed maneuvering, as in parking lots, side proximity warning sensors and an enhanced automatic park system that adds pull-out capability to the current parallel park function, along with a new perpendicular parking capability.

Inside, there's a premium look and feel at all levels – a key differentiator for the Edge, according to Ford.

Thanks to a slight increase in overall length and height, a 25-mm stretch in wheelbase and improved packaging, there's more headroom throughout and increased legroom in both front and rear seats positions.

There are more storage spots within the cabin, too, including a closed compartment on top of the instrument panel, and cargo space behind the second row seat is 18% greater. It's also now accessible through an available hands-free liftgate, like that introduced on the Escape.

Safety enhancements include a novel glove box-mounted knee airbag system and inflatable rear safety belts.

Ford says the new Edge is better in every way and it's hard to argue with that assessment. We'll be able to judge better when we've had a chance to drive the vehicle, closer to its on-sale date.

It's scheduled to go on sale in North America in the first quarter of 2015, followed by Europe, South America and Asia Pacific markets.

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