Half-inch wider 18-inch wheels come standard on the SEL and Limited (20-inchers are optional), while the hefty 22-inch rollers continue their tenure on the Edge Sport. Engineers retuned the suspension to a sportier, but no less comfortable level, courtesy of slightly stiffer springs, shocks, and stabilizer bars. Even the brake system got a substantial overhaul with steel pistons, larger rear rotors, revised brake booster, and quicker pedal ratios. The whole was designed for a robust brake feel and keen responsiveness especially when emergency stops are necessitated.

Designers carried on their refreshing inside with a waterfall-inspired multi-tiered center dash highlighted by chrome accents on its shifter and cup holders. Softer touch points - as first seen in the U.S. on the Mustang and Taurus - invite passengers, as do the new stitching patterns on all seats. The cabin's biggest attraction is the brand's recently debuted Sync MyTouch. It's included on the range-topping Limited and Sport editions and is comprised of three LCD screens that replace conventional instruments, center dash knobs, and buttons. Two 4.2-inch screens reside on either side of the steering wheel to display vital vehicle information and are controlled via steering wheel thumb controls. A main 8-inch screen acts as the media, climate control, and phone hub, allowing drivers to control key functions without taking their eyes off the road. All models get new materials along with improved fit and finish, Ford explains.

Product planners threw in a slew of other standard features. Hill Start Assist, Trailer Sway Control, Hydraulic Brake Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control all are making their way into the Edge's repertoire. Ford's Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, MyKey, and Easy Fuel Capless Fuel-Filler System follow a similar path onto the features list.

So far, so good, for this heavily thought out mid-cycle refresh. We'll have to see how the 2011 Edge stacks up against its competitors soon after its debut in the Windy City at the 2010 Chicago auto show.

Check back for live images and more details straight from Chicago as the 2011 Ford Edge makes its debut. Our First Drive is coming soon too, so stay tuned.

2011 Ford Edge
Base price $27,000 (est)
Drivetrain Front-engine, FWD/AWD
Engines 3.5L/285-hp/253-lb-ft DOHC V-6; 3.7L/305-hp/280-lb-ft DOHC V-6; 2.0L I-4
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curbweight 4082-4473 lb (mfr)
Wheelbase 111.2 in
Length x width x height 184.2 x 76.0 x 67.0 in
Seating capacity 5
Headroom, f/r 40.0/39.3 in
Legroom, f/r 40.7/39.6 in
Shoulder room f/r 58.9/58.7 in
Cargo volume 32.2 cu ft