Ford is enthused about its 2011 Edge Sport, which gets a major upgrade including suspension, wheels, interior and exterior facelifts, plus 22-inch wheels and the 3.7-liter Mustang V-6 installed sideways. We have to wait until August for a press drive, when customers also can find the midsize crossover in showrooms.

Meanwhile, we'll ponder two big numbers; price and weight. The new Edge Sport starts at $36,995 and weighs 4,750 pounds. And that's for front-wheel-drive, before the big panoramic glass sunroof option.

Vehicle engineer Rich Kreder says the Edge Sport's ride-v.-handling tradeoff has been mitigated by high-flow shock absorbers, which handle at high-speeds differently than at low speeds. This results in much less ride quality tradeoff than the '09-'10 Edge sport, Kreder says. The Edge has been around since late '06 and the Sport was added to the '09 model year, but the '11 Edge and Edge Sport represents a major revision, not unlike the '10 Fusion. Ford adapted the rear suspension from the larger Flex crossover for the new Sport.

Ford is proud of the 5x2-spoke 22-inch wheels shod in Pirellis, standard on the Sport, which also features the Mustang's 3.7-liter V-6, rated 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet, and 18/25 mpg on the EPA cycle. Obviously, it has been mounted transversely in the front- or all-wheel-drive Edge Sport. It's coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shifters.

Ford also is launching its next-generation Sync system, called MyFord, in the '11 Sport. It comes with an eight-inch touch screen in the center stack and is coupled with a 12-speaker, 390-watt Sony audio system that comes standard for the 37-large base price. You also get leather-trimmed seats with 10-way power drivers controls and power lumbar, aluminum-covered brake and throttle pedal accents, a tuxedo black grille and unique side cladding between unique body color front and rear fascias.

The rest of the '11 Edge lineup comes with a 285-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, rated 19/27 mpg by the EPA, when equipped with front-wheel-drive. Ford says the Edge tops the midsize V-6 crossover segment with its fuel efficiency numbers. The 3.5-liter Edges also come with a six-speed automatic, but no paddle shifters.

Ford will add a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder option to the '11 Edge, but it won't be available until early in 2011.

Base price for the FWD SE model is $27,995. The SEL starts at $30,995 and the Limited, which accounts for about 40 percent of Edge sales, starts at $34,995. You get 18-inch painted aluminum wheels standard on SEL, 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels standard on Limited and optional on SEL, and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels optional on Limited. "Bling" may have gone out of style. Big wheels haven't.

With transaction prices likely to hit the mid-$40s, the Edge Sport provides an easy step between quotidian Edges and the 2011 Lincoln MKX. The MKX gets an identical level of update, much like MKZ vs. Fusion, to include Lincoln's now-familiar '41 Continental-style twin-wing grille.

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