Even more importantly, the engine drinks 87-octane gas and the turbocharger is expected to last many miles without the need for dedicated engine idling periods just before shutdown. The Edge's controls system continue to pump the cooling system's coolant/water mixture through water jackets in the turbo's center housing rotating assembly to siphon heat until a predetermined temperature is reached, no matter when the crossover was shut off. This should effectively cool the very hot-running turbo, which can spin its wheels up to 170,000 rpm and measure as hot as 1740 degrees Fahrenheit during peak operation, to the point where engine oil coking is no longer a serious worry.

To those uninitiated to the old order of the turbo, coking is a potential problem that Ford has addressed in order to promote the daily-use turbocharger. The American family with a hectic lifestyle will surely benefit from the enhanced reliability and peace-of-mind that the Edge won't need extra babysitting.

For our comfort and convenience, the EcoBoost test mill is paired with the amenities of the Edge Limited. This model is fitted with all the goodies, including the aesthetically charming MyFord Touch with Sync and a Sony sound system with HD radio. It's business as usual from the cabin with the normal Edge ride position and digitized gauge cluster, although we kept hearing a slight whistle around the passenger side C-pillar over 40 mph, which was strange considering the body appeared to be completely unmodified. We've chalked it up to the preproduction status, for now.

Now here's the fun part: fuel economy. The EcoBoost four-cylinder is expected to crest the 30-mpg mark on the highway, but the exact figures are unknown at the moment. Fuel efficiency is expected to improve from 10 to 20 percent over the 3.5-liter V-6 (19 city/26 highway mpg), which would put the city number from 21 to 23 mpg and highway from 29 to 31 mpg with front-wheel drive. The Edge's SelectShift auto (normally standard on Limited) nets an extra mpg on the highway and would presumably do the same if joined to the inline-four.

Given the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines will be imported from Valencia, Spain, for the time being, we wouldn't be surprised to see the same $995 premium applied ala the new Explorer.

And it's a good thing the Edge has been able to sustain itself in the Ford lineup during its time on the market. While the Explorer has a certain rugged heritage and name recognition to stand on (but where a four-cylinder may not find a home), the more urban-directed Edge could see a nice EcoBoost take rate thanks to customers ready to accept turbo technology into the family.

2011 Ford Edge EcoBoost
Base price $32,000 (MT est)
Vehicle layout Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door midsize SUV
Engine 2.0L/230-hp (est)/250-lb-ft (est) turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Curb weight 4000 lb (MT est)
Wheelbase 111.2 in
Length x width x height 184.2 x 76.0 x 67.0 in
0-60 mph 7.5 sec (MT est)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 23/31 mpg (MT est)
CO2 emissions 0.75 lb/mile (est)
On sale in U.S. Summer 2011