Ford Edge Concept First Look
Concept Previews Future Tech, Design Direction
The Ford Edge has always been one of Ford's bolder SUVs, and judging by the concept debuting at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show, that trend may continue into the midsize crossover's next generation. Previewing the redesigned 2015 Ford Edge production CUV, the Ford Edge concept hints at soon-to-be-available technologies including self-parking and obstacle avoidance systems. Along with the advanced technologies, the Edge concept previews the upcoming crossover’s styling direction.
Many of the Edge concept's featured technologies are still under development, but should be available on a production model soon. Some of these new technologies include a fully assisted parking aid, an obstacle avoidance system, and adaptive steering. The fully assisted parking aid builds on the existing active park assist feature. While the current technology can assist with parallel parking, the fully assisted parking aid uses ultrasonic sensors to find a perpendicular parking spot and can pull the vehicle out of a parking spot by remote while the driver waits outside.
Ford is also working on an advanced obstacle avoidance system. Not only will the system warn of slower or stationary objects in the vehicle’s lane, it can also take control of the steering and braking if the driver fails to take the necessary steps to avoid the object. Future Edge drivers may like Ford's adaptive steering system, which controls the relationship between how the far the steering wheel is turned and how far the front wheels turn, enabling a tighter turning radius at low speeds. Ford says the technology makes parking easier.
While the Ford Edge concept shares its basic shape with the current production model, the concept hints at the midsize crossover’s future design direction. Where the current model’s grille features large horizontal chrome bars above the wide chrome bumper insert, the Edge concept has a trapezoidal framed chrome grille with two slimmer horizontal bars. Active Grille Shutters increase fuel efficiency by automatically opening and closing to keep the next-generation EcoBoost engine at its optimal operating temperature while maximizing aerodynamic efficiency.
New LED headlights flow into the front fenders. The lower fascia features a chrome central insert below the body colored bumper and an air intake on each corner. These air intakes feature air curtains and ducting in the front fascia guide air through the front wheels and down the side to aid in aerodynamic efficiency.
Crisper body lines define the concept's side profile, which includes a crease that runs from the back of the front wheel arch to the bottom of the taillight. The Edge concept’s D-pillar features a more dramatic rake than the current production model, which gives it a smaller quarter window. Around back, an integrated spoiler caps the steeply raked rear window. The current model’s rectangular taillights have been replaced with a new set of LED lights with a shape reminiscent of that on the Fusion sedan. Trapezoidal exhaust tips peek through the bottom section of the rear fascia.
Ford refers to the Edge concept's interior as a Dynamic Sanctuary because its premium feel “soothes rather than fatigues.” The interior features a leather-wrapped and hand-stitched instrument panel, 10-inch touch-screen center display for the MyFord Touch system, upgraded switchgear and gear shifter, chrome trim and copper accents, a new steering wheel, and bright silver and matte black side sill scuff plates with “Edge” lit with LEDs. The upper dashboard, center console, and doors are wrapped in black Nubuck for a grained leather-like look, while the touchpoints are covered in smooth leather. The seats feature perforated leather.
Other than the addition of engine start-stop technology, Ford didn’t reveal any powertrain details, but it's not tough to figure out what might be offered on the 2015 Edge. One possibility is the new 270-hp 2.3 EcoBoost I-4 that will debut in the 2015 Lincoln MKC crossover and in some form later in the redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang. Currently, the Edge is powered by a 240-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4, a 285-hp 3.5-liter V-6, and a 305-hp 3.7-liter V-6.
So why debut the Ford Edge concept at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show? Ford says the Edge accounts for about 23 percent of all five-passenger utility vehicles sold in Southern California.