Perhaps it was only a matter of time, but Ford has created its first performance SUV with the 2019 Edge ST midsize crossover, which goes on sale this summer with a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine and a new look shared with the rest of the refreshed Edge lineup.
Adding the first ST to the SUV lineup underscores, once again, that Ford is a truck company—a point it continues to punctuate with each new vehicle launch. The F-Series is its bread and butter, and the range is expanding with the addition of a diesel-powered F-150 coming this summer and the long-awaited Ford Ranger midsize pickup.
Equally key are SUVs. Ford sold almost 800,000 SUVs last year and has no intention of slowing the pace. The EcoSport subcompact crossover is the latest new nameplate for Ford in the U.S., a new Explorer is in the works along with a Lincoln counterpart, and the newly named Lincoln Nautilus replaces the MKX. Ford’s first long-range electric vehicle will also be an SUV.
So when work began about two and a half years ago on updating the Edge, the plans grew to include a performance version worthy of ST badging. The Ford Performance team added horsepower to the 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine, taking it to 335 hp from 315 in the 2017 Edge Sport. Torque is a healthy 380 lb-ft with standard all-wheel drive to handle it. Fuel economy numbers are not out yet, but the 2017 Edge Sport with this engine is rated at 17/24 mpg city/highway.
The Edge will be Ford’s first use of its new eight-speed automatic transmission with start/stop, which was developed in-house. Ford developed the outgoing six-speed with General Motors, and the two partnered to make new nine- and 10-speeds that are slowly entering the market. New for the Edge family is an e-shifter with a rotary dial, freeing more room in the center console. When the vehicle doors are opened, it automatically goes into park.
There are paddle shifters, which in the 2019 Edge ST are fully manual. The button for Sport mode is in the middle of the rotary shifter and changes the throttle response and shifting patterns to stay closer to redline—it rev matches the downshift in the apex and prevents upshifting on an extended corner. The exhaust note is louder; the engine braking is sharper.
With the FordPass Connect app on your smartphone, you can locate, start, and unlock your car remotely. The car’s software also supports Amazon’s Alexa voice service, so you can talk to the digital assistant from your car. The Edge also has a 12-speaker B&O Play audio system from Harman that was tuned for the Edge. Titanium has features such as wireless charging and remote start.