Ford Middle East flew in two units especially for the event, purportedly to join the other SUVs in the celebration of the centenary of the Arab Revolt. We managed an extended session in the Edge before the desert drive
Author: Raj Warrior
The 2016 Ford Edge has been completely redesigned. We tested the Lincoln version of the platform in the 2016 MKX and have been quite impressed with that already. So it wasn’t a completely new creature. In the past decade the Edge has set a distinct identity for itself, with people who are interested in a stylish crossover willing to consider the Edge. Now, Ford attaches a huge amount of importance to the new model.
“The original Edge was our first entry into the world of crossover utilities – a technologically advanced vehicle that was the perfect blend of sedan comfort and efficiency with SUV functionality,” said Jim Benintende, president of Ford Middle East and Africa.. “Now, we are building on that success, and building on the emotional appeal of the vehicle by offering more of the technology our customers want in a package that meets the highest expectations for quality and craftsmanship.”
The new Edge has been redesigned from the ground up, with a new platform underpinning the change. The stiffer body uses a greater amount of high-strength steel, in tailored blanks and also incorporates a new suspension layout which retains the MacPherson strut front suspension, while changing the rear to a more dynamic integral-link independent rear suspension with coil springs and an anti-roll bar.
The Edge also gets an expanded engine line-up from this model year, with two new engines joining the 3.5-litre V6 engine. The familiar powerplant produces 280HP along with a decent torque of 339Nm. But the two new engine choices available will increase the options and the variants available on the Edge. The two new engines are both Ecoboost engines, with the smaller being a four-cylinder 2.0-litre unit with just above 250 HP and a torque of 378Nm, making it an interesting option instead of the 3.5-litre unit. The main features of the engine are its twin scroll layout and tuning that reduces turbo lag. A new, lighter engine block casting along with new aluminum balance shaft assembly reduces three kilos from the engine’s weight. Other changes include lighter pistons; a newly designed, integrated exhaust manifold; and a new, high-pressure direct-injection fuel system for finer fuel atomisation. These upgrades pave the way for an increased compression ratio of 9.7:1, up from 9.3:1, for improved overall fuel efficiency.
The larger Ecoboost is the some 2.7-litre V6 unit that serves as the top of the line option on the MKX. Here too the extra power and torque will make it the peak offering. It generates 338 HP and 542Nm of torque. This engine is reputed to be one of the most technologically advanced units with a combination of a die-cast aluminium structure with the actual cylinder blocks being made of compacted graphite iron (a very high-tech version of cast iron). The company claims that this use of materials, with other advanced materials used where needed make the 2.7-litre the equivalent of using a regular V8 engine.
These engines will be offered with AWD and the six-speed automatic transmission complete with paddle shifters. The Edge also becomes the latest vehicle to incorporate active grille shutters to reduce the drag element and increase fuel efficiency.
The Ford Edge not only has become stiffer and more responsive, but even the regular 3.5-litre V6 engine seems have to have been slightly revamped. So you get the pleasure of a smooth take off, reasonably responsive six-speed gearbox and a quick shift AWD system that seems to be tailored for economy. Of course you really qould expect the Edge to give you more of a kick than the Explorer and this it does, although the best is to leave it sport mode and tap away to effect a gone in 60 seconds approach. The car exudes class in the interiors, with a large 8” colour display, streaming Bluetooth and phone mirroring and a large panoramic sunroof.
We drove the car on highway and some tight turning mountain roads and since we left the drive mode in sport, were enjoying the quick response and handling of the engine. In this mode, the gears hold for much longer, almost offering a de facto manual mode and you get the benefits of engine braking.
You’ve seen the appeal of the stylish Ford Edge and this generation will build on that. It is likely that Ford will use the new engine variants to bracket the existing price point so as to appeal to conquest customers, but this vehicle is not going to challenge the Audis and Porsches of the world. For the rest of us mainstream customers however, it may just be that little bit more interesting than before.