by Mark Stevenson
Upon revealing the first-ever Edge Sport in 2008 the features Ford chose to highlight should give you an idea of where it was trying to position the model. While the Sport was gifted a bump in power, the company was more proud of the model's 22-inch wheels-a first for any SUV from the factory. Now Ford's modus operandi has changed. The Blue Oval has demoted the Sport to trimline status in the new Edge lineup and promoted a new student to the top of the class. The new star pupil is the 2019 Ford Edge ST-the first SUV from the gurus at Ford Performance.
2.7-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
For 2020, the refreshed Ford Edge continues to sit atop the same CD4 platform as the previous model, which also underpins the Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, MKX, and Continental. However, Ford has radically changed the Edge's look for the better. Gone is the three-bar "Gillette" grille the Edge has worn since it first debuted in 2006, replaced by a hexagonal mesh grille to bring it in line with the current Ford Explorer. At the rear, its taillights have been reshaped and both its license plate location and tailgate handle have been moved further down the rear door. What hasn't changed is its silhouette. The Edge retains the striking and immediately recognizable profile it has worn since its inception over 12 years ago.
Along with the refresh comes a new Edge ST, the third ST model to join the Ford Performance ranks in North America. Foreshadowed by the Fiesta ST and Focus ST, the new Edge ST gets its motivation from the same 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine found in the outgoing Edge Sport as well as the F-150 and Fusion Sport. However, that V6 now makes 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque (on 93 octane fuel) in the ST, an increase of 20 hp and 30 lb-ft over the Sport. Ford claims the 2.7 liter is now the most powerful V6 engine in the midsize SUV class, which is an important distinction when cross-town rival Jeep is fitting the Grand Cherokee with the 707-horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from the Charger and Challenger Hellcat.
Putting all that power to the ground is the job of a standard all-wheel-drive system and wider tires wrapped around 20-inch wheels (21 inchers are also available). AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and Curve Control ensure all that power goes to the wheels that deserve it most. Thankfully though, Ford didn't stop at upgrading the Edge's powerplant and giving it a fancy wheel-and-tire package. Being the first SUV to come out of the Ford Performance skunkworks, the Edge ST also receives a thoroughly reworked suspension and a Sport mode with unique shift maps to control the standard eight-speed automatic transmission, provide a "more resonate" exhaust note, and improve engine braking.
Buyers can optionally order a performance braking package and summer tires to boost the Edge ST's handling credentials. The Edge ST's exterior wears unique side skirts for enhanced aerodynamic performance, a freer-flowing grille to keep vital temperatures in check, and ST-specific exhaust outlets at the rear. Its interior receives some ST-themed touches, too, like heavily bolstered seats and ST badging throughout. There's even a Ford Performance kickplate to remind you where this performance SUV was born. And just because it's fast, the Edge ST will keep loved one's safe as it will be the first SUV in Ford's lineup to receive its new Co-Pilot360 safety suite.
That suite includes five primary pieces of technology: automatic emergency braking with pedestrian protection, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, lane keeping system, automatic high beams, and rearview camera. The suite will hopefully save you from relying on the Edge's standard front, side curtain, and knee airbags. Hill-start assist, post-collision braking, evasive steering assist, and adaptive cruise with stop-and-go and lane centering are also either standard or optional extras depending on trim level. Ford hasn't yet announced pricing for the new Edge and top-line Edge ST models.
However, the current Edge Sport retails for nearly $41,000 and we doubt it will go lower than that. Expect the base Edge to stay close to its $30,000 cost of entry. The new Edge ST, built at the company's assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, goes on sale later this spring.