Is it ready to tackle the Audi SQ5 and Porsche Macan?
During our recent test drive of the new 2019 Ford Edge ST, we concluded that Ford may have discovered a new market niche, a habit normally done by the likes of BMW and Audi. If there’s a niche to be filled, the Germans don't normally hesitate. One example: the BMW X6. But will the Ford Edge ST manage to attract enough customers to warrant its existence? Only time will tell, but what’s for certain is that Ford didn’t just slap together an appearance package for its hot-selling mid-size crossover and call it a day. That’s kind of what the Edge Sport is already doing.
Instead, the Edge ST was developed by Ford Performance in the same manner as the Fiesta ST and Focus ST.
Like both those soon-to-be-discontinued hot hatches, Ford Performance intends to continue improving the Edge ST even after it goes on sale. According to Motor Trend, who recently chatted with Ford Performance chief functional engineer Ed Krenz, one specific item still needs some tinkering.
“The single specific attribute that we'll continue to improve is the transmission software,” Krenz said. “We have a new eight-speed transmission, fundamentally very capable. Our target is DCT-like shift speeds. We're not quite there yet. We will see, we know how to do it, and we will get there over time with additional software.”
Surely improvements such as this will be needed because the Edge ST was benchmarked against the likes of the Audi SQ5 and the recently updated Porsche Macan.
Both of those premium performance crossover SUVs are segment leaders and are typically more expensive than the Ford, once numerous option packages are tacked on. A fully-loaded 2019 Edge ST comes to around $55,000, which isn’t bad at all for 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque thanks to a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. All-wheel drive is standard. If Ford’s own performance division chief engineer is of the opinion the gearbox can be improved, it’ll be interesting to see what else can be further refined, be it engine or suspension tuning.