The new generation Ford Edge is undergoing a radical redesign inside and out. When it debuted in the U.S. in 2007, it was the first mid-size crossover from Ford, positioned between the Escape and Explorer. Mechanically based on the Fusion sedan, the Edge had relatively unnoteworthy design cues but succeeded as a family hauler.
However, 2023 is the last model year for the Edge in North America as Ford shifts toward an SUV-heavy lineup. Although Americans may miss the Edge, it will live on in China, looking wildly different than before.
An eastern shift in design philosophy
China’s version of the Edge will appear quite distinct from its North American and European predecessors. Aligning with Ford’s “China 2.0 plan,” the Edge will use the company’s “Progressive Energy in Strength” design philosophy. The first example of the project was the Ford Evos featured at the Shanghai Auto Show last year, Ford Authority reports.
In creating an aesthetic competitive in the tech-savvy Chinese market, Ford says its expressional principles are “‘ commanding,’ ‘agile’ and ‘responsive.'” Like updates given to China’s rebrand of the Mondeo—Europe’s Ford Fusion—the Edge will feature sportier exterior styling. Flush-fitting door handles, full-width lighting signatures, and accelerated hood lines help give the car a streamlined look.
Tech-forward cabin for a tech-savvy market
The new Ford Edge is similar to the Mondeo in styling but will feature a cabin mirroring the Evos in appearance and amenities. Undoubtedly the party piece of the redesign is the door-to-door infotainment screen. At a colossal 3.6 feet wide, the screen leaves drivers at the helm of a dashboard Lieutenant Sulu would have been jealous of.
The full-width horizontal screen encompasses a 12.3-inch digital cluster and a 27-inch 4K touchscreen powered by SYNC+ 2.0. The crossover is the first Ford featuring a “Virtual Personal Assistant,” providing “a personalized human-machine interface experience,” Ford Authority explains. Along with facial recognition, gesture control, and a myriad of built-in entertainment applications, the Edge will boast futuristic safety technology.
5G-capable safety features to ‘talk’ with other vehicles
Ford’s BlueCruise Level 2—formerly Active Drive Assist—uses blue lighting on the digital instrument cluster to indicate a hands-free zone. The technology builds upon the company’s Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane Centering, and Speed Sign Recognition. Ford says that such allows for actual hands-free driving on prequalified sections of divided highways while being monitored by driver-facing cameras.
The Edge will also boast Ford’s budding C-V2X (cellular-based vehicle-to-everything) technology to increase driver safety. Ford Authority says the tech enables wireless transmission between vehicles and 5G-capable objects to “talk” and “listen” to each other. Ford envisions its C-V2X technology communicating with stop lights, driver feedback displays, and other infrastructure to warn drivers of what they may encounter. Additionally, the system could enable an in-car system that would be able to provide drivers with more context in navigation.
Will the Ford Edge only be sold in China?
Leaked images of the new Ford Edge from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology website were reported back in August. However, their spies also may have spotted one being tested in Europe afterward. Therefore, the new and improved Edge could also be coming to European markets.
For the North American market, Ford currently offers eight SUVs and crossovers. Though, the number will decrease to seven as Ford discontinues the Edge next year. There are currently no plans to sell the new Edge in the saturated western market. Regardless, Ford customers will likely see the updated tech in many of the company’s offerings.