The CUV is the fastest-growing vehicle segment in the United States, outpacing even the remarkable growth SUVs achieved in the 1990s. CUVs surpassed 2 million U.S. sales in 2005 and are on pace in 2006 to exceed traditional SUV sales for the first time.
Two distinct consumer trends have helped fuel the explosive growth of the CUV segment: car buyers seeking more spacious and flexible interiors along with the security of all-wheel drive, and traditional SUV buyers seeking more maneuverable and fuel-efficient vehicles that still make an active lifestyle possible.
Most crossovers have been designed to closely resemble traditional SUVs. Edge heads to a new, unexplored part of the CUV market with a bold, modern, uniquely American design.
Modern Design with a Dramatic Edge
?Edge is not an off-road adventure vehicle, and it doesn?t look like one,? says Peter Horbury, executive director, North America Design. ?The inspiration for the Edge is contemporary design and an adventurous state of mind.?
Edge?s visual promise of dynamic prowess begins with its bold front end. Its distinctive three-bar chromed grille builds on the great look of the Ford Fusion. An aggressively raked windshield and fast-sloping back window with high-mounted rear spoiler accentuate the feeling of motion. Quad-beam headlamps and a "powerdome" hood accentuate the purposeful front-end look.
Each wheel is planted at an extreme corner, giving Edge a powerful, yet graceful stance. The raised beltline emphasizes strong, sculpted shoulders formed around sharp wheel arches. Matte black lower front and rear fascias and side rocker panels emphasize Edge?s sporty character.
Edge?s modern design flows into the interior, evident in the instrument panel and distinctive center stack. The center stack design incorporates two 9- by 2-inch vertical vents that bracket the audio and climate-control switches. All-leather seating surfaces feature contrasting stitching inspired by the fashion industry and a hit with Fusion customers.
?Edge has an expressive look that evokes a connection with the customer?s lifestyle,? Horbury says. ?It was important that we design Edge to have maximum flexibility in the amount of gear it can accommodate while still offering customers a contemporary vehicle they can take out on the town.?
Adaptable, Flexible Design
Edge is designed to fit the customer?s need for style as well as cargo space and adaptability. For example, the large center console uses a removable divider and tray to organize the space both vertically and horizontally for everything from laptop computers and handbags to coins and MP3 players.
An optional concealed plug means that the Edge has four power points, three within the driver?s reach, along with a segment-first MP3 audio jack. Small slots molded into the side of the console keep phone and MP3 cords neat and organized. The console lid has a ticket clip, two pen holders and a tissue holder.
Edge also is big on details. A 20-ounce-cup holder is included in each front-door map pocket, along with juice box holders in the rear door pockets, two super-size-cup holders in the center console and two in the rear armrest.
Edge comfortably seats five, offering available six-way power, heated, adjustable front seats and best-in-class adult headroom and legroom for the second row. An easy-to-use available folding front-passenger seat creates an extended load floor.
The 60/40 reclining split second row folds to provide a level load floor for carrying equipment in the large cargo area. Edge can transport items as long as 8 feet inside with the front passenger seat folded down. Each rear seat can be folded manually using an industry-first single-hand release or automatically with an available EasyFold? electro-mechanical remote release accessible from the rear cargo area.
Edge options include Ford?s next-generation DVD-based navigation system and factory-installed Sirius satellite radio. Rear-seat passengers can enjoy the available DVD entertainment system with a drop-down 8-inch screen and two pairs of wireless headphones.
Class-Exclusive Panoramic Vista Roof
Edge?s available panoramic Vista Roof opens up a whole world of possibilities. The large glass moon roof provides a grand view of the sky above and can open for a sense of freedom that accentuates Edge?s sporting nature.
The roof features a large 27.3- by 29.4-inch forward panel that offers tilt and slide opening, and a 15.75- by 31.3-inch fixed rear glass panel. A one-touch-open switch provides open-air touring. Close the forward roof, and the enormous skylights allow natural light to flood the cabin, while protecting the cabin from the elements. When preferred, the twin power-operated cloth shades can be closed simultaneously to block glare.
?When you sit in this vehicle and look up and see the sky all around you, you just want to take it out for a drive and chase the horizon,? says Horbury.
Engaging Driving Dynamics Set Edge Apart
Edge embodies a unique sense of adventure. ?We?ve instilled Edge with balanced, agile and fun-to-drive dynamics,? says Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Product Development. ?Getting to wherever you?re going can be part of the fun of the adventure.?
Edge?s modern car-based foundation facilitates its excellent driving character. The front suspension features MacPherson struts and an isolated subframe, firmly attached in six locations. To further smooth out the ride, hydro-bushings are used.
The four-link independent rear suspension uses stamped steel control blades for precise suspension tuning. The rear shocks are mounted as far outboard as possible in the vehicle and behind the wheel center to improve ride and handling. Edge comes standard with four-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes.
?We tuned Edge to be very responsive, offering drivers a confident ride without compromising the fun-to-drive quotient,? says Elaine Bannon, Edge chief vehicle engineer.
Edge?s all-new 3.5-liter V-6 features a strong, lightweight, die-cast aluminum block and lightweight 4-valve-per-cylinder heads for smooth operation at high rpm. A 10.3:1 compression ratio and close-coupled catalysts will help it meet stringent ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) II regulations.
The all-new 6-speed automatic transmission uses a wide 6.04:1 gear ratio to deliver good fuel economy and performance. Short first and second gears provide impressive launch and acceleration, while the tall overdrive gears deliver 7 percent better fuel economy than a 4-speed automatic.
Edge?s available intelligent all-wheel-drive (AWD) system was tuned with an emphasis on performance while offering confident all-weather driving. By constantly monitoring and predicting traction, the system delivers torque to all four wheels, even before the wheels begin to slip. An active on-demand coupler can deliver the precise amount of torque to the rear wheels. Paired with available AdvanceTrac? traction control, intelligent AWD can transfer torque front-to-rear and side-to-side.
Safety Begins with Accidents Avoided
Edge customers will find peace of mind in Ford?s comprehensive approach to safety, including available active safety technology and comprehensive passive safety features.
?Edge?s confident handling helps drivers avoid accidents, especially when paired with the industry-exclusive AdvanceTrac? with Roll Stability Control (RSC?),? says Stephen Kozak, Ford Safety chief engineer. ?Should an accident occur, Edge features a comprehensive package of passive safety features to help provide enhanced safety performance.?
Edge is available with Ford?s AdvanceTrac? with RSC?, the industry?s only electronic stability control system that uses two gyroscopic sensors to monitor both yaw and roll motions. Monitoring both motions allows for yaw-control enhancements, providing class-leading side-slip and roll stability control.
Edge comes standard with dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags, an energy-absorbing steering wheel and knee bolster for the driver and an energy-absorbing glove box for the passenger. The driver seat uses a seat position sensor while the passenger seat uses an occupant classification sensor ? both are equipped with load-limiting safety belts and pretensioners.
Edge offers several layers of side-impact protection, including solid unibody construction with cross-member ladder frame, a reinforced greenhouse, energy-absorbing side door trim, available seat-mounted side air bags and Ford?s Safety Canopy system with rollover detection and extended-duration side curtain air bags.
Impressive Interior Quietness
Edge?s well-rounded, modern performance extends to impressive refinement, enhancing the driving experience.
Engineers spent hundreds of hours fine-tuning Edge?s interior ambiance. For example, the side mirrors were specifically designed to reduce wind noise. Even the radio antenna was scrutinized. Engineers took clay modelers into the wind tunnel to fine-tune the mirror design.
By modifying the pitch and height of the spiral by tenths of a millimeter, wind noise was reduced by as much as two decibels.
Ford Aims for CUV Leadership
With its unique combination of styling, capability and driving dynamics, Edge is the perfect complement to Ford Motor Company?s expanding CUV lineup. Ford outpaced the competition in CUV growth in 2005 and looks to further energize the CUV market in 2006 with the new Edge and two other crossovers ? the Lincoln MKX and Mazda CX-7.
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