Since its introduction in 2006, the Ford Edge has stood out from the competition with an impressive combination of distinctive style, capability, versatility and performance. It’s now clear, none of that is going to change.
The exciting new Ford Edge Concept vehicle was recently unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, proudly displaying the dynamic design and craftsmanship that will define the next Ford global utility vehicle. Advanced automated driving technologies are featured in the new concept as well, including self-parking and obstacle avoidance systems.
“The Ford Edge Concept is the latest example of a utility vehicle that is designed to deliver the attributes global customers value most – smart, sporty design; fuel efficiency and driving dynamics; craftsmanship and materials often reserved for luxury cars; and customer-focused technology to help the driver feel more confident,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of The Americas, Ford Motor Company.
Bold Exterior Styling
At first look, the Edge Concept boasts confidence and capability with its new, more sleek appearance. “With this Ford Edge Concept, we’ve built upon some of the great visual cues of Edge and added additional sculpture for a more athletic, agile presence,” said Kevin George, exterior design manager.
Its fluid shape glides rearward from the sloping, three-bar front grille through the sculpted hood all the way back to the integrated taillamp design. Its muscles punctuate the long haunches of its shoulders.
New technologies are integrated throughout the exterior design. Active Grille Shutters open and close automatically to help maintain an ideal engine operating temperature and to help improve aerodynamics, which helps maximize fuel efficiency.
The headlamps light up in complete white, creating an uninterrupted, homogeneous display; individual LEDs illuminate crystal cubes on the high beams. The turn signal “transforms” from a chrome-appearing piece into bright amber lit from behind through microscopic holes in the bezel, adding to the laser-thin appearance of the headlamps. The taillamps are executed in a similar fashion, cleverly and stylishly connected to the backlight.
A Dynamic Sanctuary
Inside the Edge Concept, a high level of craftsmanship and premium materials create a rich environment. Hak Soo Ha, interior design manager, calls it a “‘dynamic sanctuary’ because it combines the energetic character of the exterior with a more premium cabin execution. The shapes provide a dynamic, in-motion impression that soothes rather than fatigues.”
The soothing elements include a premium Nubuck leather-wrapped, hand-stitched instrument panel, leather-trimmed seating with a distinct perforation pattern, premium stitching and accent plating in the head restraint and at the top of the shoulder bolster, and leather, carbon-weaved and copper-accented armrests.
Other premium interior elements include a dynamic center stack with premium mechanical switchgear, unique gear shifter and steering wheel, bright work on the armrest, door-release bezel and air registers, and a bright silver-finish scuff plate with matte black paint and an LED-lit “Edge” label.
Advanced Technology for More Efficient Driving
The Ford Edge Concept opens a window on the new advanced, automated driving technologies currently under development by Ford.
Adaptive steering makes driving in all conditions feel more confident and more fun. This technology, which builds on Ford electronic power-assisted steering (EPAS) and has mostly been seen on top luxury models to date, controls and adjusts the ratio between how much the driver turns the steering wheel and how much the vehicle wheels turn. This enables adaptive steering to help deliver sporty driving dynamics at higher speeds while helping to make steering easier in low-speed maneuvers, such as parking.
Fully assisted parking aid, a technology in the prototype phase right now, could control steering, gear selection, and forward and reverse motion to enable push-button parking – from inside or outside the car. This concept builds on the Ford active park assist feature, which was launched in 2009 and is now available on a number of Ford models. While active park assist steers a vehicle into a parallel-parking space, fully assisted parking aid can detect a suitable perpendicular parking space using ultrasonic sensors.
Both fully assisted parking aid and obstacle avoidance were recently demonstrated for the first time at Ford test facilities in Lommel, Belgium. The advanced technologies and research work highlighted in the Ford Edge Concept are the potential next steps in the effort by Ford to offer smart technology that makes drivers better and more efficient.
The Ford Edge Concept shines light on a bright future for Ford drivers around the globe. The striking presence of its athletic, sculpted exterior, the comfort of its sanctuary-like cabin and the full suite of advanced driving technologies will surely inspire more fun, more confident and more rewarding driving experiences very soon. It’s exciting to imagine what you’ll experience in your next Ford vehicle.
You can test drive the 2014 Ford Edge and other Ford vehicles by visiting Lindsay Ford at 11250 Veirs Mill Road, Wheaton, MD. You can contact us at 888-764-8614. Visit us online at LindsayFord.com.