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Ford Edge expands Ford SUV and AWD line-up

By Kyle Linsay
Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 14:00

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The all-new Ford Edge, the third chapter in Ford’s sport utility vehicle (SUV) expansion plan that debuts in European specification at Frankfurt – will deliver optimised fuel efficiency and sub-150 g/km CO2* emissions when it goes into production later this year.

The upscale Edge, offering premium technology and refinement, will join the Ford Kuga medium-sized SUV and EcoSport compact SUV to meet the demands of growing numbers of SUV customers in Europe. Ford expects to sell 200,000 SUVs in Europe in 2016 – a 200 per cent increase compared to 2013.

“Spacious, refined and with athletic design, the all-new Ford Edge also delivers strong fuel efficiency and low CO2 supported by our most advanced diesel engines, Auto-Start-Stop and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive technology,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “Consumer appetites for SUV and all-wheel drive vehicles like our new Edge are so strong that we plan to introduce five new vehicles in the next three years that will compete in the SUV and crossover space.”

The popular Ford Kuga also is now available to order with new equipment including SYNC 2 connectivity with an 8-inch touchscreen, interior upgrades and new exterior colours. The Ford EcoSport is enhanced with sophisticated styling upgrades, improved driving dynamics and new equipment for more comfort and convenience.

All-new upscale Ford Edge

The stylish and sophisticated Ford Edge large SUV will be offered in Europe with a choice of 180PS 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine with six-speed manual transmission, or 210 PS bi-turbo 2.0‑litre TDCi diesel with six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission. Both powertrains will deliver up to 78.4mpg fuel efficiency and 149g/km CO2 supported by Auto-Start-Stop technology.

The Edge also will feature Ford’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) technology as standard, delivering a seamless transition between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive performance to provide a more secure footing on the road especially in slippery conditions.

Measuring how the car’s wheels are gripping the road surface every 16 milliseconds – twenty times quicker than it takes to blink – the system can send up to 100 per cent of engine torque to the front or rear wheels. By only delivering torque where and when it is needed, Intelligent AWD has minimal impact on fuel-efficiency and CO2emissions compared with permanent four-wheel drive systems.

All-new Edge will offer new Ford technologies, including Adaptive Steering, which automatically optimises the steering response according to vehicle speed, making it easy to manoeuvre at low speeds, while remaining precise and intuitive at higher speeds; and Front Split View Camera, which makes restricted visibility junctions or parking spaces easier to negotiate.

Edge will introduce segment-first Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection; a camera- and radar-based system that operates at speeds from 5mph to over 100mph to detect vehicles and people in the road ahead. The system can automatically apply the brakes if a potential collision is detected and the driver does not respond to warnings. Ford anticipates a five-star safety rating from independent crash test authority Euro NCAP.

Outstanding refinement is achieved with acoustic windscreen glass and laminated glass for the driver and front passenger door windows, which help minimise noise in the cabin. Underbody panels and wheel well liners further minimise road and wind noise. All Edge models (except Zetec in UK) are also equipped with Ford’s Active Noise Control technology that detects unwanted engine noise in the cabin and cancels it out with opposing sound waves that are fed through the car’s sound system.

The Edge interior has been designed to deliver a luxurious occupant experience with high-quality materials throughout, including soft-touch trims on the dashboard and centre console, high-gloss piano black surrounds on the switch bezels and a satin silver metal finish for the door handles, air vent bezels, glovebox trim and steering wheel detailing. The spacious Edge is offered with heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats.

“All-new Edge will deliver more room for passengers than large competitor SUVs that cost considerably more. The styling and suite of comfort, convenience and safety technologies in Edge rival the premium offerings in Europe,” de Waard said.

New tech and style for Kuga

The Ford Kuga will offer Ford’s SYNC 2 advanced connectivity system for the first time, enabling drivers to operate phone, entertainment, climate and navigation systems using simple conversational language.

SYNC 2 features an 8-inch colour touch screen in the centre console – increased from 5-inches – that can also help drivers when manoeuvring by displaying the live feed from the Rear View Camera system.

The Kuga’s openable panorama roof has been revised to offer improved ventilation for occupants. The panorama roof also can now be operated along with the door windows using the key fob as part of the global opening and closing feature, which enables customers to better cool the inside of the vehicle on hot days before getting in. The stylish interior has been further enhanced with a new air vent design that also reduces reflections on the window. For the exterior, Ginger Ale and Panther Black are replaced by distinctive new Green Instinct and Shadow Black colours – the first in a range of new premium Mica paint colours to be offered by Ford.

The stylish second generation Ford Kuga debuted Ford’s Intelligent AWD technology in Europe when introduced in 2012, and also features Ford’s hands-free tailgate that can be opened or closed using a simple kicking motion beneath the rear bumper.

Driver assistance technologies offered with new Kuga include Active Park Assist,Blind Spot Information System, Active City Stop, Lane Keeping Aid, Lane Departure Warning, Auto High Beam, Driver Alert and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Kuga is available with 6-speed manual and PowerShift automatic transmissions and a range of advanced Ford engines including a 2.0-litre TDCi diesel offering 150PS or 180PS, CO2 emissions from 120g/km and 54mpg. Ford’s 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine is also available with 150PS or 182PS, CO2 emissions from 143g/km and up to 45.6mpg.

Ford sold 60,200 Kugas in Europe between January and July 2015, a 22 per cent increase over the same period in 2014.**

Compact EcoSport enhanced

The Ford EcoSport compact SUV is now available to order without a rear-mounted spare wheel for the first time.

The rear swing-gate design for those vehicles has been revised to allow easier access to the bootspace with partial opening. Inside, new partial leather seats are standard on Titanium models and privacy glass is available for all EcoSport trim levels. A new Winter Pack offers a heated windscreen, heated mirrors and heated front seats, as well as rear seat ventilation at floor level to improve comfort for rear passengers in cold weather.

The restyled interior delivers a contemporary, more upscale feel with new high quality leather for the steering wheel, and a charcoal black lower instrument panel, centre console and door boards. The instrument cluster now features a light dimming function and chrome-surround rings to match the electric window switches.

EcoSport models equipped with Ford’s SYNC voice-controlled connectivity system feature a 4‑inch colour display in the centre console. The handbrake lever positioning for all enhanced EcoSport models has been optimised to make it easier to reach and use.

Noise, vibration and harshness levels also have been reduced with thicker sound deadening materials in the doors and dashboard, as well as tighter seals around the pedals, for a more refined interior environment and quieter journeys. Engine and gearbox matching has been revised to offer more low speed torque and better drivability.

Significant improvements to the EcoSport’s driving dynamics are delivered following development work at the Ford Lommel Proving Ground, Belgium, where 50 miles of test tracks include exact replicas of real road surfaces from around the world.

A stiffer rear torsion beam offers greater control of body roll, and revised spring and shock absorber rates improve damping. A 10mm reduction in ride height lowers the EcoSport’s centre of gravity for improved handling, and Electronic Stability Control and power steering systems also have been specifically tuned for European roads.

The 1.5-litre TDCi offers 95PS, delivers 64.2mpg and 115g/km CO2 while the 125PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost delivers 52.3mpg and 125g/km CO2.

“The stylish and practical Ford EcoSport offers customers a flexible and economical SUV and with these enhancements EcoSport looks and feels even sharper,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “EcoSport was developed in some of the most rigorous terrains and climates across the globe to make it an even more compelling option for customers as part of our growing European SUV range. In addition, the team at Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium have further enhanced the driving dynamics to make the new EcoSport even more fun to drive on European roads.”

Ford sold 21,300 EcoSports in Europe between January and July 2015, a four-fold increase over the same period in 2014.

AWD gains traction

Ford now offers all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive technology on eight of its 17 passenger car and commercial vehicle line-up in Europe – enhancing driving experience, road-holding and off-road capability for customers.

The all-new Ford Focus RS high-performance road car introduces Ford Performance All-Wheel-Drive with Dynamic Torque Vectoring to deliver a new level of handling capability and driver enjoyment. Twin electronically-controlled clutch packs on each side of the rear drive unit manage the car’s front/rear torque split, and also can control the side-to-side torque distribution on the rear axle – delivering the “torque vectoring” capability, which has a dramatic impact on handling and cornering stability.

The control unit in the rear drive system continuously varies the front/rear and side-to-side torque distribution to suit the current driving situation, monitoring inputs from multiple vehicle sensors 100 times per second. A maximum of 70 per cent of the drive torque can be diverted to the rear axle. Up to 100 per cent of the available torque at the rear axle can be sent to each rear wheel.

“This AWD system is a breakthrough technology, capable of delivering supreme cornering and handling at the limit,” said Dave Pericak, director, Global Ford Performance. “We have ripped up the rulebook which says that AWD hatchbacks cannot be fun to drive, and have created a car which will surprise and reward in equal measure.”

The all-new Ford Galaxy, Mondeo and S-MAX offer Intelligent AWD that delivers enhanced traction and road-holding with a seamless transition between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive performance to provide a more secure footing on the road especially in slippery conditions.

The Ford Transit also can be equipped with Intelligent AWD for class-leading traction and dynamics, and offers a selectable AWD-Lock mode for optimised grip in extreme conditions.

The Ford Ranger pickup offers driver-selectable four-wheel drive (4WD) featuring a two-speed transfer box, and enables drivers to switch between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive high-range with a knob on the centre console at speeds of up to 70mph. For low-speed torque or additional downhill braking in challenging terrain, drivers also can engage low-range four-wheel drive gearing. An electronic locking rear differential also helps to improve traction in difficult conditions.

The new Ford Ranger makes its European debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, featuring a bold new look, cutting-edge technologies and enhanced diesel engines that deliver fuel efficiency improvements of up to 17 per cent, and 171g/km CO2.

The flagship Ranger Wildtrak model showcased in Frankfurt delivers exclusive exterior design features, a unique interior with orange accents, and striking new Pride Orange signature colour. New Ranger also offers advanced features include SYNC 2 connectivity, Lane Keeping Aid and Adaptive Cruise Control.

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