You’re looking at the new 2015 Ford Edge crossover – the latest example of Ford taking global or US cars and tailoring them for worldwide sale. The Ford Edge has sold in the US for the past seven years, but this time it’s coming to Europe.
The Ford Edge Mk2, unveiled in Germany and the US overnight, is sized to take on popular European crossovers such as the Volvo XC60 and Audi Q5. At 4810mm long, it’s not a great deal bigger than a Kuga, then, but it is likely to be priced higher. Expect Edge prices to start at around £30,000 when they’re confirmed in 2015.
Ford Edge (2015): what’s new for the European SUV?
The Edge is based on the oily bits Ford calls its C/D architecture - meaning it'll be twinned with the forthcoming Mondeo (eventually), S-Max and Galaxy. It was developed in the US, where the Edge Mk1 has proved a hit, but the Edge Mk2 is a global affair.
So the new Edge boasts a brace of 2.0-litre TDCI turbodiesel engines for CO2-obsessed Europe, offering 178bhp or 207bhp (the latter coming with two turbos, rather than one). Only four-wheel drive models will be launched in the UK, although the platform can support front-wheel drive, should cheaper, more efficient front-drivers be required in future.
It's worth noting how Dearborn is adapting the One Ford, global-car strategy. The new Edge will be very similar wherever on Earth you buy it. Once you account for the European diesel engines, very little else is different for the right-hand drive cars coming here. Only the addition of LED headlamps, a heated windscreen and a hidden bumper beam for EU crash regs are changed for cars on sale in the UK.
The vehicle programme engineering boss Darren Palmer told CAR that even the spring and damper rates were globally set - but he assured us the new Edge will retain Ford's dynamic handling traits. The suspension will have its work cut out, though; the new Edge weighs a whisker under two tonnes in its base form.
Ford Edge: the technology and spec
Much of the technology on the Edge will appear on the Mondeo, when it finally arrives in the UK later in the year. This crossover can park itself (parallel and perpindicular parking, since you ask), there are driver aids for most chores and there's even acoustic double-glazing available.
Ford claims the Edge has the footprint of an Audi Q5 but the interior space to beat a Q7 - with more room than any rival for baggage or bodies, according to Ford's own figures. It felt very spacious when we sat in it at the global debut.
Why is Ford bringing the Edge to the UK?
Because sales of SUVs continue to boom in Europe. According to Ford, crossovers now account for 21% of all cars sold in Europe – up from 10% in 2008. As buyers flock to taller, more practical SUVs, so Ford has turned on the taps, albeit later than swifter rivals, transferring global products to our shores.
This is the Blue Oval's One Ford strategy in action. It's a two-way process: both the Kuga and Ecosport are children of One Ford, flipping from Europe to the world (Kuga) and from Brazil to Europe (Ecosport).
Early signs are the switch to SUVs is working: Ford of Europe sold 1.2 million of 'em in 2013, up 35% on the year before. It has never sold more than 1m crossovers before in a year...
Ford Edge: prices and on-sale date
Expect to see the new Edge in UK Blue Oval showrooms from September 2015. No prices are confirmed yet, but it will undercut the likes of Q5, XC60 and Touareg - pointing to a starter price around £30,000.
The Edge will be built in Canada and exported to Europe; strategically, it allows Ford to stretch its footprint upwards into hitherto untapped market segments - with the higher prices, and margins, commanded by crossovers.
There might be volumes in pile-'em-high Fiestas and Focuses, but there's real profit - and brand kudos - to be found in booming SUV sales, Ford hopes.