Ford’s ST badge has become synonymous with hot-hatches, first with the Focus and then on the outstanding Fiesta. For 2019, comes a slightly different kind of hot hatch, the Ford Edge ST.
A midsize crossover is going to behave differently than a compact or subcompact, but Ford says the emphasis on driving enjoyment remains consistent for this ST. The powertrain certainly suggests as much. The Edge ST will get the 2.7L twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 found in the Ford F-150 and the Fusion Sport, pushing 335 hp and 380lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive system. An ST-only sport button on the rotary-dial shifter found in the Edge activates a unique shift-schedule, ups throttle response, and holds gears through corners when necessary. A “relaxed ESC” setting can be activated on the ST, which according to one engineer at Ford, will “widen the window for stability control." But alas, a drift-mode it is not.
The ST treatment for the mid-size crossover comes as part of a makeover for the mid-size crossover and Ford’s $7 billion re-allocation of resources from sedans to the SUVs. The Edge’s styling is squared-off, as the hood has been pulled forward and raised slightly. The ST is predictably a bit edgier (sorry), with twenty-one inch wheels that can be wrapped with Pirelli P Zero summer tires, 265-section at all four corners and filled with optional performance brakes.
Lesser Edges get powertrain upgrades, too. The standard 2.0-liter EcoBoost gets 5 more horsepower, with an eight-speed automatic replacing the old six-speed.
All models also benefit from a suite of driver assistance technologies, much of it standard. The Edge will watch your blind spots, keep you in your lane, and check cross traffic when backing out of that parking spot at the mall. A post-collision braking system, designed to automatically bring the car to a stop after initial impact, is newly optional.
Ford hasn’t skimped on the connectivity, either. An embedded modem will provide WiFi to up to 10 devices and can stay connected to around 50 feet away. No more missing the big play when a wayward pigskin hits your dish at the tailgate. Ford has also integrated Amazon’s cloud-based Alexa voice service into Sync 3, meaning it will understand more natural speech. “Hey Alexa, start my Edge and crank Yacht Rock Radio” is now as simple as saying so, as is “Hey Alexa, warm up the house and turn on Yacht Rock Radio.”
The 2019 Edge debuts at the Detroit Auto Show next week and hits showrooms this summer.