Edge gets midcycle freshening

  • 23-Feb-2010 06:47 EST
2011 Ford Edge.jpg
New exterior features of the 2011 Ford Edge Sport include unique grille, lamps, and 22-in wheels.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Co.'s Group Vice President of Global Product Development, believes the automaker is redefining what a vehicle freshening should be: "For us, it isn't a front-end clip and new wheels."

During the 2010 Chicago Auto Show, the unveiling of the midcycle freshening of the 2011 Ford Edge showcased many changes, including new hood, fenders, front grille, headlamps, liftgate, rear fascia, taillamps, and exhaust tips.

Edge will be offered with two V6 engines and will be the first vehicle in North America with the 2.0-L, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine with direct fuel injection and a single turbocharger. According to Elaine Bannon, Edge's chief engineer, the 3.5-L and 3.7-L V6 engines and the EcoBoost four-cylinder will use (Ti-VCT) Twin independent Variable Camshaft Timing) "to optimize the time that the valves are open so that fuel consumption is reduced."

Ford had not yet released power, torque, or fuel economy numbers for the 2.0-L I4 because engineers were still working on final validated figures. However, the 3.5-L V6 delivers 285 hp (213 kW) and 253 lb·ft (343 N·m) and the 3.7-L V6 of the Edge Sport delivers 305 hp (227 kW) at 6500 rpm and 280 lb·ft (380 N·m). Both torque figures are at 4000 rpm. All three engines will mate to a six-speed automatic transmission.

According to Jim Buczkowski, Director of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Ford, "Edge has our new electrical architecture, which enables things like the battery management system." The system helps optimize alternator usage, which means the battery is charged and discharged at appropriate times vs. continuously charging the battery via the alternator.

"A good example is when the vehicle is decelerating; that's a good time to recharge the battery," said Buczkowski, adding that the system helps get the "best performance from the alternator when it's needed. And when the energy is not needed, engine power is not being soaked up to generate electricity to the vehicle."

Stopping power gets a boost from new four-wheel disc brakes. The upgrades include new calipers and knuckles, larger rear rotors, as well as new friction material for brake pads. According to Bannon, the braking revisions equate to "a very specific initial bite, a very specific stopping distance target, and a more confident feel."  The Edge also has new 18-, 20-, and 22-in wheels and tires as well as retuned shocks, springs, and stabilizer bars.

Edge's all-new interior launches MyFord Touch driver connect technology. In the Edge presentation, two, 4.2-in full-color LCD screens are located on each side of an analog speedometer, and an 8-in LCD occupies the top portion of the center stack.

The driver can control in-vehicle features via voice commands (powered by the next-generation Sync system using the Microsoft Windows embedded automotive software platform), touch-screen technology, and five-way buttons on the steering wheel crossbar.

For instance, the left instrument cluster-display for trip computer, fuel economy, and other functions can be controlled via the steering wheel's left five-way button. The right instrument cluster-display's navigation, audio, climate, and other features can be controlled by the steering wheel's right five-way button.

According to Jennifer Mezigian, User Interface Engineer for Edge, MyFord Touch "is a whole new experience for the driver. It's making everything simpler, more intuitive, safer, and smarter. We really want people to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, so the system is designed to make it easier for the (driver) to quickly access the things that are important to (him or her)."

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