The Ford Edge ST Is The Warmed-Up SUV We Weren't Expecting

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Both hardware and software are tuned for maximum performance, with ST-tuned sport suspension and Pirelli P-Zeros hugging the corners while the optional performance brakes can handle the heat if the sport-tuned stability control system can't cope with driver aggression. It will bring Ford's SUV lineup up-to-speed with crosstown rivals General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, which previous year unveiled performance trims for full-size SUV models. The new Edge makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

As with most unibody model makeovers, sheetmetal design changes for the 2019 Ford Edge lineup are limited essentially to the front, forward of the a-pillar, and to the rear liftgate.

The facelifted Ford Edge will arrive in the United Kingdom in 2019 with a new look previewed on the U.S. model.

Edge owners with a penchant for collecting speeding tickets will surely enjoy feeding that dust to the competition behind the wheel of the Edge ST rather than a lower trim.

Visually, the Edge ST gets unique front and rear styling, with more aggressive grille and bumper treatments front and rear, unique dual exhaust outlets, a unique 21-inch wheel options, along with ST-branded badging inside and out. The hood has been redesigned to feature a "layering" effect, and non-STs get four chrome grillebars to add visual width.

Standard on all Edge models is FordPass Connect, with a Wi-Fi hotspot that gives internet access to up to 10 devices.

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Stephanie Brinley, senior analyst at IHS Markit, said the exterior design and technology updates on the Edge are notable and important to consumers. The eight-speed auto comes with stop/start.

Performance upgrades like what the Edge ST will offer typically capture male buyers. It's the second Ford to offer the Alexa connection, following the 2018 Expedition.

There's also available adaptive cruise-control and lane-centering features. Drivers can also upgrade to SYNC 3 with an 8-inch touchscreen for enhanced in-vehicle experience.

The Edge is a steady seller for Ford. Ford says the take rate on the Edge's higher trim levels have increased from 30 percent to 36 percent in the last four years.

Ford recently announced it has reallocated $7 billion of research & development capital from cars to SUVs and trucks.

It's only two years since the Ford Edge SUV arrived in the United Kingdom market as a big brother to the Kuga and Ecosport in Ford's SUV range, but it's already getting a bit of a facelift.