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Ford has been making and shaping SUVs for well over 50 years now. In fact, the new Ford Edge can follow its family tree way back to the Sixties and the pioneering Ford Bronco, a square-jawed action hero which entered the world many years before ‘Sports Utility Vehicle’ even entered the dictionary.
The new Edge is a very modern descendent of that early American icon, but there are still signs of the star-spangled styling. It’s almost as if the designers ditched their sketchbooks and carved out the car with their bare hands, creating a naturally aerodynamic silhouette with bold lines and powerful proportions.
You see it wherever you look. The new grille sits a hexagonal frame, flanked either side by wraparound LED headlights and topped by a high clamshell bonnet. Around the side your eye is drawn rearwards by a bold, horizontal beltline running beneath the windows. And everywhere the metalwork is pulled tight, like a muscle-fit shirt over a pumped-up quarterback.
A full-size car needs full-size wheels, which is why the new Edge rides on alloys up to 20-inches in diameter, for a surefooted stance. Deep sideskirts add to the sculptural feel, which continues around the rear with a wide tailgate featuring sharp geometric creases between the LED taillamps.
Of course, good design is also about the things you can’t see, and with the new Edge there’s plenty of unseen science going on. Take the clever front Aero Curtains, for example. Slots in the outer edges of the new front bumper channel air around the wheels and tyres, creating a skirt of high-speed air to reduce drag and therefore save fuel.
And behind the wide, restyled grille – featuring a unique pattern for each model – there’s even more invisible aero. When you’re stationary or driving slowly, an active shutter system keeps the grille vent open for engine cooling. When you speed up it automatically closes to tidy the airflow around the front of the car, again reducing drag.
Inside, the Edge’s proportions are just as generous as they are from outside. There’s plenty of room in the cabin for five adults, while the big boot means you’ll leave nothing behind. The sense of space is exaggerated by the optional, full-length panoramic glass roof, while the new rotary gearshift dial lends a modern, minimalist feel to the restyled centre console.
Born in the USA but made for the UK, the new Ford Edge gets all the right kind of attention, especially on the highways and byways of Britain.
Article 1 of 5: look out for more in the series over the coming month. For more content, visit here