We thought Ford would let the hype vacuum suck in more curiosity before the big drop, but just a single day after the Blue Oval’s performance division released a teaser video that signalled the imminent reveal of a new ST model, featuring former Stig and professional stunt driver Ben Collins, we got an answer.
The veil was lifted to reveal a new hot version of the Edge, a five-door, five seat crossover that so happens to be bound for the Australian market later in 2018 under the name Endura, filling the gap in the line-up left by the locally-developed Territory. This begs the question of whether the ST will also be included upon its initial Down Under launch.
Though it has been confirmed that the Endura will be sold here with a turbodiesel engine, the Edge ST uses an uprated version of the model’s most popular engine choice in North America: a 2.7-litre twin turbocharged EcoBoost V6 petrol. With 250kW, 515Nm, all-wheel drive, a stiffened frame, new 8-speed automatic transmission (allowing it to have start/stop), 21-inch alloys, and upgraded suspension, the Edge ST does have the recipe for a fun high rider worthy of the ST badge - and Ford Performance has indeed delivered consistently impressive cars of late.
That said, savvy buyers in North America shortlisting the Edge might lament the modest 15kW power increase over the Edge Sport, previously the most potent version of the model. Ford would need to justify the premium by offering a meaningfully more engaging experience from behind the wheel as this is arguably - at least in terms of raw numbers - the most closely spaced of an ST to its more run-of-the-mill variants.
Following this reveal, the Edge ST will be premiering officially at the upcoming Detroit Motor Show later in January. We had expressed hope that Ford would follow their Fiesta playbook, surprising the world with an all-new generation Focus hatch by first giving us a taste of it in spicy ST guise, since it’s also due for an unveil in early 2018. But it was not to be.
To Ford’s credit, though, the Edge is probably the most eligible of all their SUVs - by far their the most popular segment at this point compared to their size-equivalent sedans - to be included in the ST family.
It might result in markedly more sales of the Edge in general, spurring more frequent improvements and positively effecting the Endura due here later this year. The Australian market will most definitely welcome a twin-turbo V6 petrol variant of new Ford model to balance the diesel-only rest of the range.
Aside from the go-fast changes, the ST comes with plenty of comfort features and onboard tech as well. Ford Performance hasn’t detailed its tweaks to the interior yet, unfortunately, but we’re expecting plenty of black leather with blue contrast stitching, more supportive seats, and perhaps a peppering of Alcantara.
However, we do know that the 2019 model (due on sale in the US in late 2018) brings some changes to the Edge’s cabin, chief of which being the redesigned centre console that helps reduce button clutter and adds a new rotary gearshift dial.
Naturally, Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system is equipped, but now attached to a premium 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. Other highlights include an array of active safety features such as post collision braking, blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, automatic high beam, forward and rear cross-traffic alert, evasive steering assist, and adaptive cruise control.