A rebranded performance model tops off the refreshed CUV lineup.
Ford has officially lifted the veil on its 2019 Edge, topping off the lineup with a re-badged performance model which will become the first crossover in the Blue Oval's U.S. portfolio to wear the enthusiast badge.
For years, Ford has reserved the "ST" moniker (and "SVT" before it) for models aimed squarely at driving enthusiasts. When the company teased a new addition to the lineup yesterday, we seized upon it and some hints from Recaro about new performance seats also set to debut in Detroit.
(It wasn't until after we'd published the article yesterday that we were able to confirm the Edge ST was real, at which point we also learned that it was under embargo, limiting our ability to elaborate.)
We were just as right as we were wrong, as it turns out. The mock-up featuring a Porsche Macan interior appears to be just that (or some other sort of obfuscation), as these photos clearly show ST-branded buckets for the updated Edge's front row. While both the Fiesta and Focus ST offered them as an upgrade, it appears the Edge will not be available with Recaro seats. Ford says the ST's buckets have additional bolstering, but it's just not the same, is it?
If that leads you to the conclusion that the Edge ST isn't a "real" ST, we're not in a rush to correct you. More than anything, it's a re-branding of the Edge Sport. For the past several model cycles, Ford seemed content to use "Sport" on its enthusiast-friendly-but-not-hardcore models, offering Fusion, Explorer and Edge variants with more potent EcoBoost V6 engines and firmed-up suspensions.
With the Fusion's replacement on hiatus and the Explorer due for a replacement, we expect the era of "Sport" is over.
It's not all bad news, though. While the Edge ST is certainly no replacement for the much-beloved Fiesta ST, it does at least offer a power bump (335 horsepower vs. the outgoing Sport's 315; 380lb-ft vs. 350) and an available sport brake package to augment its performance credentials. The sport-tuned suspension remains, however we expect it has seen some massaging as well. Other key features include standard all-wheel drive, a "Sport Mode" toggle and paddle shifters.
Live photos by Brian Williams.