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Ford launches all-new global Edge crossover

The 2015 Ford Edge after being unveiled Thursday at Ford’s 2014 Future Trends conference in Dearborn, Mich.

Darren McGee/The Globe and Mail

Ford unveiled an all-new 2015 Edge crossover sport utility vehicle on Thursday as part of its plan to expand its global footprint – especially in Western Europe and China.

The new Edge, launched with simultaneous showings here and in Europe, has been overhauled inside and out and is based on the auto maker's global mid-size vehicle platform, the same platform used by the Ford Fusion sedan.

"Great product development is driven by innovation," said Mark Fields, Ford's incoming CEO. "This new Edge is an excellent example of Ford at its best."

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The new Edge, says Raj Nair, Ford's vice-president of global product development, is "a showcase of Ford smart technology.

"This vehicle is equipped with every smart technology we've developed to date."

Among its new features is a front camera system (complete with a washer to keep it clean) to help a driver see better in tricky situations, an enhanced park assist system that will enable perpendicular and parallel parking, and the ability to pull the vehicle out of a parallel parking spot – and an adaptive steering system that Ford officials say makes the Edge easier and more fun to drive.

The popular Edge helped Ford to claim the crown as North America's top-selling utility vehicle brand in 2013 for the third straight year, and Ford utility vehicle sales rose almost 20 per cent last year in Europe while, in China, Ford's share of the segment hit 4.5 per cent, up from less than 1 per cent in 2012. The Edge will be sold for the first time in Western Europe where, as the car maker's flagship vehicle, "it will compete with (Europe's) luxury brands," said Jim Farley, Ford's executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. It is currently sold in Russia, select South American markets, and Eastern Asia.

This is all good news for the auto maker's assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., where $700-million (U.S.) was invested in renovations to "prepare for the (new) Edge," said Nair.

Three engines will be offered: a standard 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder, a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V-6, and a 2.7-litre V-6 EcoBoost in the Sport model. Horsepower, depending on the model, ranges from about 245 to slightly more than 300, says Ford.

Pricing has not been announced and Ford says the new Edge will be available in early 2015.

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