2015 Ford Edge revealed, could this be the rumoured replacement for the soon to be retired Territory?
The Territory is not long for this world, however, with Ford’s Australian production schedule set to wind-up in 2016. We’ll see a facelift for the Falcon, and one for the Territory. Beyond that, Ford isn’t saying.
Still, the company's ‘One Ford’ policy demands that all future Ford models must be developed with the capacity for a global launch - and that’s expected to be the case with the new 2015 Edge unveiled today.
Revealed as a concept last year, the new second-generation Edge is built on the same Global Midsize Platform that underpins the new Mondeo, already confirmed for Australia. That’s a tick in our favour.
Ford has also confirmed today that the new Edge will be launched in Europe, South America and - while not specifying Australia - the Asia Pacific region.
This new large SUV will also be offered with a number of Ford EcoBoost engine options - powertrains that, in various capacities, will become familiar to Australian buyers as more new Ford models hit our market.
Despite all of this, Ford’s Australian arm remains quiet on the topic of which global model will replace the Territory - or if it will offer a direct replacement at all.
But, when SUVs have so far made up 138,593 of Australia’s total year-to-date sales of 441,642, it is unlikely that Ford would ignore the demand for more and bigger ‘soft-roader’ SUVs.
Can the Edge stand in for the Territory as a large SUV in Australia?
The answer is ‘more or less’. The Territory, with a 2842mm wheelbase, sits between the outgoing Edge’s 2824mm, and the 2011-generation Explorer at 2860mm.
The new Edge’s 2849mm wheelbase makes it a larger model than its replacement, but with an overall length of 4775mm, it will be 80mm shorter than the Territory.
Buyers won’t lose much on storage space, however, with the Territory claiming 1153 litres behind the second row, and the new Edge boasting 1110 litres.
The real loss, if the new Edge comes to Australia, will be in seating capacity: while the Territory offers space for seven, the Edge is a five-seater only.
As for features and technology, the new Edge is loaded with adaptive steering and cruise control, enhanced active park assist, collision warning with brake support, 180-degree front camera, Ford’s inflatable rear seatbelts and - like the Kuga - a hands-free tailgate.
Available in front- and all-wheel-drive form, the new Edge gets a redesigned suspension package developed isolate and absorb road noise and imperfections.
Likewise, a 26 percent improvement in bending stiffness and 16 percent more twisting rigidity make the new Edge a markedly more advanced offering than its predecessor.
Engine options will include a 183kW 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and a pair of 223kW turbo 2.7 and 212kW naturally-aspirated 3.5 litre V6 petrol engines.
“For three years in a row, Ford has been the best-selling utility vehicle brand in North America and has been experiencing exponential growth in global markets,” Ford’s Jim Farley said today.
“The all-new Edge is the next chapter in this story. And it’s a story driven by the emotional appeal of the vehicle - not its feature content.”
Is it the next chapter in Ford Australia’s SUV story? Nobody is saying, and with the Territory here until 2016, it could be some time before they do.