This much we know: an updated version of the Ford Edge SUV will roll-into Australian dealerships sometime in 2018.
The smart Edge, popular in the US and global markets, will be filling the void left when production of the local Ford Territory ends - but even a cursory glance of the calendar shows there will be lengthy gap before the Edge arrives.
But wait, it gets more complicated…
The Edge got the nod for Australia after Ford decided the North American Explorer model would not be produced in right-hand-drive.
Ford manufactures the Edge in right-hand-drive (for sale in the UK) at its plant in Ontario, Canada but only as a five-seat version.
There is a seven-seat Ford Edge made in China but, while Ford Australia President Graeme Whickman says the version we eventually see on-sale here is unlikely to come from China. So far from launch, production details remain unclear and Whickman would not be drawn into speculation as to the sourcing of the Edge for this market.
And don’t be surprised if the Ford Edge arrives in Australia wearing a ‘Territory’ badge: “We’re working through the nomenclature at the moment,” Mr Whickman said, adding that he personally favours sticking with global model names.
While coy on getting into specifics, Ford says the Edge will arrive with best-in-class design, technology and fuel consumption.
Under an over-arching intent to have 18 new SUV variants and models joining the Australian market and more than one-in-three new vehicle sales now being racked-up by SUVs, Mr Whickman argues the Edge isn’t just a straight-out replacement for the Territory.
The segment’s dynamics, he said, have shifted in the 12 years since the unique six-cylinder Territory was produced in Campbellfield, Victoria.
In that context he said: “Edge can carry a broad bandwidth of multiple variants - including luxury – so it will have many competitors, not just (Toyota) Kluger.”
Styling is certainly handsome and will be even better as we’re in-line for the first facelifted version of the all-new model which launched in the UK a few months ago. There, the range is headlined by a Sport model boasting a 155kW/450Nm twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel driving all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Ford Edge Sport isn’t lacking for standard kit either – leather-trimmed interior, 20-inch alloy wheels, front-view camera and an eight-inch infotainment screen with satellite navigation are just part of the story.
Edge shares its platform with the latest Ford Mondeo and inside the styling has some Mondeo cues – it’s fresh, spacious and looks very comfortable.
Luggage space sounds family-friendly – 602-litres with the rear seat in-place or 1788-litres when folded (but remember the Edge is only a five-seater in all markets except China).
Looking forward, Ford anticipates the Edge will be one of 10-to-12 model nameplates occupying showroom floors after the end of Falcon/Territory – a situation Mr Whickman says has been warmly received by the company’s nationwide dealers.
“Dealers understand our strategy and this year they will see year-on-year growth for the first time in a long time and they understand the proliferation of new models,” he said.
Note: Overseas model shown.
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