It became clear at this year's CES and Detroit shows that the new Ford Edge would be a big deal. At CES, Ford showed off its new MyFord interface separate from any car, and at Detroit, the new Lincoln MKX featured the MyLincoln Touch cabin tech interface. Ford told us we would have to wait for the launch of the new Edge to see the MyFord version of the interface.
Ford used the Chicago Auto Show as its venue for the 2011 Edge, putting on stage a car with revised exterior styling and a host of new technologies, not to mention a couple of new engines.
The new Edge features MyFord Touch, an interface composed of one 8-inch touch screen on the center stack and two 4.3-inch LCDs in the instrument cluster. A five-way steering wheel button controls the content of each instrument cluster LCD, letting the driver view trip information, navigation, audio, climate, and phone.
A new song-tagging function works through Sync and the HD radio. When you hear a song you like on the radio, you can push a tag button on the touch screen, saving the song's information on an iPod plugged into Sync. Take that iPod home and hook it up to a computer, and it finds that song in the iTunes Store, giving you the option of buying it.
Ford makes adaptive cruise control an available option in the Edge, a very high-tech option not seen in cars at this price level. Adaptive cruise control also enables a precollision system, which uses the forward-facing radar to determine if a crash is imminent, braking and tightening seatbelts. Another useful driver aid technology available on the Edge is blind-spot detection.
The Edge's current 3.5-liter V-6 gets tuned up with Ford's Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing), to produce 280 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque, while getting an estimated 27 mpg highway. A 3.7-liter V-6 comes with the higher trim Edge Sport, putting out 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.
After the initial launch, Ford will make its new turbocharged direct injection 2-liter four-cylinder engine, part of the Ecoboost family, available for the Edge. Ford released no specifications for the Ecoboost four cylinder, merely saying that it should get 15 percent better fuel economy than the 3.5-liter V-6 while producing similar power.