Ford has revealed that prices for the Edge SUV will start at £29,995 for the entry-level 177bhp 2.0-litre TDCi Zetec model.
The 177bhp engine is also available in the Titanium and Sport spec levels, priced at £32,245 and £34,495 respectively. A 207bhp, Powershift automatic 2.0-litre TDCi unit is also offered, costing £24,495 in Titanium spec, and £36,745 as the range-topping Sport.
Intelligent all-wheel drive, pedestrian detection, Active Noise Control, a DAB radio with Ford's SYNC 2 connectivity system, 19in alloy wheels and privacy glass come as standard across the Edge range. Heated front and rear seats, as well as cooled front seats, are available from Titanium spec upwards.
Company sources confirmed they are hoping to launch the medium-sized Edge in spring 2016, but it will not spell the end for the MPV segment.
“The bigger segments are naturally in a period of reduction, but that has mostly been felt in the Mondeo segment to make room for SUVs,” a source said.
“The SUVs complement the range, but they are not a replacement for the MPVs in Ford’s future.”
The Edge is described as an "upscale utility vehicle". It is an all-new design based on the same global C/D platform as the new Mondeo and S-Max models and will in effect become Ford’s European flagship.
Previewed in concept form at the LA motor show in November 2013, the prototype shown at the Paris motor show in 2014 indicates that Ford is planning to stick closely to the design of the concept. A large, multi-barred grille can be seen at the front, as well as a muscular front bumper and raked rear windscreen.
That large grille is believed to include new active shutters, which automatically open and close to help control temperatures inside the engine bay.
The Edge will slot in as the third SUV in Ford’s showroom line-up above the Kuga and the recently launched EcoSport. Ford says the utility segment of the European new car market grew from 10% in 2008 to 21% in 2013, with sales of the Kuga said to be up 38 per cent year on year for the first five months of 2014. The first generation of the Edge was a US-market-only car but was a significant success for the brand.
Ford says the Edge has been designed “from the ground up to be visually athletic and to meet high expectations for quality in Europe”. It describes the car as “upscale, refined, technologically advanced and spacious”.
Ford’s European marketing chief, Roelant de Waard, said the Edge offers more passenger space than similar-sized SUVs that cost considerably more. “The styling and suite of comfort, convenience and safety technologies rival the premium offerings in Europe,” he added. Ford also promises its characteristic handling prowess for the Edge.
The new technologies offered on the Edge include Adaptive Steering, Active Noise Cancellation and Front Split View Camera. Ford says its Adaptive Steering system continually changes the steering ratio with the vehicle speed, which it claims optimises the steering response anywhere between parking speeds and motorway cruising speeds.
The Active Noise Cancellation system features three cabin-mounted microphones which it uses to help generate opposing sound waves via the audio system’s speakers. These sound waves act as cancellation against unwanted engine and road noise in the Edge’s cabin.