DEARBORN, Mich. - The annual Further with Ford event opened to several hundred automotive media last week with remarks from Joe Hinrichs, president, The Americas, and Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, before the all-new Ford Edge was revealed by Moray Callum, vice president, Design.
"The excitement starts with the reveal of the all-new Ford Edge and we want to show you why this vehicle is so important to us at Ford," said Hinrichs. "But before we go into detail on that, I know you want to take a moment to reflect on the first half of this important transitional year with Ford Motor Company here in North America."
Hinrichs explained some of the years’ successes so far including the 19th-consecutive profitable quarter and the fact that, in this year of record product launches, those launched in the first six months (Ford Transit Connect, Ford Transit Connect Wagon, Ford Transit, Ford Super Duty and Lincoln MKC) had all gotten off to a good start. The success of these launches has generated a positive momentum Hinrichs said was sure to put the company in a good position to finish out the year with the launch of the all-new Ford F-150 and the next- generation Ford Mustang, Ford Expedition, Ford Focus and Lincoln Navigator.
Both Hinrichs and Nair shared the importance of expanding the Ford team to secure launch-success and to continue the pace of product innovation well into the future.
"Many of our hires will be focused on helping us continue to deliver great products," Nair added. "Of the more than 3,000 salaried jobs we’re creating this year, 80 percent of those will be technical professionals who will work in product development, manufacturing and quality."
Nair said this growing technical team is just one sign of the progress of the global technology strategy Ford outlined two years ago.
"We promised we would continue to deliver new signature features, and migrate them across the showroom bringing affordable technology to millions of customers. Our progress continues with this all-new Edge," said Nair.
Edge Technology and Mechanics
Equipped with every signature technology Ford has developed to date plus even more new features that make life easier and driving safer and more comfortable, the all-new Edge is a technology showcase. A truly global vehicle as well, Nair explained, Edge starts with the C/D platform that also underpins the Ford Fusion and Ford Mondeo.
"In the Edge the C/D platform contributes to a lighter and more rigid structure, a suspension tuned to global standards, and a quieter and smoother ride," said Nair.
Nair went on to describe one of Edge’s all-new innovations, Adaptive Steering, a first for Ford that makes the vehicle more enjoyable and easier to maneuver as well as the new twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost®, the new standard engine for Edge.
Nair added that the global powertrain platform provides flexibility, so for European customers diesel options were designed in from the very beginning. Also, to accommodate the build of the new Edge, Nair explained to the audience how Ford has invested $700 million to renovate the Oakville Assembly Plant where Edge will be assembled.
With some of the key-mechanics divulged, it was time for Callum to pull the silk off of Edge and explain what went into the exterior and interior design of the vehicle.
"It’s always a challenge to reinvent a customer favorite and we approached this design with great respect for the existing Edge," Callum said. "But, at the same time there’s real opportunity to modernize."
Callum explained customers are seeking products that reward them for their hard work, something even better than what they have experience in previous products.
"The first thing you recognize is the Edge silhouette," Callum said. "Sharp nose, airy cabin, a shortened hood with a swept-back windshield, purposeful proportions that speak to the character of Edge. And obviously you’ll recognize the new face of Ford. Overall, the Edge is sleeker looking and more aerodynamic as well."
Regarding the inside of Edge, Callum said the team worked and re-worked the interior to reduce physical and visual mass and create a perceived openness – a space in which everything flows. A space in which all elements have been well-executed from the right seat height and the right seat position to the right storage space, soft touch materials and satin finish interior trim.
"Too sum up, every detail of this vehicle is meant to create a premium experience that speaks to old customers and new customers who are looking to reward themselves with unique and special product," Callum said.