• Jan 6, 2011
Same New Skin, Big New Heart

2011 Ford Edge EcoBoost - Click above for high-res image gallery

Can you have your cake and eat it too? Ford thinks so. The Dearborn darling is in the middle of unleashing a slew of turbocharged, direct-injection engines for its products in North America, and we recently had a chance to sample a few. We were most interested, however, in one particular vehicle: the 2011 Edge equipped with Ford's new 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. After some seat time with the Edge EcoBoost and a quick shake of our automotive journalist-issued Magic 8-Ball, we can confidently say Outlook Good for this Blue Oval-badged mid-size crossover. Outlook good, indeed.

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Photos copyright ©2011 Jeff Glucker / AOL

The 2011 Ford Edge EcoBoost looks just like the refreshed 2011 Ford Edge Limited we drove earlier this year. The only difference on the outside is an EcoBoost badge on the rear hatch. It's essentially the same CUV with a very different motivational tool under the hood: a turbocharged, direct-inject 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, a powerplant that Ford wouldn't let us photograph on the day of our drive. This same engine is currently on sale in Europe under the bonnet of the Ford Mondeo where it's rated at 200 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque.

The version we sampled was a pre-production North American unit, which we were told was still in the early stages of development. Power figures were simply stated as "230-plus horsepower" and "250-plus pound-feet of torque." Engineers on hand informed us they were still working to get every last bit of power from the highly tuned engine. The 2012 Ford Focus ST, which will utilize the same EcoBoost engine, is rated at 247 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, so we expect similar numbers for the Edge EcoBoost as well. In comparison, the larger 3.5-liter V6 in the naturally-aspirated Edge produces 285 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque yet the EcoBoost unit is 55 pounds lighter .

2011 Ford Edge EcoBoost side view2011 Ford Edge EcoBoost front view2011 Ford Edge EcoBoost rear view

Ford's 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, like the 3.5-liter V6 and upcoming 1.6-liter four-cylinder, boasts a wide range of technology that helps push power and fuel economy numbers up while allowing for lower displacement and reduced weight. Working closely with Honeywell, Ford crafted a low-inertia turbo that spools up faster and helps eliminate lag. The direct-injection of the fuel allows for a higher compression ratio and a more efficient burn as well as reduced emissions. Timing on each cam, for both the intake and exhaust cycles, is adjustable thanks to the Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing), and this helps give the Edge the trademark flat torque curve that EcoBoost engines are noted for.

Understanding what's going on under the hood is one thing, but driving the Edge is where math and science meet the road. This may have been a pre-production powertrain, but we still wanted to see what it could do. The first thing we did was mash the gas pedal into the carpet. Power was sent to the front wheels and the result was surprisingly strong acceleration that left us with a Jack Nicholson-era Joker smile. There was no lag, just instant go. Like the larger, twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 we've sampled in so many other vehicles, the 2.0-liter manages to feel nothing like what its displacement and cylinder count suggest on paper.

2011 Ford Edge EcoBoost badge2011 Ford Edge EcoBoost interior2011 Ford Edge EcoBoost instrument panel

Offering a four-cylinder as the Edge's premium optional engine sounds like crazy talk at first, but the bold decision makes some sense. Not only is power on par with the larger V6, but fuel economy is expected to improve anywhere from 10 to 20 percent. The front-wheel-drive V6-powered Edge is rated at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. With the EcoBoost, those numbers should rise to 20-23 mpg city and 30-32 mpg highway. It remains to be seen how many consumers are willing to pay more for similar power and better fuel economy out of a smaller powerplant, but if fuel prices rise as expected, this brave Blue Oval bet could just be a masterstroke.

Ford is putting a lot of time, money and marketing behind the entire EcoBoost family of engines, and by 2013, it will offer a variation of these turbocharged, direct-inject engines in 90 percent of its North American model lineup. Besides the 2.0-liter, we also sampled the 3.5-liter V6 and 1.6-liter four-cylinder, and the results mirrored each other. Their torque curves are flat and each model we drove them in surged toward the horizon with the same sense of urgency, be it the Edge, Flex or Fiesta.

In the case of the 2011 Ford Edge, however, adding the EcoBoost engine is like turning a circle into a sphere; the Edge was already exceptionally well-rounded, but now it excels in a whole new dimension.

Photos copyright ©2011 Jeff Glucker / AOL

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Still no new updates on when this will be released????? what the heck is up autoblog. this is old
      • 4 Years Ago
      I owned a CX7 for a while and it was a great ride. I believe it shared the same platform as the Edge. I regret selling it. This new model has a really bad ass looking front end.

      I'm more of a car guy now, but these are actually really nice SUVs at a good price point.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good news guys, can't wait to see the final result and the rest of the Ecoboost line in smaller cars, mainly the Fiesta.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bingo, my thoughts exactly!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, the Edge just keeps getting better and better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My wife has a '10 Edge and it's a nice vehicle. For the driving she does (short trips) she gets ~16 - 17 MPG. When we take it on road trips I generally get ~ 21 MPG. If the 20% increase estimates in the turbo motor hold true (compared to '11 model v-6) then this should be a nice upgrade indeed. However I'm not that excited if MPG is only the lower 10% estimate.

      Seems like there is a lot going on under the hood for only a 10% increase in economy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That would be a great idea. Autoblog, make it so! :-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe autoblog will do a real life exact comparison once the production version is out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      anybody else notice the different mirrors??? wonder what that's all about...
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about a tall geared 3.7 V6?
      Let Lincoln continue with 3.16/3.39 front/'awd'
      Ford can use 2.77/3.16
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dear Audi -

      I love your styling, but your ubiquitous and once class leading 2.0T engine is starting to feel pretty weak. That's all.
        • 4 Years Ago
        research formula II and formula audi palmer and see what the 1.8 20 valve turbo can do.
        considering these are the classes where 16 20 year old boys run.

        it's not just that audi can't tweak the sourcecode, but will it danger other model sales.

        audi, vw, bmw, Daimler know the real world situacion, something american public just recently started to see peeking around the corner.

        bmw sells what?
        2 or 3 engines in the 3 series¿?
        here that's atleast 6/7 or 8 engine choices
      • 4 Years Ago
      So what happens to the Flex?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have been to 2 Ford dealers, one did not even know about EcoBoost engine in the Edge. The other said he had heard of it, but had no information. We do need AWD, so based on this report why wait for this car. Even if someone knew when it will be available.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I had a first-gen 2004 6s. I still curse the moron who decided to do some free body work on it for me. I loved that car, and it took a long time to actually track down a hatchback with a V6 and a manual. I wouldn't buy the new 6, or any Mazda now after owning 3 of them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why would you ever go to a dealership for information?

        95% of the sales force are 100% clueless about the products that they are selling.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Nightflight: No kidding. When I was looking for a Mazda6 with the V6 and manual combo, I was in visiting another city (having scoured all my local options) and stopped by the Mazda dealer on a whim. I asked if they had any S models with the V6 and manual transmission. He said they had several, which made me a bit suspicious, and took me over to one. He opened the door, and...it had the auto. I told him I wanted the manual and he said "It is! Just slide the shifter over, and you can shift it manually all you want!" When I told him I wanted the honest-to-goodness, three pedals on the floor, shift it yourself every time manual, he said "you can get that with the V6?"

        @ack154: That is my question. On the F150, for example, the Ecoboost V6 is a range topper and carries a hefty price tag. How much extra is the Ecoboost 4 in the Edge? If it is too high, it won't be worth it for a couple of extra MPG.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Steve, AFAIK they don't offer the new Mazda6 V6 with a manual.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They tested a front-wheel drive model but I didn't read where the 4 turbo wasn't going to be offered with AWD. Is that common knowledge or did I miss something in the article?
      • 4 Years Ago
      OH NO! FORD is doing what Chrysler is finally getting away from. I applaud Ford for their new engines. Im ALL FOR more power and better fuel economy. But why does EVERY NEW FORD have the SAME FACE and taillight design? I get that your vehicles for a specific brand should appear to be from the SAME collection. But they shouldnt look like twins. The Taurus was a nice start as it was... Then they moved the SAME FACE to the Edge.. AND the Explorer.. Even the Flex looks similar to the other vehicles. Out of all the new Fords being released the Flex is my choice (as far as design). Give it a nice smallblock V-8 and it would be a HUGE seller. Im not s huge fan of any of the Detroit 3.. Well 2... (Chrysler is not longer considered American).. Sad.. But i digress... GM is the only American automaker WOW-ing me. I dont need 60 mpg in my 200mph vehicle. Americans dont buy POWERFUL vehicles with concern over mpg. Atleast when you seem a GM lineup either Chevy or Buick or Cadillac you can see the distinction between vehicles. Even cars that share platforms can have very different appearances. GM had falled into this issue a few years back but after their bankruptcy scare theyve really fired back with some amazing new vehicles. And with a 100K mile warranty how would you not trust it. Sorry Ford.. My next vehicle will likely be a GM.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let's see the new Ecoboost 6 in the Fusion or something lower to the ground.
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