So it's safe to say the Edge ST was a surprise. Good on Ford for that, since real surprises are rare these days. And good on Ford for taking a chance. We've driven the closest thing to the ST, the aforementioned Edge Sport, and we can extrapolate a bit about what we think the ST will be all about.
For one, the 2.7 EcoBoost is an excellent engine. We've sampled it in basically everything the company puts it in, including the super-sleeper Ford Fusion Sport that packs 325 horsepower into a very understated package. We're starting to think of it a bit like a smallblock V8, becoming a source of ample power in a compact package for part of the lineup, and little brother to the even more versatile 3.5-liter.
And in the Edge Sport, it provided 315 horsepower. Now, don't get us wrong, the 2015+ Edge is a bit portly to be considered sporty in an absolute sense, coming in at about 4,400 lbs. But it provided ample reserve power for slingshotting around traffic and merging, and that power was particularly noticeable on the freeway.
Where the Edge ST has it exactly right is turning up the wick even further and giving it some extra equipment, although at what cost we don't quite know. The eight-speed auto should give the computer more options for channeling power through the standard AWD system. And given the 2.7's myriad tunes, from mild in the F-150 to lots of fun in the Fusion Sport and Edge Sport, we expect this to feel and sound livelier than the Edge Sport's (otherwise similar) engine.
The elephant on the hood is the ST identity itself. We won't be able to tell you if the ST successfully bridges the gap between ST attitude and two-row crossover practicality until we drive it. But a Ford Performance crossover by definition requires us to suspend disbelief, and it'll have to prove itself worthy of the badge since it doesn't naturally jive with what the ST badge has come to mean through other products that wear it. Then again, none of the other Ford Performance lines make more sense on the vehicle, and the SVT nomenclature is long dead. The "Sport" moniker obviously didn't set the Edge Sport itself apart enough to be noticed.
The Edge Sport made us reconsider the Edge itself, which somehow has slipped between the cracks in enthusiasts' and consumers' thinking. It sells about half the volume of the Explorer in a given month, although the raw monthly sales figures for the Edge are better than you might assume given its low profile.
We think the Edge ST might move the needle a bit for this product, if not for the sort of enthusiasts that the ST cars used to appeal to. Then again, everyone grows up, and it's awfully tough to squeeze a couple toddlers in a Fiesta ST. Does Hoonigan sell a stick figure family decal?