VMP checks out the all-new 335 horsepower Edge ST
By Evan J. Smith
Ford’s newest member of the performance family is not a hopped up Fusion or a Mustang. It’s the all-new 2019 Edge ST. It comes with fresh styling, a taught suspension and the 2.7 L twin-turbo EcoBoost engine boasting 335 horsepower and 380 lb·ft of torque. The EcoBoost V6 is connected to a revised 8-speed transmission. Its power is planted to all four tires thanks to Ford’s latest all-wheel-drive system.
Putting the ST badge on an SUV is a first for Ford. It reinforces its dedication to the utility-mode of the vehicle. “ST is much more than a badge,” said Hau Ti Tang, Ford Global Head of Product Development and Purchasing. “Clearly it’s a differentiated series—it has all the right appointments, but it’s an experience. It’s something that gives our enthusiast customers what they want, which is the joy of driving.”
VMP Performance was able to get behind the wheel of a brand-new Edge ST and experience the spirited acceleration, tight handling, and impressive braking. We also delved into the vast array of technology and connectivity.
Before hitting the road we spoke with Ford Edge chief engineer, Tom Ozog, who gave us a thorough vehicle walk-around.
“[The Edge] had to have performance that delivered on the ST brand,” he told us. “It also had to give you an engaging driving experience and have style on the exterior and interior. So, we started out with the 2.7 L twin-turbo EcoBoost engine. It provides the acceleration that you want so you can really enjoy the driving experience. We’ve also done a number of things on the chassis. We’ve taken our front sway-bar from a tubular design to a solid and stiffened the springs 10-percent in the front and 20-percent on the rear. The team also changed the rear shocks from a twin-tube to a mono-tube design. What we’re doing with dampening control is providing good body control and better overall driving dynamics,” Ozog stated. “For braking performance, it is important to have good thermal efficiency, so the front and rear rotors are both vented. And we upsized the rear rotor from a 316 mm to 345 mm,” he added.
In addition to our road drive, we had the chance to run the ST through Ford’s Autocross competition. A group of 80 writers and V-bloggers competed, but this was no ordinary Autocross. Drivers were required to utilize the “Sport” and “Utility”features of the Edge ST by making a pit stop. After making a lap, drivers had to jump out, pop the hatch, load three big boxes, then hop back in, click the seatbelt, and rip off a second hot lap. Adding to the challenge, Ford set up a tight course requiring precision maneuvering and perfect choreography. A winning lap required a speedy run with no time penalties.
At stake were cool prizes like an Alexa or wireless headphones. The overall winner received a giant 12-foot stuffed bear that Ford used in recent 2019 Ford Edge TV commercials.
When we finally got our chance, the time to beat was just over one minute. On our first attempt we clocked a 1:05:66, about 5 seconds off the pace. Our plan to improve was foiled when with a fumble on the hatch button, only mustering a 1:26.
The problem clearly wasn’t the ST, either. It was fast, turned accurately with only a touch of understeer. Acceleration was solid on the course, especially when the turbos spooled up. The brakes worked amazingly well, too. They had a firm feel and never showed signs of fade. In fact, Ford used the same ST all day, so dozens of journalists made endless laps and it never showed signs of weakness.
Eager for another chance, we waited in line and in due time climbed in and went for it. On our next run we stopped the timer in 1:03:45, but it wasn’t perfect. The track driving was good, but we were slow on the pit stop, again.
Thankfully there was time for one more run. We slithered the Edge ST through the cones, nailed the pit stop, and got in a clean second lap. Amazingly, we beat the top runner, cracking a minute with a score of 58:56, putting VMP Performance on top.
VMP customers looking for a do-it-all vehicle will be happy with the Edge ST. It’s a capable hauler that can also get with it and slice the corners. The EcoBoost V6 is a virtual clone of the F-150 variant. VMP can help you up the power, giving your Edge ST better acceleration, improved throttle response, and in some cases better fuel economy.