The Ford Edge concept has been unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show, previewing the high-tech successor to the Ford Territory.
A global model under the brand's 'One Ford' strategy, the second-generation Ford Edge will be built in Canada from 2015 and replace the Territory when the Australian-made large SUV is discontinued the following year.
The Edge concept debuts a number of advanced technologies for the Detroit-based car maker, with an emphasis on autonomous driving functions.
The Edge’s fully assisted parking aid system allows drivers to park at the touch of a button, or even remotely from outside the car. The technology builds on Ford’s current active park assist system, using ultrasonic sensors to help guide the vehicle into and out of parallel parking spaces.
Similar sensor and automated vehicle control technology facilitates the Edge concept’s obstacle avoidance system, which issues warnings if it detects slow-moving or stationary obstacles in the vehicle’s path before automatically braking and/or steering to avoid a collision if the driver fails to react.
The Ford Edge concept also debuts adaptive steering, designed to make steering at low speeds easier and in all conditions make it feel “more confident and engaging”.
Other driver assist features of the Edge concept already available in Ford production models include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping system and blind spot information system.
Ford says the Edge concept is powered by a next-generation EcoBoost engine, though has not released any details on its capacity or performance data. The engine incorporates stop-start technology, which works alongside active grille shutters that open and close to maximise aerodynamic efficiency in the pursuit of optimising fuel economy.
The Ford Edge concept previews the next phase in the car maker’s evolving design language, taking cues from the subcompact EcoSport SUV at the front and the new-generation Mondeo at the rear, while incorporating squarer lines and sharper angles.
Dominating the front end is a hexagonal chrome grille, which is flanked by connecting trapezoidal LED headlights.
Short overhangs, clean door panels and heavily raked front and rear windscreens give the Edge concept a profile reminiscent of the Range Rover Evoque, while slim LED tail-lights span the width of the tailgate. Ford may be forced to extend the roof and flatten the tailgate if the production version of the Edge is to seat seven as the Territory does, however.
A 10-inch touchscreen integrating the car maker’s MyFord Touch operating system is the focal point of the Edge concept’s cabin, and is supported by a digital instrument cluster.
Blue carpets and ambient lighting juxtapose black and white leather and trim materials, with contrast stitching and brushed metal brightwork adding further character to the interior.
It’s unclear at this stage exactly when Ford Australia will begin to import the second-generation large SUV, and whether it will be badged Edge or Territory in our market.
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