The Ford Edge has always been a perfectly competent crossover SUV, but it's never been terribly exciting. But the Ford Edge Concept that just debuted at the LA Auto Show aims to spice things up with a sharper design and the automated driving technology of the future, today.
Ford says this is just a concept at the moment, but it sure looks close to production-ready in these photos. That's a good thing — it's an attractive SUV, and a stylish improvement over the current nice but boring Edge. It's also proof that Ford can make a decent-looking car without sticking that Aston Martin grille on everything.
More interesting than the design of the Edge Concept is the tech that will go into it, much of which is centered around automated driving aimed at making things "safer and more efficient."
First, it has fully assisted parking aid. It can get itself into a perpendicular parking space using ultrasonic sensors. What's even crazier is that this can be remote controlled from outside the vehicle: the car can remove itself from a tight parking space automatically while you stand outside, and when it's out, you can hop in and drive away.
Yes, the car can not only park itself, it can un-park itself. That's kind of nuts.
The Edge also has the kind of crash avoidance system that's increasingly common on newer, high-end cars. It will issue warnings if it detects slow-moving or stationary obstacles in the same lane ahead. If the driver doesn't act following the warnings, the system will automatically steer and brake the vehicle to avoid a collision.
Other driver aids include lane departure warning systems, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot warnings, many of which are already common on current Ford models and other cars.
The front end of the Edge Concept is also the latest car to use active grille shutters, seen on the C-Max hybrid and other cars, which automatically open and close to maintain the ideal engine operating temperature and maximize aerodynamic efficiency.
No word yet on powertrain choices, but Ford says it will have the next generation of EcoBoost engines with stop-start technology. If it's anything like the current Edge, it will have turbo four and V6 options.
Am I a fan of the automated driving aids promised on the Edge Concept? No, not really, although even I'll admit the remote parking feature is a neat trick. But when we start to see high-end stuff like this on humble Ford crossover vehicles, I think it's proof that these kinds of technologies really are the future.
Enjoy driving (and parking) yourself while you still can, I suppose.
More info in the press release.