Jim Farley, head of Ford's global sales and marketing, said that in Europe the Edge will be aimed at market-leading SUV/crossovers from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Darren Palmer, Ford's assistant global vehicle line director for C/D cars, said the five-seat Edge is bigger inside than the seven-seat Audi Q7 but would cost “significantly less.”
The Q7 starts at 53,500 euros in Germany. Palmer declined to comment on its pricing compared to the Audi Q5, which starts at 35,900 euros.
Tripling SUV sales
Ford aims to triple its European SUV sales by 2018 from 90,000 last year with the Edge and its other SUV offerings, the medium-sized Kuga and subcompact EcoSport.
De Waard said Ford expects annual European sales of 20,000 for the Edge.
Sales of the Kuga in Europe increased by 38 percent to 39,700 in the first five months, Ford said. The Indian-built EcoSport has just gone on sale in the region. Ford said it has 16,000 orders from European customers for the EcoSport.
Ford said the SUV segment percentage of the total European passenger car market more than doubled to 21 percent in 2013 from 10 percent in 2008.
De Waard said the Edge would offer technology to rival premium SUVs. Equipment available will include adaptive steering that alters the ratio depending on speed to make it easier to maneuver in urban situations, the first Ford to offer this technology.
The Edge will also become the first European Ford to be offered with noise canceling technology that detects unwanted noise via cabin microphones and generates ‘opposing’ noise to block it out.
Other technology includes Ford’s Sync 2 connectivity system that links a smart phone to an eight-inch screen on the dashboard.
In Europe, the Edge will be sold with two versions of Ford’s 2.0-liter diesel engine, one with 180hp and CO2 emissions of 149 grams per km and the other with 210hp and emissions of 159g/km. All versions offer four-wheel drive.