Wednesday 26 October 2016

New Ford living on the Edge

The latest offering has all the bells and whistles you'll need - but it comes at a price

Martin Brennan

Published 29/05/2016 | 02:30

Edging ahead: The new Ford Edge
Edging ahead: The new Ford Edge
Peugeot have unveiled the latest 3008

An armchair Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) may be a contradiction in terms, but that is what Ford is delivering in its latest offering, the Edge. Canadian-built, it has been on sale in the North American market for the past two years but now comes to our shores in the wake of the other Ford flag-flyer, the Mustang, with specially adapted suspension to cater for the more twisty roads in European markets.

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It boasts top-class refinement, using noise cancelling technology to keep out unwanted wind and traffic noise from the cabin, and heated and cooled seats. The relaxed driving theme continues with a front wide-view camera, which Ford boasts can see around corners - even when the driver can't. Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive uses 25 sensors to send torque to the wheels that need it most in under 20 milliseconds - 20 times quicker than it takes to blink.

Other on-board technology includes automatic braking that prevents pedestrian injury and adaptive steering for easy manoeuvrability. Of course, for such a large vehicle there is sophisticated parking technology that will locate a space and steer in and out, hands-free. Add in SatNav and a reversing camera for a stress-free package.

But such pampering comes with a hefty price. Starting at €55,000, it can rise by €10,000 for even more bells and whistles - a high price for a five-seater. The seven-seater option is not available here. Competitors such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC90 start at entry prices that are about €10,000 lower. Ford may have to think about the strategy of bringing in only top-level trim models, Titanium and Sport, as a more attractive price structure would help sales.

The Edge comes with a choice of two 2-litre diesel engines - 180bhp and a 210bhp Bi-turbo version. Both deliver 5.8L/100km (48.7mpg) and 149g/km C02.

Meanwhile, over at Peugeot - where a new 3008 SUV has been unveiled - a Galway man is spearheading a traffic-busting solution for the PSA group.

Cathal Loughnane from Oranmore, who heads Peugeot's design laboratory, has developed an E-bike which can be charged up in the boot of the 3008 while on the move. When needed for congested city commuting, it can be assembled in 15 seconds, travel 12kms at 25km/h and continue to be on charge through regenerative braking. An E-two and three-wheel scooter will also be on offer.

These accessories will be displayed at the Paris Motor Show in September. It will be here in October for 2017 sales.

The 3008 is aimed at the mid-sized SUV market and boasts a state-of-the-art i-Cockpit, which controls the brightness of interior lighting, colour of the screens, provides a seat massage mode and switches from dynamic to 'Relax' mode. It even controls a fragrance diffuser.

Lower and longer than the outgoing model, there will be two 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engines on offer - 130bhp and 165bhp - and three diesel engines with power output ranging from 100bhp to 180bhp.

Sunday Independent

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