DETROIT -- The Ford Edge, one of the top-selling midsize crossovers, is undergoing slight cosmetic changes for 2019 while adding what Ford says are the most standard driver-assist systems in the segment and a new ST performance variant that will replace the Sport package.
The freshened Edge, built in Oakville, Ont., and unwrapped Thursday ahead of the Detroit auto show, comes standard with a 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine paired with a new eight-speed transmission that gets 250 hp, 5 more than the current model, and 275 pound-feet of torque. The ST will get a specially-tuned 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6 that generates 335 hp and 380 pound-feet of torque.
Ford says preparations already underway for production in Oakville, Ont. The automaker says it plans to export the vehicle to 100 countries in 2019.
But spokeswoman Lauren More says the company has no plans to hire more workers or change its operating pattern at the plant.
The move comes a year after Ford pledged $1.2 billion over four years to retool its Canadian plants, and create a research and engineering centre in Ottawa.
It was part of a contract deal negotiated in November 2016 between Ford and Unifor that had the automaker invest $700 million for its assembly plants in Windsor, Ont., and Oakville.
ON SALE SOON
Both the Edge and the Edge ST go on sale this summer.
"Edge drivers expect a sophisticated, modern driving experience," Cristina Aquino, Edge marketing manager, said in a statement. "Bringing a host of new technologies as standard and introducing these segment-first features helps ensure customers feel more confident behind the wheel."
Standard technologies include: post-collision braking; forward-collision warning and dynamic brake support; pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection; lane-departure warning; hill-start assist; and blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert. New optional technologies include evasive steering assist and lane centreing.
Ford also updated the front end, widening the grille and setting it apart from the headlights. The Edge will come in four new exterior colour choices and four wheel options. The rear includes a new liftgate design, new LED taillamps and a dual exhaust opening.
Inside, the Edge gets a redesigned centre console with a new rotary gear shifter.
It comes standard with FordPass Connect, formerly known as Sync Connect. It will also come standard with a Wi-Fi hot spot that can connect up to 10 devices, a feature Ford has been rolling out on many of its new vehicles.
Ford says the 2018 Edge will feature improved fuel economy but declined to provide details.