Ford to preview next Edge with Crossover concept in LA image

Ford’s once-popular midsized crossover vehicle has been lagging behind the recovery of the overall U.S. market over the last year, so the Detroit maker is hoping a concept version will help it regain its “edge”.

After its launch during the 2007 model-year, the Ford Edge became one of the midsize crossover segment’s most popular offerings, but it has been losing momentum since the 2012 redesign of the Explorer, with the debut of the all-new 2013 Ford Escape delivering another body blow.

Ford is holding back details on the 2015 Edge until its news conference at the L.A. Convention Center later this week. But the maker is expected to take a number of steps to expand its appeal. For one thing, it will adopt a more dynamic design in keeping with the new global look that has worked so effectively for both Escape and Explorer – and for recently redesigned passenger cars such as the Ford Fusion.

Expect Edge to get a number of new, high-tech safety and convenience features, in keeping with the general industry trend, especially for products aimed at younger family buyers. Another critical step will be to update the outgoing Edge model’s powertrain line-up, currently limited to the 2.0-liter EcoBoost. That powertrain has been among the more fuel-efficient in the segment, but buyers have shown a desire to have more options and Ford is reportedly looking at providing several different EcoBoost variants to buyers of the next-generation Edge.

The new Ford Edge will also be sold in a number of overseas markets, including Europe, Russia and China. Edge sales peaked in 2007, immediately after the vehicle’s launch, and then tumbled during the U.S. automotive recession. Volumes have risen again over the last three years and could nip 130,000 this year. But demand has grown only 3% during the first nine months of 2013, barely a third the pace of the overall U.S. automotive recovery.