When you add the ST badge to anything from the Blue Oval, expectations tend to go through the roof and rightly so (look at the fab Focus and Fiesta ST for details). But, wearing that hallowed moniker now is the hulking Edge SUV. Can this family hauler pull off the ultimate trick by transforming from workhorse to racehorse once little Johnny has been dropped off at school and the groceries are packed in the fridge?

This was always going to be a bold move from Ford, so let’s give them credit for even attempting such a thing — and a big pat on the back for pulling it off. This is their first SUV to bear the mark of its performance-oriented ST sub-brand and it sure is more fun to wheel than the regular Edge. That is thanks primarily to its reworked suspension and more potent twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 2.7-litre V6. Compared to the Edge Sport, the ST makes 20 more horses for a total of 335 and a very healthy 515Nm of torque. The motor — the most powerful V6 in its class — is mated to a new quick-shifting eight-speed automatic (with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters) that sends the power to all four wheels, while its chassis — particularly its independent multi-link rear suspension and new monotube shocks — is tuned to deliver more precise handling. Sure, the suspension is now stiffer but the Edge ST is still comfortable to drive. Perhaps best of all is the new Sport Mode (engaged by an “S” button in the middle of the rotary gear selector) which makes the SUV even more aggressive by sharpening up the throttle and holding the cogs closer to the redline through cornering manoeuvres — but push it too hard and the tyres start screaming. “Oi! I’m not a Cayenne Turbo you know!”, minus some expletives is what they’ll be saying.

 

Photos: Stefan Lindeque

It looks the part too; complementing the newfound performance is the aggressive front fascia which draws some inspiration from the Mustang Shelby GT350. From the new wide mesh grille, deep side skirts and a shapely rear bumper cover with squared-off cut-outs for the dual exhaust outlets, it’s got it going on. Unique 21in wheels are standard while interior design cues on the steering, seat backs and scuff plates provide reminders that this five-passenger family-hauler is indeed something special.

Some of the tech includes Post-Collision Braking, Evasive Steering Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centring while the Ford Co-Pilot360 bundles popular, advanced driver-assist features which were previously available only as separate options. The goodies include Blind Spot Information System, Cross-traffic Alert, Pre-collision Assist with automatic emergency braking, Auto High Beams, Lane-keep Assist and a Rear View Camera. Ensuring it is as safe as houses are the dual-stage airbags and side-curtain airbags.

It also features a wireless charging pad, 12-speaker B&O Play Premium Audio System by Harman, Sync 3 infotainment system with AppLink and an enhanced voice-recognition communications system.

If you demand performance on top of practicality but the likes of the Audi SQ5 and Jaguar F-Pace S are out of reach, then the Edge ST should tick all the boxes.