FORD EDGE

But don’t lock in that name just yet...

Wheels (Australia) - - Contents - TOBY HAGON

FORD is set to go into bat­tle with Toy­ota over the rights to the Edge name­plate that graces the global SUV that has fi­nally been con­firmed for Aus­tralia.

Ford said Edge will form an im­por­tant pil­lar in a broader SUV strat­egy planned to plug the hole left by Ter­ri­tory, which ends pro­duc­tion in Oc­to­ber (stocks will last un­til mid-2017).

How­ever, there’s one gi­ant hur­dle for Edge – Ford doesn’t own the rights to the name in Aus­tralia. That’s owned by Toy­ota, which has used the name on var­i­ous limited-edi­tion SUVS and hatches sold lo­cally.

Ford Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Graeme Whick­man said the com­pany is still work­ing on the naming is­sue.

“We’re weigh­ing up the pros and cons. It’s at an early stage ... there’s no rush,” he said.

As Wheels went to press Toy­ota said it hadn’t re­ceived any of­fi­cial re­quest from Ford re­gard­ing use of the Edge name in Aus­tralia. Cor­po­rate af­fairs man­ager Beck An­gel hinted there were no plans to re­lin­quish it.

“We own the trade­mark reg­is­tra­tions and ex­clu­sive rights to use Edge in re­la­tion to mo­tor ve­hi­cles, parts and ac­ces­sories in Aus­tralia,” An­gel told Wheels.

The move could force Ford to find an al­ter­na­tive, the most ob­vi­ous be­ing Ter­ri­tory.

The quandary is whether buy­ers see that as an Aus­tralian name that should be re­tired with the end of lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing – in line with the de­ci­sion to side­line the Fal­con name – or whether the Ter­ri­tory name could con­tinue on as an im­ported ve­hi­cle.

Those dis­cus­sions will no doubt play out be­tween now and 2018, when the car ar­rives.

Wheels un­der­stands the Edge will come in five-seat guise only, leav­ing Ford with­out a di­rect re­place­ment for the car­based Ter­ri­tory.

Ford also pro­duces a unique three-row Edge body for China, which sits on the same 2850mm wheel­base as the five-seat US model, but with an ex­tra 100mm added to the tail to ac­com­mo­date the third row.

It’s un­der­stood there are no plans to pro­duce the sev­enseater in the Cana­dian fac­tory that will sup­ply Aus­tralia.

Indeed, Ford says the Edge won’t be a straight re­place­ment for the lo­cal Ter­ri­tory.

Whereas Ter­ri­tory utilises the rear-drive ar­chi­tec­ture of the Fal­con – which Ford made a big deal of in mar­ket­ing the sole lo­cally built SUV – Edge rides on the un­der­pin­nings of the front-drive Mon­deo.

Edge is 110mm shorter but 30mm wider than Ter­ri­tory, with a wheel­base 7mm longer. Com­bined with a trans­verse en­gine lay­out, it prom­ises good in­te­rior space.

Over­seas, Edge is avail­able with a 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo, 3.5-litre V6 and 2.7-litre twin-turbo V6, as well as a 2.0litre turbo-diesel. The diesel is the most likely, with Ford Aus­tralia also con­sid­er­ing at least one of the petrol engines.

FIVE-SEATER EDGE (ABOVE) HAS A 100MM-SHORTER BODY THAN SEVEN-SEAT EDGE DE­VEL­OPED SPECIF­I­CALLY FOR CHINA (OP­PO­SITE PAGE, TOP)

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