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Ford Motor Co. will introduce an all-new sporty Edge ST to its lineup in 2018.

It’s the company’s first SUV tuned by the Ford Performance team responsible for the GT supercar, zippy Focus RS and powerful F-150 Raptor. It will bring Ford’s SUV lineup up-to-speed with crosstown rivals General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, which last year unveiled performance trims for full-size SUV models.

The new ST accompanies a refresh for the entire Edge lineup, which Ford calls its “medium-utility” vehicle. The Dearborn-based automaker sold 142,603 Edges last year, making it the third-best selling SUV for the company.

Designers tweaked interior and exterior components on the Edge, giving the vehicle a wider grille and new fascia, but the refresh focuses most on technology.

Following CEO Jim Hackett’s mantra — smart vehicles for a smart world — the 2019 Edge is outfitted with a full suite of driver-assist features. Ford claims it has more features than any vehicle in its class.

The 2019 model comes standard with forward-collision warning, dynamic-brake support, pre-collision assist, pedestrian detection, blind-spot detection, cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping alert and assist, automatic high beams and hill-start assist. The Edge also has available post-collision braking, which Ford said automatically applies moderate brake pressure in the event of a collision to avoid further injury, damage to the vehicle or a second collision.

The vehicle also has available evasive-steering assist to help drivers steer around stopped or slowing vehicles. There’s also available adaptive cruise-control and lane-centering features.

Ford’s also outfitted the updated SUV with a wireless charging pad and an available 12-speaker B&O Play premium audio system. Edge models will come standard with FordPass Connect, a WiFi hotspot that can connect up to 10 devices. Engineers said the service is free for a trial period, after which owners will have to pay for the connection through a provider. Sync comes standard on the vehicles.

But Aquino and others noted that all the technology wouldn’t be worth much if the Edge wasn’t a fun ride.

The ST isn’t meant to be a track vehicle. It’s an every-day driver that adds some pep to a smaller SUV. The goal for Ford was to make an SUV that is “fun to drive,” Aquino said.

The all-new performance SUV has a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 engine that churns out 335-horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. That engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive with selectable traction control. The ST has an available performance brake package and tuned suspension. Paddle shifters allow drivers to switch into manual mode.

The redesigned Edge comes in SE, SEL and Titanium trims. The standard vehicle comes with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine paired with an 8-speed transmission. All models have a redesigned center console housing the rotary gearshift dial Ford’s rolled out on some of its vehicles.

The redesigned Edge and Edge ST go on sale this summer. The vehicles are made at the Oakville Assembly Plant in Oakville, Ontario.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

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