The all-new wheels of the 2011 Ford Edge, on their own, tell a story about the popular midsize crossover’s new, bolder exterior look. Like Edge itself, the new wheel choices are more engaging and expressive. Straight intersections are replaced by flowing, harmonious lines that convey a greater sense of style.
“We made a conscious effort to give the wheels a more fluid, more organic look,” said Hak Soo Ha, exterior design manager of the 2011 Ford Edge. “We wanted a look that conveys more of a handcrafted, premium treatment to give the new Edge an unmistakable appearance.”
The new wheels also give a hint to the cutting-edge, class-exclusive features found inside. Available MyFord Touch driver connect technology highlights the list of 11 class-exclusive features found on the 2011 Ford Edge.
“The Edge customer values and appreciates style and technology. Both are key reasons for purchasing an Edge today,” said Brett Burin, Edge marketing manager. “Our wheels have to reflect those customer desires.”
Aftermarket-type wheels with factory engineering
The new 18- and 20-inch wheels are a half-inch wider than the outgoing models. This added width helps improve handling and creates a more connected feel for the driver.
Each series – SE, SEL, Limited and Sport – has a unique wheel. Both the SEL and Limited offer an optional chrome-clad wheel for those desiring a brighter or larger wheel option. “The majority of our customers choose to upgrade to either the brighter wheel on the SEL or the larger 20-inch wheel on the Limited, so it’s important we continue to provide those options,” said Burin.
Form and function working in harmony is a key component of the new wheel lineup as well.
Experienced designers and engineers worked closely with state-of-the-art computer tools to optimize form, fit and function to deliver world-class weight-efficient designs that exceed strict Ford requirements – higher than the industry standard – in terms of structural integrity, corrosion performance and other attributes. This ensures the new Edge wheels have higher standards than typically found in the aftermarket.
“Not only will Edge wheels have a stylish appeal, the surface will not degrade as quickly, which will keep them looking new much longer than what is typically available in the aftermarket,” said Rich Kreder, vehicle engineering manager.
Class-exclusive 22-inch wheels for Edge Sport a standout
Large wheels have been the signature of Edge Sport since its debut as a 2009 model year product. New for 2011 are class-exclusive 22-inch forged aluminum wheels that are standard and used only on Edge Sport.
Forged aluminum wheels are often the top choice in the aftermarket because of their premium quality and ability to combine high strength and light weight in one package.
“You can’t just throw 22-inch wheels on any vehicle; they have to be carefully matched for the ride and handling our customers demand,” Kreder said. “The specially tuned suspension has been carefully engineered to deliver a more connected feel between the driver and the road, and the 22-inch wheels provide a more direct input response to Edge Sport.”
Complementing the new wheels is a sport-tuned suspension with revised front strut tuning, rear spring rates and rear jounce bumper, which helps stiffen the suspension for a flatter, sportier ride. Key to the suspension tuning is the addition of high-flow shocks. These shocks allow tuning for both handling and ride without compromise to either.
“Drivers will feel a firmer connection to the road when going around a corner, and less jarring when hitting a pothole, for example,” said Kreder. “It’s allowed us to make Edge Sport much more comfortable without losing any handling.”
The tires were designed and engineered specifically for Edge Sport and deliver similar grip levels as those found in a Mustang GT tire combined with all-season performance. The wheels feature a polished finish with painted Tuxedo Black spoke accents.
Ford also match-mounts the tires, a step not taken by all manufacturers. This means wheels are precisely aligned with the tires, and wheel-tire assemblies are centered on precision-machined hub pilots. The wheel/tire/hub assemblies roll truer, which helps eliminate noise and vibration while improving ride comfort.
Here’s a closer look at the new wheels for the 2011 Edge:
18-inch painted aluminum
18-inch chrome-clad aluminum
20-inch chrome-clad aluminum
22-inch polished aluminum
“Edge customers tell us that styling and technology are key drivers for them, so everything we added for the 2011 Edge had to touch those points,” said Burin. “The new wheel lineup is one of several examples that deliver on those attributes, and something customers will notice immediately.”
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 159,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Aug. 16, 2010