2019 Ford Edge ST Can Be 100% Front-Wheel Drive, Thanks to New All-Wheel Drive Disconnect System [News]

Computer algorithms can detect whether the Edge should be all-wheel drive in 10 milliseconds.

2019 Ford Edge, Edge ST use new AI-powered all-wheel drive system
2019 Ford Edge ST. [Photo: Ford]

All-wheel drive disconnect comes standard on the 2019 Ford Edge ST, and is available as an option on other Edge models.

These days, fuel economy can be just as much of a hard-hitting selling point as performance. In the 2019 Ford Edge ST, there’s now a standard intelligent all-wheel drive disconnect system that can decouple the rear axle to run in 100-percent front-wheel drive configuration. The idea there, of course, is better fuel economy from the 335 horsepower 2.7-liter turbocharged V6.

An intelligent all-wheel drive system that can disconnect the rear axle is nothing new. However, Ford’s setup for the new Edge is different from previous models. It uses dozens of sensors around the car as well as “fuzzy logic” algorithms to determine the best time to engage the rear axle. According to Ford, the system can make that decision in 10 milliseconds, and engage the rear axle without the driver noticing. When you’re just cruising around town, the car runs in front-wheel drive only for better fuel economy. The old system, by contrast, would actively manage torque between the front and rear, but both ends were always in action. The torque could send more power to the front than the rear, but the system always sent power to both axles.

2019 Ford Edge ST.
The 2019 Ford Edge ST will run in front-wheel drive most of the time, unless its computers detect it needs grip from the rear end. [Photo: Ford]
Using the fuzzy logic algorithm mentioned above, the 2019 Ford Edge takes several variables into account to make its decisions. It looks at things like the car’s speed, prevalent road conditions, whether the windshield wipers are on, and other factors to decide whether all-wheel drive should be engaged.

Fuel Economy Figures

2019 Ford Edge models, including the ST, also feature a new eight-speed transmission, auto stop-start and an active transmission warm-up feature. All that aims to improve fuel economy. EPA estimates for all-wheel drive 2019 Ford Edge models stand at 21 City / 28 Highway / 23 Combined MPG. That’s a slight improvement on the 2018 Ford Edge Sport, which managed 20 City / 27 Highway / 23 Combined MPG.

[Photo: Ford]
The 2019 Ford Edge ST knocks that figure down a bit, with 19 City / 26 Highway / 21 Combined MPG. New Edge and Edge ST models will hit dealerships later this month.

Stay tuned to TFLcar.com as we test the 2019 Ford Edge ST in early October! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more news, views and real-world reviews.