Q&A Matthias Tonn

Chief programme engineer for large cars at Ford says the Edge is a global product - the same design can be found in China, the US and Europe

You’ve recently worked on the Ford Edge SUV and Fiesta ST200 hothatch. How did your previous experience prepare you for your present role?

Before I joined the large-car segment at Ford, I was responsible for the current Fiesta. Before then I was responsible for the performance cars of Europe. For this reason, I was asked to put some thought into how we could enhance the Fiesta ST from a special edition to an extra edition. With the team, we developed the ST200 which was shown at Geneva.

At the end of last year, I moved into the C/D segment for bigger cars, including the Mondeo, S-MAX, Galaxy and Edge. I was responsible for looking after the Edge’s introduction into Europe to make sure that the car suited customer needs here. Currently, the car is being built in Canada in the Oakville assembly plant close to Toronto. It is now sold in the US and is coming to Europe in the spring or early summer.

What made you introduce the Ford Edge to the European market, and did you have to make any adaptations to it?

To bring the model over to the European market, we are using the One Ford strategy. As the world comes closer together through the internet and communication, people and their likes and tastes come closer. We decided that, for this reason, the Edge SUV would work as a global product.

The design you see today you will find in China, the US and Europe. The European customer is different because of habits and we therefore made changes to the trunk and on the trim but also on the cover, and that was mainly because of the practicality and how people in Europe store their baggage. We only offer the car as a five-seater in Europe but there is a seven-seater version for North America and China.

One big change is the powertrain, as here in Europe we have a strong desire from our customers to buy diesel engines and the big gasoline V6. But most people want to have a diesel. That’s why we integrated two powertrains into the Edge.

The Edge Vignale is positioned as an upmarket SUV. How have you achieved this in terms of technology and engineering?

The Edge Vignale marks our entry into the upscale SUV segment in Europe. The model comes with two powerful diesels: one is a 134kW engine and the other is a 156kW unit. The Edge comes standard with our intelligent all-wheel drive system and we also added the advanced steering system.

tags: May 2016 Ford Powertrain