There are a few threads to put together for this one. The U.S.-market Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus have been rumored to meet their ends during the 2023 model year; contract negotiations pointed to the Oakville Assembly Plant that that builds being converted to build five Ford electric vehicles in 2025. On top of that, we’ve heard years of rumors about a Ford Fusion Active wagon-esque product that would challenge the Subaru Outback and fill a perceived gap in the U.S. lineup. We’re not sure what the Ford vehicles in the spy shots above are, nor were the spy photographers who caught them during hot weather testing in Spain. And we mean vehicles, plural, details like the side mirror attachment points, DRL signatures, rear bumpers and muffler orientations pointing to these being two products.
Here are our guesses. One of them is almost certainly the new Ford Edge that will debut soon for the Chinese market (above and below). Motor1 saw that the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published photos of that country’s newest Edge in two configurations, a lesser trim that can seat five or seven, and a top trim that seats seven only. The camouflaged car in the gallery above with the mirrors that mount on the door would be the same vehicle. The headlights on the China-market Edge feature the same central, stacked DRLs instead of the single lower and side DRLs of the other vehicle. The taillights are temporary units, but they match the squared vertical design of the new crossover. And the rear bumper of the Chinese Edge features the same slanted cutout in the middle, and beneath that, the same enormous muffler on the driver’s side of the car. Look more closely, and one can also spot the way the sheetmetal flicks up at the C-pillar then descends to the D-pillar. Engineers tried to hide it with camo, but it’s there.
Ford Authority believes the other vehicle, the one with the side mirrors mounted at the base of the A-pillar, could be a new Lincoln Nautilus. Ford’s Changan Hangzhou plant in China builds the Edge and its sister Lincoln product for that market. Although both are presumed to be headed for the grave here, one is clearly carrying on over there, so there’s no reason to believe the other wouldn’t as well.
The big mystery is whether one of these is the Ford Fusion Active. Well, a bigger mystery would be to figure out if the Fusion Active is even a thing anymore, or if we — including Ford — collectively imagined it. Assuming there is such an animal, the Chinese Edge has plenty of hallmarks of what we’d expect from something created to challenge the Outback. According to MIIT figures, the new Edge is 196.8 inches long, 77.2 inches wide and 69.8 inches tall. That would make it five inches longer than the U.S.-market Outback, three inches wider and 3.7 inches taller, with an eight-inch-longer wheelbase, giving it room for the seven-seat variant while still conferring the wagon shape that aims to intrude on Subaru territory.
The new Edge could debut in November at the Guangzhou Auto Show, if not sooner. We’ll see what plays out after that.