A new Ford crossover has been spied testing in Spain, and it’s unclear if this is the long-rumoured Fusion Active.
The decidedly wagon-like vehicle bears a strong resemblance to the new Edge, of which photos from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology have been published online by Ford Authority.
It’s possible this prototype could be a China-market Edge undergoing final testing, though the lack of production tail lights on the prototype is somewhat unusual for a vehicle set for an imminent launch.
The Ford was spied testing with a vehicle featuring a broadly similar shape but different details, including the C- and D-pillar treatment and lights, which could be an as-yet unseen platform-mate for the luxury Lincoln brand.
Lincoln currently sells a model called the Nautilus which is closely related to the current Ford Edge. While it only entered Chinese production in 2021, it’s been in production in Canada since 2016 under both the Nautilus and MKX nameplates.
According to the MIIT filing, the new Chinese Edge measures 5000mm long, 1961mm wide and 1773m tall on a 2950mm wheelbase.
The outgoing Edge – previously sold here as the Endura – measures 4834mm long, 1928mm wide and 1733mm tall on a 2850mm wheelbase, though it arguably has a more upright, traditional SUV profile.
The Changan Ford joint-venture currently produces a boxier, three-row version of the Edge called the Edge Plus, which measures 4878mm long on an identical wheelbase.
The joint-venture has been responsible for a range of vehicles not sold outside of China.
Ford of Europe has ruled out selling the new Mondeo, while Ford in North America has switched to a lineup consisting solely of SUVs, pickups and the Mustang and outgoing GT; Lincoln, likewise, sells only SUVs there following the axing of the MKZ and Continental sedans.
That still leaves the door open for a more SUV-style spinoff of these models for global markets, given the strong demand for crossovers in both Europe and North America.
Adding weight to the theory that this new Edge could be sold outside of China is the reported death of the current Edge in 2023 or 2024 as Ford retools its Oakville, Ontario plant to produce electric vehicles from 2025.
That will also reportedly spell the end of North American production for the mechanically related Lincoln Nautilus crossover.
The axing of the Edge would leave a gap between the mid-sized Escape and large, three-row Explorer. While the Endura (née Edge) was a poor seller here, it has long been a popular model for Ford in North America.
Ford also has a gap in its European SUV lineup as the Edge was also axed there due to poor sales, though it will soon introduce two mid-sized electric SUVs based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform.
The Blue Oval brand may be reluctant to offer another overtly wagon-styled SUV in the North American market, however.
Its boxy, retro Flex was sold for around a decade but was always outsold considerably by its more traditionally SUV-styled Explorer platform-mate, while its Freestyle predecessor – restyled and briefly sold as the Taurus X – wasn’t a strong seller, either.
If the Chinese-market Edge doesn’t spawn a global version, it wouldn’t be the first Ford SUV to remain largely in China.
Ford also has a newer joint venture with Chinese automaker JMC, and sells the Equator, Equator Sport and Territory SUVs, which slot into the lower end of Ford’s Chinese-market lineup.
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