Class Warfare: Ford Appends the Word 'Elite' to Its Titanium Edge
Apparently running out of precious metals with which to name their fancy crossovers (and not yet ready to bring the Vignale badge across the pond), Ford has created a Titanium Elite trim for the freshly revised Ford Edge.
And they say the world of crossovers isn’t exciting.
The 2019 model year brings a mid-cycle refresh for the popular Edge, with a few styling tweaks like snazzy new peepers and reshaped grille across all trims. A hot ST trim cranks the wick to 335 horsepower by way of Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 while angering fans of hot hatchbacks by desecrating the shred of enthusiast cred those two letters accumulated on the Focus and Fiesta.
This new Titanium Elite builds on the existing Titanium trim by adding unique 20-inch wheels, distinctive body-color sides, a premium-looking rear skid plate, and, erm, that seems to be it.
Naturally, this fancy brother will come with standard equipment found in the now admittedly workaday Titanium. Standard equipment includes a raft of driver-assist technologies including Ford’s Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, lane keeping, forward collision warnings, and the other usual crop of safety nannies.
For 2018, the Edge Titanium starts at $35,930 with a check-all-the boxes example cresting $50,000 before incentives. Expect to pay a small premium for the Elite badge, given that it doesn’t exactly bring a host of extra kit.
It’s interesting how Ford positions the Sport, and presumably the ST when it arrives, as the Edge’s range-topper. The Sport currently represents a $2,000-ish premium over the Titanium when the two are comparably equipped. Pricing for the new 2019 range hasn’t been announced yet.
Another conversation worth having is Ford’s apparent reluctance to craft a high-dollar, high-profit trim that it can apply across its line. GMC lines its coffers with Denali Dollars, while corporate cousin Buick is seeking to perform the same trick with its new Avenir line. Sure, the Vignale name currently only resonates with UK buyers, given the nameplate’s history in that market, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to offer the same trim here in the States.
The Ford Edge Vignale almost reads like a visitor from a parallel reality, one in which the Canuck-built Edge is offered with a diesel engine and is the most expensive Ford on sale, save for the superb GT and biggest Transit vans. Both those facts are true in the UK market.
Either Ford doesn’t want to tread on Lincoln’s toes or it worries about Americans not being able to pronounce the name, a fate which lead to the demise of Merkur. The Vignale trim has shown up on machines as varied as the Edge, S-Max people carrier, and Mondeo sedan.
A quick check of Ford UK’s build & price tool reveals a £44,710 for a fully loaded example, converting to $62,055USD at current exchange rates. Even given the general price bump for UK cars, an Edge Vignale would have to add a lot more than rims and body-color sides to command that premium. In the UK, it does, furnishing its occupants with the zenith of Ford plushness.
For the record, this author pronounces it Vig-nall-ee. You?
Anyone who happens to venture out to the Chicago Auto Show next week will find a production version of the Ford Edge Titanium Elite on display. Copies will wend their way into showrooms later this year.
[Images: Ford Motor Company]
Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.
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