DETROIT -- With its new 2007 Ford Edge and 2007 Lincoln MKX, Ford Motor Co. wants to cement a place smack in the middle of the growing crossover market.
The Edge and MKX, on display this week at the Detroit auto show, will go on sale in the fourth quarter. The five-passenger crossovers are based on Ford's mid-sized CD3 platform and will be built at Ford's Oakville, Ontario, assembly plant.
"Both vehicles are very, very important to the brands," said Al Giombetti, Ford's vice president of sales. "It is a pretty good segment that is growing, and people are interested in it because they like that carlike drive and the functionality."
Ford is aiming the Edge at couples in their 30s who may just be starting to have children. Lincoln's is aiming the MKX at empty-nesters in their 40s and early 50s.
The MKX had been known as the next-generation Aviator. Lincoln changed the name in late December after adopting an alphabetic naming strategy.
Both the Edge and MKX are powered by Ford's new 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It produces 250 hp and is teamed with a new six-speed automatic transmission developed jointly by Ford and General Motors. It is the first use of that transmission for Ford.
Highway fuel economy is expected to be in the mid-20-mpg range.
All-wheel drive will be offered on both vehicles.
The Edge will be the second vehicle to showcase the Ford brand's new front-end design with a three-bar grille. The grille debuted on the Fusion mid-sized sedan.
The MKX features an egg-crate grille that will be one of two front-end looks used by Lincoln.
The Edge and MKX share some exterior sheet metal, but the hood, front fenders, front fascia and tailgate are unique, a spokesman said. The vehicles have unique interiors. Some underpinnings are shared with the 2006 Ford Fusion, which is built on a smaller version of the CD3 platform.
The CD3 platform is derived from the Mazda6.
Ford won't disclose price ranges or volume targets for the Edge and MKX. The company is still studying the market and making price comparisons, Giombetti said.
Ford says the target competition for the Edge includes the Nissan Murano and Subaru Tribeca. The target competition for the MKX includes the Lexus RX 330.
The Mazda CX7, also based on the Mazda6, was unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show last week.
Giombetti said the crossovers fill out Ford's lineup:
"Ford now is playing in all four quarters of the game and has SUVs, crossovers, cars, trucks."
You may e-mail Amy Wilson at [email protected]