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Edge gets a sporty look

The Ford Edge is getting edgier with a factory-customized model that has lower-profile tires, a lower grille and bigger wheels.

  • Car queue in the bad traffic road. Selective focus.

DETROIT – The Ford Edge is getting edgier with a factory-customized model that has lower-profile tires, a lower grille and bigger wheels.

Ford plans to introduce the 2009 Ford Edge Sport at this week’s Chicago Auto Show. The latest version of the popular crossover will go on sale this fall.

John Felice, the general manager of the Ford division, said the Ford Edge Sport reflects the growing popularity of personalized vehicles and of shows featuring customized vehicles such as the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas. Ford said the automotive aftermarket is now a $40 billion industry.

Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice-president of marketing, said the Edge Sport helps keep the crossover alive and growing, and helps the automaker capture previous Ford customers who are trading in larger sport utility vehicles.

“We have so many Explorer and Expedition customers who are coming back,” Farley said.

Ford said the Edge Sport will be the first factory-customized model available in the crossover segment. In addition to the wheels and grille, the Edge Sport has side and rear skirts and polished dual exhaust tips. It will be available in blue, black, silver and red with dark gray leather seats.

The Sport Edge joins the SE, SEL and Limited models in the Edge family. The Edge has been a huge success for Ford, selling 130,125 units in 2007, making it one of the best-selling crossovers in the U.S. The crossover segment also is one of the fastest growing, with U.S. sales increasing by 16 per cent last year even as overall sales fell 3 per cent, according to Autodata Corp.

The Chicago Auto Show opens to the public Friday after two days of media previews.

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