DRIVEN by the success of its handy little Kuga SUV in the UK market, Ford has taken the decision to launch its large SUV, the Edge to complement it.

Ford expects to sell 200,000 SUVs in Europe in 2016 - a 200% increase compared to 2013 - and the Edge will be central that, bolstered by the strong sales of the Kuga and the EcoSport.

The Edge will be offered in Europe with a choice of a 178bhp 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine, with six-speed manual transmission, or a 206bhp bi-turbo 2.0‑litre TDCi diesel mated to a six-speed PowerShift auto' 'box. Both powertrains will deliver up to 78.4mpg fuel efficiency, supported by auto-start-stop technology.

It will also have Ford's 'intelligent' all-wheel drive (AWD) technology as standard. This measures how the car's wheels are gripping the road surface every 16 milliseconds - 20 times quicker than blinking - and can send up to 100% of engine torque to the front or rear wheels, or a mix of where and when it is needed.

It will also have adaptive steering, which optimises the steering response according to vehicle speed and it will have a front split view camera, making restricted visibility junctions or parking spaces easier to negotiate.

A camera and radar-based system can detect vehicles and people in the road ahead and will automatically apply the brakes if a potential collision is detected and the driver does not respond to warnings.

Ford says it has worked hard to make this one of the quietest SUVs on the road, with acoustic windscreen glass and laminated glass for the driver and front passenger door windows to minimise noise in the cabin, plus underbody panels and wheel well liners to reduce road and wind noise. A nifty bit of technology that detects unwanted engine noise in the cabin and cancels it out with opposing sound waves fed through the car's sound system, is also utilised.

In the cabin there will be soft-touch trims on the dashboard and centre console, high-gloss piano black surrounds on the switch bezels and a satin silver metal finish for the door handles, air vent bezels, glovebox trim and steering wheel detailing, with heated and cooled front seats and even heated rear seats.

The Kuga has also gone to the stylists for a makeover and will have a sophisticated and advanced connectivity system for the first time, enabling drivers to operate phone, entertainment, climate and navigation systems using simple conversational language via the SYNC 2 technology. It now has an 8-inch colour touch screen in the centre console instead of the current 5-inch set-up and will display a live feed from the rear view camera for easy parking.