Ford adds the sporty ST trim level to its Edge lineup as part of a midcycle refresh of the 5-passenger midsize SUV that goes on sale this summer as a ’19 model.

The Edge ST – the first application of the Ford Performance Team-enhanced trim level in an SUV from the Dearborn automaker – replaces the smoke-and-mirrors Edge Sport in the lineup.

In contrast, the Edge ST gets true performance hardware starting with a 335-hp, 380-lb.-ft. (515-Nm) 2.7L EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6 under the hood and a sport-tuned suspension. A new-to-Ford 8-speed transmission and drive-mode-selectable all-wheel drive are standard, with red-caliper performance brakes, 21-in. wheels and summer tires optional.

Non-ST models – the top-trim Titanium, high-volume SEL and base SE – all come with the carryover 2.0L EcoBoost I-4 offering an additional 5 hp to 250 hp and 275 lb.-ft. (373 Nm) of torque, mated to the 8-speed automatic with stop/start.

The Edge ST offers a Sport Mode that provides heightened throttle response, rev-matched downshifts on braking, sharper engine braking and gear-holding in cornering. Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, gloss-black exterior highlights and interior design cues complete the package.

“Edge ST puts a new animal on the road – a performance SUV with a track mentality,” says Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president-Product Development and Purchasing.

All ’19 Edge models get a wider and more layered grille and new front fascia, with standard LED headlamps pulled to the corners to create a wider and more planted appearance, says Steve Gilmore, design manager. The interior features a new rotary shifter, replacing the console-mounted gearshift handle.

Ford adds a suite of driver-assistance technology to all ’19 Edge models including forward collision braking and post-collision braking, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping alert and assist and blindspot and cross-traffic alert. An embedded Wi-Fi modem capable of supporting 10 devices up to 50 feet (15 m) from the vehicle is standard.

Optional technology includes evasive steering assistance and full-range adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assistance.

Introduced in 2005 as an ’06 model and now in its fourth generation, the Edge underwent a complete redesign for the ’15 model year. Ford has sold 2 million Edges globally and 1.3 million in North America.

Edge sales have improved steadily in the competitive and rapidly growing Middle CUV segment in the U.S., hitting 142,603 units last year when it was Ford’s fastest-growing SUV brand at 6.0%, according to WardsAuto data. It was the 10th best-seller in its segment in 2017, but was easily outpaced by the smaller Escape which posted 308,296 sales for the year.

The Edge is built at Ford’s Oakville Assembly Plant in Oakville, ON, Canada. @bobgritzinger