DETROIT – Ford Motor Co. follows through on its commitment to cross/utility vehicles with the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show.

The midsize CUVs ride on the CD3 platform that launched the Mazda6 and was modified to produce the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr midsize sedans.

With the sedans off to a strong start in the market, Ford is hoping the '07 Edge will strike a similar chord with consumers.

The two new midsize CUVs are powered by Ford's new 250-hp 3.5L DOHC V-6 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Edge's closed-wrap 3-bar grille, fully independent suspension and all-wheel drive scream future trend.

'07 Ford Edge designed to keep Ford at top of CUV heap.

Ford calls it the “Fusion of crossover vehicles,” but the Edge is no Fusion.

"Much like Fusion has done for the midsize sedan, the new Ford Edge will inject a healthy dose of American design and personality into the hot crossover market," says Peter Horbury, Ford executive director-North America Design.

The Edge will compete with the Toyota Highlander and Nissan Murano when it arrives in showrooms in late fall.

Both the Edge and the '07 MKX, which replaces the body-on-frame Aviator, are expected to be built in Oakville, Ont., Canada.

stmiller@primediabusiness.com