Ford Authority

Ford Edge ST To Receive New Transmission Calibration Software

We were just out in Park City, Utah for a special ST SUV Experience event organized by Ford. The program is actually offered to those buying the new Ford Edge ST and upcoming 2020 Ford Explorer ST, with Ford providing food and lodging in Park City, Utah and enabling you to partake in a series of driving exercises in a Ford Edge or Explorer ST.

It’s a fun event, and we recommend anybody who’s looking to find out exactly what their Ford Edge ST can do from a performance standpoint to partake in the program.

However, while we were at the event, we couldn’t help but notice the frustrating laggy eight-speed automatic transmission in the Ford Edge ST, something we didn’t notice when we tested new Explorer ST and its lightening-quick ten-speed gearbox. Here’s the problem: when gunning the throttle, you expect the gearbox to hand you another gear, which the Edge ST sometimes does not do, leaving you with a lack of low-end torque during out-of-corner exits. We also noticed an observable delay from the moment we floored the throttle from a standstill, to the moment the vehicle actually started to take off. These are minor issues for sure, but not ones that deserve to be in a “high-performance” vehicle with an ST badge.

Intrigued by this phenomenon, we sat down with Ed Krentz, chief functional officer at Ford Performance, so he could share his thoughts on the matter.

Krentz admitted that the transmission delays in the Edge ST are noticeable, but didn’t comment on them as being a negative, per se. He went on to state that the gearbox was configured this way to leave an area of comfort in the Edge ST.

“The customers that will buy these things don’t want a jaggy feel behind the wheel, but rather a smooth, composed ride,” he said.

That makes sense, but it also doesn’t. The Ford Edge ST has two important letters – ST – on its liftgate. Traditionally, these letters have been synonymous with spirited performance and a lively character, qualities the Edge ST sometimes fails to deliver. We then told Krentz that we didn’t notice these delays in the Explorer ST’s ten-speed gearbox, which led to an interesting reply.

“When we were developing the Explorer ST, we had the opportunity to start from a fresh sheet of paper, which allowed us to better calibrate all of its components exactly how we wanted. Edge ST was a mid-cycle refresh; so we kind of had to work with what was available then. That said, we’re having a meeting in a couple of weeks regarding a new transmission calibration software for Edge ST, and I’m looking forward to giving it my input.”

Krentz also admitted that, in this day and age, with transmissions often being shared between carmakers, such as the GM-Ford collaboration, it all comes down to calibration software. “When a transmission is adapted to a new [vehicle] application, we learn things, which sometimes forces us to get back to the drawing board and re-calibrate the software accordingly,” he added.

The Krentz didn’t specify when this new calibration will be added to the Edge ST, or how it will affect the model’s performance. But one thing is for certain: Ford’s first performance SUV – the Edge ST – received lukewarm reviews from the automotive press. At least Ford is aware of this, and is doing something to improve things.

The Ford Authority Take

While Ed Krentz didn’t tell us outright, we believe the Edge ST’s transmission delays have something to do with a gearbox that was not designed from the onset to withstand this much torque in the first place. In case you’re rusty on the specs, the Ford Edge ST pumps out 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque from the twin-turbocharged 2.7L EcoBoost V-6. By comparison, the standard Ford Edge, which utilizes the same eight-speed transmission, is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L four cylinder that develops 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque – which is more than 100 less pound-feet than the Edge ST.

The Blue Oval even went to the trouble of fitting the Ford Edge ST with a transmission oil cooler to withstand the load, and our assumption is that engineers played it safe in regards to the Edge ST’s software calibration, keeping it less aggressive to ensure transmission reliability.

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Automotive journalist from Canada.

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  1. Rick

    Has this new calibration happened. Will it be in effect for the 2020 models.

  2. Josh

    Let me tell you this thing desperately needs to be calibrated, it’s frenetic! No go or too hard, like it’s missing a gear… I HATE IT.

    I’m going to go take a bath at BMW or Porsche, or maybe see about the 7sp Bronco… If they ever actually release it.

    If they made the update no one has notified me about it, and I’ll continue to tell everyone to not buy one of these until I am.

    2019 Edge ST

  3. Rick

    we have a 2019 ford edge st has anybody had problems with the car feeling like it has a miss fire between 40-50 mph ? our car has less than 5500 miles and has had a miss fire for awhile and has been to the dealer 4 times. we also have had transmission problems, they did install a new transmission the time before we took it in.

  4. Gary Macintyre Associates

    The same thing exist in the 2.0 turbo Edge. It seems to slip between gears.

  5. Jo Taylor

    Yes we also had a 2019 Edge ST and the car at a very low speed would just stop on it’s own. It too had a misfire between 40-50 mph. They changed the transmission after it crashed with less than 5000 miles on it. We had taken the car in numerous times for both problems and finally turned it in as a lemon. I loved the car and Ford repuchased and let us pick out a new one. We got a 2020 Edge ST which in less than a 1000 miles has once again stopped on it’s own. Neither the 19 nor the 20 are as spunky as the 2016 sport that we had. I am so discouraged as I love the car but not the problems.

  6. George

    My 2019 Edge ST has two problems. At 50mph or more the vehicle shakes when you give it power, when the accelerator is let off the shaking stops. My dealer said there was dirt in the wheel, 6 months and 20 washes still shakes, now he says it is because it is AWD! Now the transmission upon acceleration seems to go into a limp mode I think between 1st and second. This is becoming a disappointment.

  7. DOC0TO60

    I bought one of the first Edge ST’s. Love the 2.7 twin turbo. Trans is ok in automatic but useless with paddle shifters. One BIG issue with trans is that 3rd is right on top of 2nd and far away from 4th. This results, even in max acceleration, with the trans going from 2nd to 4th, skipping 3rd. So much for holding the power curve!
    Ford had announced in 2018 that the new ST would do 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds. Pipe dream, partly due to the bad gearing. Realistically, car reviewers put it at 6.0 – big difference to those laying down 50 grand for a performance car! In addition, the paddle shifters are useless; take up to 2 seconds to do a shift – not a performance plus. I have found out through technical contacts that the physical gears were made that way on purpose – God only knows why. My dealer told me I can have an after market tune done BUT that would void my 5 year warranty. The 2021 ST will have a 7 speed trans – probably dropped 3rd gear in the 8 speed!!

  8. Henry Hund

    Something needs to be done to help all of us who purchased the edge st and dealing with this transmission problem
    I really love the vehicle but this issue has to be resolved

    They’ve reprogrammed mine and now it’s worse than what it was , thoughts would be appreciated but really. 50 k plus for this vehicle and they can’t resolve the issues , JUST ISNT ACCEPTABLE.

    BUT it seems as though no one really cares


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