Ford Authority

2021 Ford Edge ST Gains ‘New’ 7-Speed Automatic Transmission: Exclusive

The eight-speed automatic transmission used in the Ford Edge ST has been the subject of some criticism since the model’s launch for the 2019 model year. Specifically, some have found the gearbox to deliver laggy performance, serving as a weak link in the midsize performance crossover. To that end, Ford Authority reported that The Blue Oval was intent on fixing the issue via a calibration (software) update. One year later, we exclusively reported that Ford decided against recalibrating the transmission, as the company felt that the eight-speed, as it existed back then, adequately served the needs and desires of Edge ST buyers. But now, Ford Authority has exclusively learned that the 2021 Ford Edge ST has gained a “new” seven-speed automatic transmission.

2021 Ford Edge ST vs. 2020 Ford Edge ST Gear Ratios
Gear Ratios 7-Speed SelectShift automatic with Start Stop 8-Speed SelectShift automatic with Start Stop
1st 4.48 4.48
2nd 2.87 3.15
3rd 1.84 2.87
4th 1.41 1.84
5th 1.0 1.41
6th 0.74 1.0
7th 0.62 0.74
8th N/A 0.62

We say “new” because the transmission for the 2021 Ford Edge actually remains physically the same as it was for the 2019 and 2020 model years. What had changed is the programming, with Ford eliminating the second gear from the existing eight-speed automatic – a move that might be a first for the industry.

“We’ve kept Edge ST’s performance while improving shift action based on customer feedback by deleting the shift from 2nd to 3rd gear,” Kelly Wysocki, SUV communications manager at Ford North America, told Ford Authority in a statement.

In other words, Ford altered the shift parameters of the transmission in such a way that the second gear is no longer part of the vehicle’s regular operation. The move essentially cuts out the second gear via software. To our knowledge, no automaker has ever performed that type of “modification” on a vehicle before.

This rather unconventional move seems to confirm the notion that the transmission in the Ford Edge ST, in its original state, wasn’t up to snuff for the performance crossover, which already had a pretty stellar dance partner in Ford’s excellent 2.7L EcoBoost V6. It also bolsters what Ed Krentz, chief functional officer at Ford Performance, told us about the importance of transmission software calibration at the Edge ST drive event we attended back in 2019: “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.”

In this case, it seems like Ford did indeed learn a thing or two about the eight-speed gearbox in the Edge ST, including how to bypass one of its gears via software. We imagine that this update has allowed Ford to improve the shift behavior in the ST without having to resort to a more costly hardware change, like a new transmission.

2021 Ford Edge ST.

In any event, Ford’s Oakville plant has already started to produce and ship the 2021 Ford Edge ST with the new software calibration that turns the eight-speed auto into a seven-speed unit, and the models are already on dealer lots. We’ll be driving one soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for our impressions, as well as the latest Ford Edge news, Ford Edge ST news, and obsessive Ford news coverage.

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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  1. JimL

    So this gear is still in there but is just along for the ride, like that conjoined twin on the side of Nurse Gollum’s face on South Park?

    1. Jmack

      Sounds like it. Strange way to go about it…

      1. Davido49

        Engineering magic it is actually! The transmission in my newer ’22 Edge SEL shifts smoothly & precisely. Will say the 1st 500mis it needs to learn your driving patterns.. even then it was fine. This is our 2nd Edge. They’ve been excellent!

    2. Ryan

      Not exactly since it’s an auto. As in, there isn’t a gear in there that will never get engaged in it’s life. Automatics just have a few sets of planetaries and fix/release different pieces of it with clutch packs. So there’s just 1 combination of clutches they aren’t using.

  2. Njia

    Ford’s website still doesn’t have the 2021 Edge. Weird.

    1. Davido49

      They will be produced till early ’24. Thankfully! Such an excellent midsized SUV. CR says best of all. We got a new ’22 Edge SEL. Our 2nd. Hard to beat em.

  3. Chris

    That new 12 inch touchscreen in the center stack looks horrific. It over powers the entire cabin.

    1. George

      Will the same software fix be done to the Lincoln Nautilus?

      1. Davido49

        If necessary yes.. if not then no! The Edge ST is a high performance SUV. The Nautilus is a luxury-sporty SUV. The 8spd in Nautilus is perfectly fine. Tho tranny fluid changes every 60k mis is wise on ANY vehicles.

  4. Mike

    Jeep did this 20 years ago with the 5 speed chrysler transmission. It skipped 2 going up and skipped third going down.

    A complete BS way of doing this but typical Ford.

    Why not put the 10 speed in there Ford?
    There aren’t many Edge STs built anyway, just take a one day production from the F150 and you supply the Edge for a year.

    1. commbubba19

      10 spd won’t fit. That transmission is for RWD vehicles only such as the Explorer, Mustang, Ranger, F150, etc.

      1. Davido49

        Ppl DONT read then make ridiculous remarks! I guess it’s trolling nowadays.. or bein closet Ford lovers. Lol Ford is obviously ahead as it has 4 models that are top selling out of 10 in US & Canada. Love our ’22 Edge SEL AWD . Our 2nd one!

    2. Davido49

      What are you talking about? Are you trolling!? They described perfectly clear the reasoning. It’s only for the HIGH PERFORMANCE ST model. The 8spd is excellent in other Edge & Nautilus SUVs. We own a newer ’22 Edge SEL AWD. Smooooth tranny!

  5. Jan

    It´s not the first time Ford doing this. Actually, Ford does the very same since a Year or so in the Focus ST with the “7”-speed-auto, which is physically an 8-speed skipping the second gear.

  6. Dennis

    Wonder if this change will also apply to the Lincoln Nautilus with the 2.7L EcoBoost V6?

  7. sjmsing

    So if it’s a software update with the same transmission then can we expect updates to the 2019 & 2020 to resolve this issue?

    1. Davido49

      The dealer has software upgrades for the ’19-20 Edge ive heard. It’s a stout & strong transmission dont worry! We have a ’22 Edge SEL AWD an it’s ultra smooth & precise. Gets 25mpg city /29mpg hwy in midsized SUV! Call your dealer an ask for reflash when there for oil change etc.

  8. Richard Coe

    If the sensors are as bad as in all the other Edge transmissions that Ford is deaf about good luck! You will still have to pull the engine at great expense to change the water pump. Edge is a week and thoughtlessly designed piece of junk! I have one!

  9. commbubba19

    1: the 10spd is not designed for a FWD vehicle. Rumors have it the next edge will be RWD based but who knows. So stop complaining Ford isn’t using the 10spd. Your ignorance is blinding.
    2: Any major mechanical changes to a vehicle after production require re-certification for things such as EPA sign off, IIHS crash safety, etc. That would be extremely cost prohibitive for a vehicle this long in the tooth.
    3: This is a simple cost effective solution to a problem not really even present under most driving conditions and is similar to how the 10spd is programmed to skip gears under certain load / throttle demand situations.

  10. Les Oppleman

    Does the twin turbo 2.7 v6 edge st have TPI AND gdi injection

    1. Davido49

      The proven gen2 – 2.7L V6 in EDGE ST is a GTDI design. GTDI = gas turbo direct injection. Ford has been using this design 14yrs+ now. Nobody builds more these high tech engines then FoMoCo. They are excellent! You will love the Edge ST if you get one.

  11. britcardriver

    After 2.5 years & 36,000 miles of driving our 2019 Edge ST (AWD), the transmission slipping and hunting gears just keeps getting worse and worse. My spouse absolutely loves her Edge as I do, the comfort, engine performance, reasonable handling for it’s bulk, sound system, styling. Just everything keeps this car a keeper for years to come. Except that transmission! it just drives us nuts.
    We’ve test driven many other similar size vehicles because of this defect. Jaguar E-Pace, Volve C60, Lincoln Nautilus, etc. We find all these others lacking the ST’s good aspects.
    Has Ford, or is Ford, providing a software or mechanical fix to make the 2019/2020 problem cars the seven speed? I would think it would help resale value on this otherwise desirable car.

    1. Davido49

      Get to the dealer an ask for software updates! The Edge is excellent…your right. We are on our 2nd. Love em. Consumer Reports rates it best midsized SUV. For good reason!

  12. Davido49

    Ppl don’t read & obviously don’t understand engineering. Then remark foolishly. Excellent explanation! Pls keep it up on here. Edge is a phenomenal SUV. CR recommends it over the boring Pilot. We are on our 2nd Edge. A ’22 Edge SEL AWD. Love it.

  13. Davido49

    Every brand has recalls these days it’s par for the course an 90% preemptive. Thank Toyota & GM for hiding defects bk 10yrs ago ..getting largest fine in NHTSB history! Now everyone is scared. Edge is best midsized SUV in class. CR says so too. Get one while ya can folks. Built till Dec ’23 /early ’24.

  14. Rob

    Am I hearing you good folks correctly? Is there an outside chance that the dealer can give me a new/ Modify existing chip, to change my tranny to make it more aggressive like they’ve done in the 2022 model? Next week I’m getting my suspension modified as much as possible… Lower springs, 50% beefed up rear ant-Sway bar…Front strut tower support, and a couple other mods to the suspension, which is part of a kit, including a ladder support upfront, and some other crazy looking bars, that go across the front & rear axles (Although I’m not expecting anything much, with the exception of the anti-swaybar and Rear, the front struts stabilizer under the hood, and of course they close to 2 inches of lowering of the center of gravity… And for 600 bucks, how can you not want to add an extra 50 HP & 50 more lb. Of Torque… Lastly, , in the past two weeks, I have been flagging this girl, like a red headed step child… And it doesn’t even get phased… Those summer tires suck the road and the four wheel automatic braking system, make it difficult for me to find the limit. I can’t even imagine how much better it will B once the suspension has been beefed up and lowered… i’ll report back in a month after I’ve had a chance and the daring to test this vehicle to the limit… Thank goodness for my radar detector, very difficult to perceive the speed of this vehicle with the Soundproof front glass and the sound deadening technology of reproducing the negative sound waves being heard from the outside and reproduced in the car speakers that’s canceling out all that road sound… do any of you think, that I’m taking a risk by adding the extra 50 HP and 50 of torque to the engines integrity and long life?… It’s 2.7 Eco boost, feels like it’s a lot stronger than what I can make it do with my right foot.… Comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated


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