It’s lights, camera, action for the 2019 Ford Edge ST. This sportier new version of Ford’s midsize crossover was remade into a Hollywood camera car by specialist firm Pursuit Systems. Designed to film car chases and other action footage, discussions are underway to use the Edge ST in the production of upcoming feature films, according to Ford.
Camera cars require both space and speed. A good camera car needs to accommodate a roof-mounted camera rig weighing up to 1,000 pounds, and have space inside for a film crew and their equipment. But it must also be able to drive at high speeds in order to keep up with the action. Good handling is also important, so the vehicle can be precisely maneuvered while filming. Camera cars tend to be performance SUVs: Pursuit Systems’ other vehicles include a BMW X5 M, Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
The Edge ST was modified to deal with the extra weight of the camera rig. Pursuit Systems added individual-wheel air suspension to cope with the weight increase, and “retuned” the 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, which makes 335 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque from the factory. Ford didn’t say if power was increased, but that would make sense given the extra weight that must be lugged around.
The interior was gutted to make room for filming equipment, including video monitors that allow crew members to see footage in real time. The roof also had to be reinforced to support the camera arm, which is typically equipped with a gyro-stabilized remote-control camera, according to Ford. A roll cage was added to give occupants extra protection. Finally, the exterior was wrapped in matte-black vinyl, so it doesn’t reflect onto other cars.
Adding “camera car” to the ST’s rsum could help Ford prove the new model is no joke. Applying the ST badge to a family crossover was a controversial move, as those two letters were previously reserved for purer drivers’ cars like the Focus ST and Fiesta ST. But with Ford planning to eliminate all cars except the Mustang from its U.S. lineup, utility vehicles will have to pick up the performance slack. Ford already has an Explorer ST in the works.