The 2019 Ford Edge ST model from the U.S. market is the latest addition to Pursuit Systems’ fleet of camera cars, which currently includes a BMW X5 M, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and a Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG. Like those models, the Edge ST sports a massive camera crane on its roof that allows it to film high-speed movie and commercial scenes by way of the gyro-stabilised remote-control camera that's typically attached to the extending, mechanical arm.
Of course, adding approximately 450 kilograms of camera equipment to the roof posed numerous challenges. In order to maintain the Edge ST’s structural integrity and dynamic capabilities, Ford and Pursuit Systems worked together to add extra support to the crossover’s roof. A roll cage and a four-wheel air suspension system were also added, while the ST's twin-turbocharged 2.7-litre V6 engine received a retune. Although Ford is not saying how much power the bi-turbo bent-six now produces, we’d wager this Edge ST bests the stock model's 335 bhp and 380 pound-feet of torque.
Additional alterations made to the crossover SUV include a stripped interior, wiring for the interior's video monitors, and a matte black vinyl wrap, the latter of which prevents the camera car from reflecting off of the vehicles it’s filming.
While our initial impression of the 2019 Ford Edge ST left us wanting for a tiny bit more driving engagement from the performance-oriented mid-size crossover SUV, there’s no doubt the model's peppy powertrain, strong brakes, and commodious interior make it a magnificent machine for filming high-speed chases. Hopefully, we’ll see the crossover show up in the behind-the-scenes footage of future action films.
Gallery: 2019 Ford Edge ST Camera Car
Lights. Camera. The new Ford Edge ST will capture the action.
Ford has teamed up with camera car company Pursuit Systems to leverage Edge ST’s combination of performance and utility. Together, Ford and Pursuit have built an Edge ST camera car designed to film high-speed chase scenes and other hard-to-capture action footage for upcoming movies and commercial projects.
Camera cars are high-performance vehicles capable of supporting a remote-controlled, roof-mounted crane that might weigh up to 1,000 pounds. The vehicles are often required to travel in excess of 100 mph, offer precise braking and handling, and ideally provide enough space to accommodate a film crew and equipment.
Early on, a Pursuit team traveled from its headquarters in North Hollywood to Dearborn for an initial look at the first SUV from Ford Performance. Edge ST’s versatility and capabilities immediately signaled its star power.
Features that drew the crew at Pursuit to Edge ST were its specially tuned, twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine, ST performance brake system, quick-shifting 8-speed transmission and selectable traction control – all made available in a roomy midsize SUV package. Edge ST, available in showrooms now, is the first-ever SUV from the Ford Performance team.
“Speed, acceleration, braking, handling, even roominess – Edge ST has it all,” said Mike Johnson, racer, stunt driver and Pursuit Systems president and CEO. “Our shoots often demand a lot of the equipment we use, and especially the vehicles. In every way, Edge ST measures up.”
Transforming Edge ST into a camera car meant adding structural support to its roof to accommodate equipment, including the nearly 1,000-pound Pursuit Arm. This arm, typically equipped with a gyro-stabilized remote-control camera, can extend far away from the vehicle, giving filmmakers the ability to capture unique angles of high-speed action.
Other conversion work included:
Retuning the twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine to counter the weight of the crane and other film equipment
Adding individual-wheel air suspension to manage the weight increase
Adding roll cage support to protect passengers
Gutting the interior to accommodate film equipment
Adding wiring for video monitors so crew members can see footage in real-time
Wrapping the exterior in matte black vinyl so it doesn’t reflect in other vehicles
“We’ve never done anything like this before with an SUV because there’s never been an SUV like Edge ST in our showroom,” said Mark Grueber, Ford SUV marketing manager. “It has the performance chops and utility to keep up with fast-paced moviemaking.”
This one-of-a-kind Edge ST camera car will join the Pursuit Systems stable of high-performance vehicles, taking its place along camera cars converted from a BMW X5 M, Porsche Cayenne Turbo and a Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG. Pursuit plans to use it in future film and commercial projects.