5 questions for the man behind the Ford Edge ST

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https://autoweek.com/article/people/five-questions-man-behind-new-ford-edge-st
Ed Krenz might best be known as chief program engineer for the current Ford GT. Yet his other gig -- chief functional engineer, Ford Performance -- carries the mantle of car-geek celebrity engineers such as John Coletti, Jost Capito, Dave Pericak and Jamal Hameedi.
Born near Washington, D.C., in 1972, Krenz graduated from the University of Michigan and earned a masters in mechanical engineering at Purdue. Through 24 years at Ford Motor Co., Krenz has done duty in just about every corner of the auto engineering business, including manufacturing, powertrain, control systems and vehicle integration. He’s taken a lead role at Ford Performance, the group in charge of racing and performance development, as Ford shifts its focus from cars to trucks and SUVs and moves out of the sedan business in the United States. An interesting gig, to be sure.

Autoweek: Did you feel any extra pressure doing the Edge ST?
Krenz: Yeah, there was another level of anxiety, but also excitement, because we were doing something new. We know how to do Shelby Mustangs, and we’re very comfortable with it, pushing that technology to the next level. We've done a couple generations of Raptors, and we know what product success is on that end of the spectrum. There are always engineering challenges, but we feel equipped to handle them.
In this context, I think it’s also important to note that we know what ST is. We have what we could call brand DNA for the ST. We know in customer terms what the proof points are and what an ST needs to be, from the Fiesta ST and the Focus ST and a lot of legacy products going back a long way in Europe and the United States. So then we translate the customer terms to engineering objectives and measures—hundreds of them. The ST is an out-the-door performance vehicle, and we look at performance in several ways. We look at competitive set, at uplift from our base vehicle. We have engineering criteria that range from advertised power to straight-line performance to track-time capability. And we look at sustained capability—which means repeated use without fade, in acceleration or brake performance, whether you’re doing a track session or a mountain twisty type course, the vehicle will be there for you. Sustained capability is what, fundamentally, makes the Fiesta ST a Ford Performance product and why, for example, the Mustang GT with Performance Pack II isn’t. That’s an extremely capable vehicle, but it wasn’t developed with our sustained capability requirement.
We know what an Edge ST needs to be. The engineering challenge, of course, is taking those brands promises and the corresponding engineering expectations and moving them into a new cycle, in a package that isn’t like anything we’ve done before. It's certainly challenging, but we know the promise we need to keep and we love a new challenge.
 


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