THE NEW FORD EXPLORER
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Tue, Jul 20, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
The Explorer America concept is the basis for the 2011 model Ford announced today that its all new 2011 Explorer equipped with an optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost™ I-4 engine will be the new class leader in the mid-size SUV segment, achieving at least a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency compared with the current V-6-powered Explorer. “The all-new Explorer will give a huge universe of existing and prospective customers the capability they expect and the luxury and convenience they want, all combined with the fuel economy they need,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. Ford says the overall vehicle weight is reduced compared to the previous model, taking advantage of lighter and stronger high-strength steels such as boron. An aluminum hood is used, while a one-piece composite front bolster--the radiator support between engine and grille--is 65 percent lighter. New engine controls are also said to be key contributors to the Explorer’s improved fuel economy. Electric power-assisted steering, battery management, fast engine warm-up and aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff all combine to improve drive dynamics and save fuel. Ford also says that the new Explorer features the first North American Ford application of a variable-displacement air conditioning compressor that reduces parasitic engine drag. SUV buyers placing highest priority on fuel economy can choose the available EcoBoost I-4. “Delivering the power of a normally aspirated V6, this advanced engine pairs a turbocharger with direct gasoline injection to provide SUV buyers with projected class-leading fuel economy,” says Fields. Ford’s claims are still pending EPA certification. “All of these fuel economy enhancements are wrapped in a smooth, distinctive Explorer design that was extensively refined in wind tunnel testing,” says Fields. “Designers and aerodynamicists collaborated to reshape sideview mirrors and harmonize the front air dam with the rear liftgate spoiler to significantly increase fuel efficiency on the highway.” The new Explorer is due in Ford showrooms later this year.