Follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/FordExplorer
While a Ford Explorer isn’t of much interest to a Driving Enthusiast (unless it’s a V-8 with towing package and you plan to haul your race car to the track!), it is significant for auto industry watchers.
First, it’s as nail in the coffin of the “old school” SUVs: the Explorer is body-on-frame and is technically a crossover. That means it’s considerably lighter, 25% more fuel efficient, and has better driving dynamics.
Second, instead of the traditional introduction at an auto show type event, it’s being introduced solely thru social marketing. This is another big step forward for Ford, once which they’ve already experimented with in the launch of the new Fiesta.
Taken together, this is representative of the big step forward taking place in the auto industry as a whole.
Here’s another pic of the Explorer. If you’ve been following the spy pics (one of our addictions), you’ve already seen the entire outside of the car, the rear suspension, the dashboard, the back seats with “airbag” type seatbelts, and even the DOHC Ti-VCT V-6 under the hood.
What we don’t know yet is which V-6 the Explorer will use: the 3.5 liter (in newly updated 280 HP form) or the 3.7 (with 305 HP). We know that an EcoBoost 2 liter will be the base engine, but we don’t know it’s HP and torque rating yet (the Explorer America concept had 275 from 2 liters). We also don’t know if the mighty 3.5 EcoBoost will be offered, but since a Police package Explorer will be joining the new Police package Taurus, it’s a sure bet. It also looks like the EcoBoost 3.5 is up for a HP increase, since the Police package Taurus with optional EcoBoost refers to it’s engine spec as “at least” 355 HP.
Imagine that – 10 years after Ford teased us with the Explorer Tremor concept (380 HP), they may be ready to offer an Explorer with that much power. And probably around 25 MPG.