Ford Explorer SUV 2011 with 290HP 3.5-liter V6 and 235HP 2.0-liter Turbo: Ford’s frustrating striptease tactics came to an end today with the official unveiling of the all-new Explorer SUV (or shall we say, crossover?) that goes on sale in the U.S. at the end of the year with pricing said to start $1,000 less than the current base model at $28,995. More details on prices will be released closer to the launch date.
The new Explorer marks a significant departure from the outgoing version as the 7-seater model switched from a heavy body-on-frame to the same unibody structure with independent from and rear suspension used on the Ford Taurus sedan and Flex crossover, as well as on the Lincoln MKS.
Ford says that while adding significant content to the vehicle, engineers were able to reduce total vehicle weight by almost 100 pounds through the use of lighter materials such as an aluminum hood.
Another important change is that there won’t be a V8 option on the 2011 Explorer. Instead, Ford’s full size SUV will be offered with a base 3.5-liter V6 engine delivering an estimated 290HP and 255 lb.-ft. of torque, and 20 percent better fuel economy versus the current Explorer. Ford said that with a towing package, the V6 can haul up to 5,000 pounds, which around 2,000 pounds less than the outgoing model.
As an option (in other words, with a higher price tag) the next Explorer can be equipped with Ford’s new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost petrol producing a projected 237HP at 5,500 rpm and 250 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,700 rpm. The company claims that with this engine, estimated fuel economy improves by more than 30 percent, putting the SUV in line with sedans such as the 2010 Toyota Camry V6.
Both engines are hooked up to a six-speed automat6ic transmission. There’s nothing official yet, but it is expected that Ford‘s 355HP, 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 EcoBoost will be added to the range in the near future.
The four-cylinder Ecoboost is offered only in front-wheel drive configuration while the V6 model can be equipped optionally with a new, intelligent all-wheel-drive system developed with formerly Ford-owned Land Rover.
The AWD features a Land Rover-like terrain management system with four settings (normal, mud, sand and snow) controlled via a console-mounted knob. Each setting provides unique engine behavior, throttle tip-in, transmission shift scheduling and calibrations for traction and stability control systems. This system also includes a hill descent mode that provides engine braking when descending a steep incline.
Other highlights include the standard AdvanceTracwith RSC system with Curve Control functionality to provide braking optimized by each individual wheel, and the optional Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-traffic alert.
The all-new Explorer will be available in three trim series levels – base, XLT and Limited. For more details on the standard equipment check out the list below.