As expected, Ford unveiled today the 2011 Explorer, the next-generation SUV which promises to deliver best-in-class fuel economy, improved driving dynamics and terrain management system.
Ok, so what's under the hood? According to Ford, the new Explorer comes with a standard powertrain that combines front-wheel drive with a 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine, delivering 290 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque.
The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and delivers more than 20 percent better fuel economy comparing it wit the previous Explorer V6 model. Explorer V6 models are available with an intelligent 4WD system that adds terrain management.
The new Explorer is also available with an advanced 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 engine capable to deliver the power of a normally aspirated V6 without compromising four-cylinder fuel economy. The turbocharged and intercooled I-4 engine delivers 237 hp at 5,500 rpm and 250 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,700 through 4,000 rpm.
Ford says that the fuel consumption of this model is improved by more than 30 percent and exceeds the 2010 Honda Pilot and 2010 Toyota Highlander V6. The key to Explorer 4WD capability is Ford's new terrain management system.
The new system has four settings available by shift-on-the-fly and includes normal, mud, sand and snow. The 2011 Ford Explorer introduces new safety features such as the world's first second-row inflatable rear belts, which reduce the impact forces by more than five times. "Our objectives for Explorer dynamics were threefold," said Carl Widmann, vehicle engineering manager.
Ford will offer the new Explorer in three trim levels: base, XLT and Limited. The base level will include MyFord driver connect technology including 4.2-inch LCD screen, MyKey owner control feature, air filtration system, media hub, Easy Fuel capless fuel filler system, cruise control, power windows, with one-touch down for driver , power door locks with child safety rear door locks, tilt/telescoping steering column, four 12-volt power points and cargo hooks.
The Explorer XLT includes the standard content but also automatic headlamps, six-speed SelectShift Automatic, heated sideview mirrors with LED signal indicators and security approach lamps, SecuriCode keyless entry keypad, reverse sensing system, reverse sensing system and perimeter alarm.
The Explorer Limited includes all base and XLT content, plus: PowerFold sideview mirrors with driver's side memory, ambient lighting, adjustable pedals with memory functionality, cargo net, dual-zone temperature control, 10-way power driver's seat, with power recline and lumbar, electrochromic interior mirror, rear view camera, remote start system, 110-volt outlet, MyFord Touch driver connect technology, Intelligent Access with push-button start and universal garage door opener.