July 26, 2010

Major SUV Fuel Economy Gains, Technology, Style Highlight Reinvention of Ford Explorer

Press Release

2011 Ford Explorer
© Ford Motor Co.

Dearborn, MI — Ford Explorer — the vehicle that defined a segment — has been completely reinvented, raising customers' expectations of sport utility vehicle (SUV) fuel efficiency, safety, technology, capability and quality.

“The all-new Explorer will deliver today's SUV buyers the attributes they really want and value, and a few they might not even have dreamed of,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “We're proud to introduce the new Explorer to customers and fans around the world today and pleased to begin a whole new era that blends strong SUV fuel economy and performance.”

The all-new Explorer launches today to its Facebook friends in a unique social media initiative, followed by reveal events throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Shattering SUV fuel economy and performance expectations
“The new Explorer simply does everything well,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “It raises the bar for ride and handling on the road and transforms the off-road experience. It's the hands-down winner for towing capability and ease. All this capability — and three rows of seating — with amazing fuel economy will make Explorer the absolute right choice for families with a sense of adventure.”

The 2011 Explorer with V6 power is expected to deliver more than 20 percent better fuel economy than the 2010 model, shattering conventional expectations for SUV fuel efficiency. When equipped with the available 2.0-liter EcoBoost™ I-4 engine, Explorer fuel economy is expected to improve by more than 30 percent and exceed the 2010 Honda Pilot and 2010 Toyota Highlander V6.

Chief Nameplate Engineer Jim Holland said the team targeted two key objectives when developing the 2011 Ford Explorer.

“It had to look modern and contemporary — inside and out — yet be instantly recognizable as an Explorer,” said Holland. “Next, the new Explorer needed to deliver the fuel economy today's customers want, combined with the performance, capability and empowerment they expect from an SUV.”

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One Response to “Major SUV Fuel Economy Gains, Technology, Style Highlight Reinvention of Ford Explorer”

  1. Some commentators have questioned whether Ford does not have too many crossovers now, with the Escape, Edge, Explorer and Flex. On the face of it, one could argue “no”—The Escape is a small compact, the Edge a small midsize (with the recent update it is in fact closer to the CR-V and RAV4 in length), and the Flex large. There should be room in the lineup for a larger midsize crossover with 7 seats, something like the Pilot or Highlander. Unfortunately the new Explorer is not that gap-filling crossover. Instead it is almost as large as the Flex, and far, far larger than the Pilot or Highlander. Like the Dodge Durango and Chevrolet Trailblazer it risks being neither fish nor fowl—too big to be seriously considered as a midsize crossover, and not quite big enough to compete well against full-size crossovers such as the GMC Terrain. Perhaps it has been compromised by the positioning of the Flex as a large crossover, rather than a minivan, and the Edge as midsize rather than compact. It is as if Ford wanted a vehicle to compete with the popular Terrain, but which would not be so large as to undermine the Flex (not a problem if only the Flex were slightly more like a traditional minivan).