Ford has been making quite a few headlines recently by delivering best-in-class fuel economy in no fewer than three different vehicle markets, and now the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer is expected to do the same when equipped with its optional EcoBoost engine. The new Explorer is due to make its official unveiling later this week, and under the hood, this SUV-turned-crossover will offer Ford's first North American application of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four. The new 2011 Ford Explorer will make its official debutÂ in nine cities onÂ Monday July 26, 201 with production and sales commencing later in the year.
Although Ford has yet to post any detailed information on the new Explorer, the use of the smaller EcoBoost engine has been known for sometime. Ford claims that the smaller EcoBoost will deliver the power of a V-6 with fuel economy that is 30 percent better than the current Explorer V-6. The current base engine in the 2010 Explorer is a 4.0-liter V-6 that gets 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. This means Ford is expecting the fuel economy of the new Explorer to be somewhere around 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, but judging by recent conservative fuel economy expectations of new product launches, it probably wouldn't be out of the question for the 2011 Explorer to return city fuel economy in the low 20s and highway fuel economy of at lest 30. Official fuel economy estimates are still 'pending EPA certification.'?
Like the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that debuted last year, the smaller displacement EcoBoost engines will also feature direct injection and turbocharging. These advancements allow the engine to produce more power while being more efficient, and the 2.0-liter EcoBoost is expected to produce 230 hp and a broad torque curve that peaks around 240 lb-ft from 1,800 rpm up to 5,500 rpm. This is compared to the 210 horsepower and the 254 lb-ft of torque that peaked at 3,700 rpm.
'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. 'Explorer owners told us they want capability with convenience and improved fuel economy without compromised performance. We believe we've hit the mark with the next-generation Explorer. It has the potential to change perceptions of what a modern SUV is all about.'?
While the fuel economy benefits of the EcoBoost are plentiful, Ford also looked to increase the fuel efficiency of the new Explorer by reducing the curb weight. Examples of the weight savings include an aluminum hood and a one piece radiator core support that is 65 percent lighter than the current SUV. Ford also reduced the strain on the engine by equipping the Explorer with electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), aggressive deceleration fuel shut off and a variable-displacement air conditioning compressor. The new Explorer design is also more aerodynamic than the current boxy styling which will not only help increase fuel economy but improve on-road refinement as well. Off-road driving will also be improved with the addition of the four-mode Terrain Management System (TMS) that operates similarly to the proven system used on all current Land Rover models.
Ford has been teasing pictures for some time now and even posted a video with NASCAR driver Carl Edwards checking it out, but more details will be available following the crossover's debut.