The EPA recently announced its fuel-economy ratings for the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport, and the high-powered hauler was awarded grades of 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway. Those numbers may seem a long way behind the 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway posted by the Explorer with its 2.0-liter EcoBoost I4 engine, but the result is still a best-in-class performance—just in a different class.
That’s because the Explorer Sport has graduated to the big time, with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that delivers a hefty 365 hp and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s a boost of 75 hp and 95 lb.-ft. of twist as compared to the vehicle’s standard V6, but the Sport model loses just a single mpg in the EPA’s city/highway ratings. Further, it also gains a unique version of the Explorer’s innovative Terrain Management System, retuned to handle the increased power beneath the hood, as well as an upgraded SelectShift six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a more aggressive 3.16:1 final drive ratio.