January 21, 2008 A cute showcase platform for the for the 20-30 percent better fuel economy, lower emissions and no compromise performance promised by Ford's soon to be introduced EcoBoost technology, the Explorer America concept aims to demonstrate the sustainable, flexible future of the company's iconic SUV with fuel-saving features like electric power assisted steering and a multifunctional interior layout that includes single-touch, stackable sliding seats, a work table (complete with seats) that deploys from the tailgate and an instrument panel that integrates a three-dimensional compass navigation unit with a topographical map. Using the turbocharging and direct injection Ecoboost technology, the 4-cylinder 2-liter engine delivers 275 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque or, in a 3.5-liter V-6 format, about 340 hp.
Ford sees EcoBoost as a more affordable alternative to hybrids and diesel engines and depending on engine selection, fuel-efficiency will improve by 20 to 30 percent versus today’s V-6 Explorer with electric power assisted steering (EPAS) and other engine actions contributing about 5 percent to the overall fuel savings (up to 90 percent of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles will have EPAS by 2011).
The Ford Explorer America concept also demonstrates a lighter utility compared with the current offerings - the V-6 version drops by 150 pounds via the downsized engine and use of lightweight materials, suspension and chassis components and the current body-on-frame changes to a unibody construction.
The 6-speed transmission features auto shift control, meaning a dial can be used to select and hold a when required.
Keeping to the same general shape and footprint of current Explorer models, the design pointers for the future of the range show more sculpted lines highlighted at the front by the distinctive headlight configuration that with the indicator at the center, and at the rear by the wrap-around glass panel window.
Ford will introduce EcoBoost on the new Lincoln MKS flagship in 2009, followed by the Ford Flex and other vehicles. By 2013, Ford will have more than half a million EcoBoost-powered vehicles on the road annually in North America.
Ford Explorer America Specifications
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