Well here it is! After what seemed like month's of weekly teaser photos, Ford has officially unveiled the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer.
"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."
20 years after the first Explorer was introduced, the all-new Explorer is completely different and ditches the old-school body-on-frame design for a more modern unibody structure that it will share with the Taurus, Flex and Lincoln MKS and MKT. In addition to the new unibody structure, the 2011 Explorer will also be available with Ford's new 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. The 2.0L puts out 237-hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. The standard engine will be the 3.5L V6 engine that puts out 290-hp and 255 lb-ft. of torque. The V6 is mated to a six-speed automatic and according to Ford will get more than 20 percent better fuel economy compared to the outgoing Explorer V6.
The Explorer will be available with either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. Although some may criticize the fact that Ford is switching to a unibody design for the Explorer, Ford remains committed to its off-road going ability with a new intelligent 4WD system, which features a terrain management system. Drivers only have to turn the console-mounted knob to select the proper setting among snow, sand, mud and normal modes.
The Explorer will be available in three trim levels: base, XLT and Limited. Standard features include the MyFord driver connect technology including 4.2-inch LCD screen, MyKey™ owner control feature, power windows and locks, media hub and a telescoping steering wheel.
Ford's Chicago plant will start building the Explorer later this year with sales starting early next year.