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Ford: 2011 Explorer will have traction dial

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Ford: 2011 Explorer will have traction dial



Ford says its 2011 Explorer will have a control system that lets drivers select how much traction they want based on road conditions.


Using a dial in the center of the console, drivers can select one of four modes: normal roads, muddy or rutted roads, snowy roads or sand. The SUV then adjusts the engine, transmission, brakes, wheel rotation speed and other systems.

If a driver sets the dial to snow, for example, the Explorer will engage traction control, use more braking and slow the wheels. In sand, it will do the opposite, since the wheels need to keep spinning.

The new system will come standard on all four-wheel drive models of the 2011 Explorer, which is to go on sale at the end of this year.

Drivers were confused by the current Explorer's Control Trac system, which allowed them to switch to high or low traction or stay in automatic, said Jim Holland, the 2011 Explorer's chief engineer.

The new system replaces Control Trac and brings together some functions that were previously separate.

In the current Explorer, for example, drivers who wanted to go over sand could turn off their antilock brakes for a better ride, but most didn't know that. The new system does that automatically.

A similar system is already available in two Land Rovers, the LR2 and LR4, said Holland. Ford helped develop the system before it sold Land Rover to Tata Motors in 2008.



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