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2011 Explorer fuel economy increases 25%


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2011 Explorer fuel economy increases 25%



SAN DIEGO – Ford said today that its 2011 Ford Explorer has been certified by the U.S. EPA at 25 miles per gallon on the highway, or 25% better than the outgoing model.

The company revealed the figures first on social media site Facebook.

Ford also said the redesigned Explorer, which will reach some dealers this month, gets 17 miles per gallon in the city and has a combined fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon.

That compares with 23 miles per gallon on the highway and 16 in the city for the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee, which went on sale earlier this year, and has a combined fuel efficiency of 18 miles per gallon.

Poor fuel economy is the top reason why SUV sales have declined in recent years, Frank Davis, Ford’s vice president of product development said Monday during a presentation to journalists near San Diego.

“Today’s customer wants no trade-offs,” Davis said. “That’s why we focused on fuel economy leadership with this vehicle.”

Ford was selling more than 400,000 Explorers per year in the 1990s but has sold just 50,588 through the first 11 months of this year. The company believes that the new version of the vehicle will boost those numbers next year.

Ford began building the 2011 Explorer at its assembly plant in Chicago last Wednesday. On Monday, Ford’s manufacturing and product development review teams signed off on approval for the plant to start shipping them to dealers.

The 2011 Ford Explorer is based on the same platform as the company’s Ford Taurus sedan rather than the more rigid truck frame of the outgoing model, causing many experts to classify it as a crossover rather than an SUV.

However, Ford is marketing the 2011 Explorer as an SUV and Ford Explorer Chief Engineer Jim Holland said the company’s off road capability and 5,000 pound towing capacity will satisfy most customers.

Read more: 2011 Explorer fuel economy increases 25% | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101207/BUSINESS0102/101207004/2011-Explorer-fuel-economy-increases-25-#ixzz17Qsn03pS

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2011 Ford Explorer To Hit 25 MPG

EPA numbers show a 25% increase in mileage.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.07, 2010


Bigger but lighter, the new Ford Explorer will get 25 mpg on the highway, according to new EPA testing.

The all-new Ford Explorer will get 25% better mileage than the outgoing SUV, according to new data released by the EPA, which oversees federal mileage testing.

Having switched from a truck-based platform to a car-like crossover design, the 2011 Explorer will get 17 miles per gallon in the city, 25 on the highway, with a combined rating of 20 mpg. The old model got 14/20 in front-drive configuration, 13/19 with an all-wheel-drive powertrain.

Fuel economy concerns were among the most significant of the “past reasons for turning away” from the Explorer and other SUVs, noted Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global director of vehicle development.

With its new 3.5-liter V6 powertrain replacing the old Explorer’s 4.6-liter V8, Ford will be able to claim segment leadership on fuel economy. While the 2011 Toyota 4Runner matches Explorer in-town, it gets only 23 mpg on the highway. The all-new, 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee also got an EPA rating of 23 highway, but just 16 in the city.

“Today’s customers want no trade-offs, which is why we focused on fuel economy leadership,” product development vice president Frank Davis said at an Explorer preview, this week.

The challenge was to balance the advantages of a crossover against those that might be lost by moving away from a more traditional, truck-like SUV package. Explorer, Ford officials admit, loses a modest amount of off-road capabilities, but that’s something, they insist, that only the most rugged outdoorsman would notice – and those buyers typically didn’t come to Ford, anyway.

Towing capacity was reduced slightly, meanwhile, from 7,250 lbs to 5,000. But Ford is again betting that the difference won’t matter to the typical Explorer buyer.

If anything, says Amy Marentic, the program’s marketing chief, Ford believes it will attract crossover buyers who want more ute-like capabilities. Several years ago, CUVs over-took traditional sport-utility vehicles in market demand – one key reason Ford abandoned the body-on-frame design of the old Explorer.

Ford also hopes to spur demand by loading Explorer up with an array of new safety features, including rear-seat seatbelts that incorporate airbags in their webbing, and the new Corner Control system, which is designed to automatically slow the vehicle down if a driver enters a curve too aggressively.

A safety problem involving defective tires, a decade ago, precipitated the steady decline in demand for what was once one of America’s most popular products. In the 1990s, Explorer volume routinely topped 400,000 annually. So far this year, however, Ford has sold less than 51,000 of the outgoing model.

The maker won’t reveal its sales target for the 2011 Ford Explorer but hints it expects a significant rebirth for the nameplate.



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By Mark Kleis

Last Monday Ford began production of its all-new 2011 Explorer in order to keep up with the 15,000 pre-orders that had doubled initial estimates. Production also began nearly a week before the automaker had the official mileage ratings back from the environmental protection agency (EPA) regarding the SUV’s fuel economy.

Now, thanks to a post on Ford’s Explorer fan page on Facebook via GreenCarReports, we have learned that the new unibody-based Explorer will achieve a full 25 percent higher fuel economy than the outgoing model. To be exact, the new Explorer is rated at 17 miles per gallon city and 25 mpg highway with the V6 and two-wheel drive – compared to just 14 city and 20 highway mpg in the 2010 model it replaces.

Ford says that this rating puts the Explorer at the top of its class for V6 fuel economy, beating the more off road-oriented 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee by one city and two highway mpg.


Also keep in mind that the fuel economy rating is for the 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft. of torque V6 engine, the only engine available at launch, and not the mid-year addition 2.0-liter Ecboost inline-four that is expected to return even higher fuel economy.

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