Ford is finally rolling out the new 2.0 liter EcoBoost version of its popular new Explorer. The premium engine option of a direct injection 2.0 liter turbo-charged four cylinder engine is a new frontier in the near full-size SUV segment that offers three rows of seating for seven.
The first application of the new turbocharged four in ont of Ford’s top bread winning vehicles is not only bold but against tradition where more money at the point of sale usually means a larger engine. But this option is all about fuel efficiency.
The EcoBoost Explorer for 2012 is rated at 28 mpg highway by the EPA. According to Ford that beats the Honda Pilot and Jeep Grand Cherokee by 5 mpg, Chevrolet Traverse by 4 mpg and Toyota Highlander by 3 mpg.
The EcoBoost four-cylinder engine provides 240 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a heady 270 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. The engine combines gasoline direct injection and turbocharging with smaller overall displacement, delivering comparable power to a standard V6 engine while delivering the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder engine. Ford says it holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost engine technology.
The combination of superior fuel efficiency and ample responsiveness is enabled by direct gasoline injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). Efficiency is further enhanced through employment of low-friction 5W-GF5 motor oil, a variable-displacement air conditioning compressor, electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) and a unique 6F35 six-speed automatic transmission developed to reduce friction and increase efficiency.
The Explorer with its standard V6 delivers up to 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway to lead the full-size V6 SUV segment in fuel efficiency. The Explorer with EcoBoost continues this class-leading fuel efficiency momentum delivering 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
In the first six months of 2011, Explorer sales totaled 65,823 vehicles. This figure exceeds the full-year 2010 total of 60,687 Explorers. More than half of early buyers of the redesigned 2011 Explorer cited fuel efficiency as a primary motivation in their purchase decision.
Expect to see see the new EcoBoost 2012 Explorers showing up at your dealerships within the next month or two.