Ford Explorer Sport is a new addition for the 2013 model year, featuring EcoBoost® 3.5-liter V6 engine for greater performance feel and projected top fuel economy among gasoline-powered, high-performance sport utility vehicles
Explorer Sport gives customers an interior inspired by designer accessory fashions, sporty exterior design cues and specially tuned suspension components
DEARBORN, Mich., March 28, 2012 – The first-ever performance version of the Ford Explorer arrives this year with the highest projected fuel economy among gasoline-engine-powered, high- performance SUVs.
With a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® V6 engine making at least 350 horsepower and four-wheel drive with a Terrain Management System™, Explorer Sport delivers enhanced on-road dynamics with sporty design cues inside and out.
“Adding an EcoBoost drivetrain to Explorer Sport delivers even more fuel efficiency and performance to the lineup,” said Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer. “This is our highest- performance, most capable Ford Explorer ever.”
Power, capability, fuel efficiency
Completely new for 2011, the Ford Explorer has been winning over customers with its improved on-road handling, impressive comfort and convenience technologies, and fuel economy never before delivered by an SUV.
For the 2013 model year, Explorer Sport brings high-performance SUV power and projected fuel economy of up to 16 mpg in city driving and 22 mpg on the highway – anticipating 3 mpg better in the city and 2 mpg on the highway than the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango R/T 5.7-liter Hemi engines. It scores 3 mpg higher in the city and 4 mpg higher on the highway than the Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
“Explorer Sport makes no compromises,” said Carl Widmann, vehicle engineering manager. “By carefully beefing the chassis and suspension, precisely calibrating the Terrain Management System and adding comfort and convenience features, we’ve delivered an SUV that delivers great dynamics and performance – while towing up to 5,000 pounds.”
The Explorer Sport features a paddle-shifted six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission with a unique 3.16 to 1 final drive ratio to provide the balance of responsive acceleration and economical low-rpm cruising for better fuel efficiency.
The chassis also has been specially reinforced, making Explorer Sport stiffer and improving its handling.
Explorer Sport also brings a solid-mounted electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) rack with a faster ratio, providing more responsiveness to drivers both on-road and off.
Ford’s newest SUV comes standard with larger brakes for shorter stopping distances and better performance while towing.
Explorer Sport also has received special terrain management settings for tackling sandy, snowy, rutted mud and hill descent.
“Upgrading to Sport specification enabled us to maintain the standards of traditional Explorer capability plus delivering the highest highway fuel efficiency among gasoline-engine-powered, high-performance, three-row SUVs,” Widmann said.
Subtle, sporty design elements
Sport builds on Explorer’s muscular, sculpted form with subtle cues to differentiate it from other models in the lineup. Available in four exterior colors – Ruby Red Metallic Clearcoat, White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat, Tuxedo Black Metallic and Ingot Silver Metallic – Explorer Sport has unique 20-inch painted and machined wheels, features blacked-out headlamp and taillamp treatments, black roof rack rails, sideview mirror skull caps and a liftgate appliqué.
The Explorer Sport’s special grille is a low-gloss Sterling Gray mesh, with contrasting ebony high-gloss bars. The black front lower fascia features a functional opening for additional cooling. Explorer logotype in billet-like black adds a bold identity statement. Subtle Sport and EcoBoost badges at the rear finish the liftgate.
Inside, the high-end feel continues. Charcoal Black leather-trimmed seating is available with and without contrasting Sienna inserts.
The interior design contrast was inspired by fashion, mirroring two-tones that are currently seen in leather accessories and apparel from design houses Balenciaga and Prada. Stitching is emphasized to lend a handcrafted appearance while highlighting Explorer Sport’s sculptured seats.
Explorer Sport also has unique steering wheel stitching, a technical look to instrument and door panel appliqués, unique Sport-logo floor mats and illuminated scuff plates.
Comfort, convenience, connectivity
As the top of the Explorer line, Sport offers a robust array of standard and optional customer-focused technologies that make driving more comfortable, convenient and connected. These include:
4WD with Terrain Management System
Dual-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control
10-way power driver’s seat with power recline and lumbar
Six-way power passenger seat with recline and lumbar
First-row heated seats
Compass and exterior temperature display
Rear view camera
SYNC® with MyFord Touch® driver connect technology
Sony® Premium Audio System with HD Radio™ and 12 speakers
Explorer Sport can be tailored to individual preferences with the following options as well:
Active park assist
Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert
Inflatable rear seat belts
Intelligent access with Push-Button Start
Adjustable pedals with memory
Class III trailer-towing package
Explorer Sport is manufactured at Ford’s Chicago production facility. It will arrive in dealerships later this year.
Ford doubles size of vehicle development teams focused on fuel-saving technologies globally versus five years ago; dozens of additional engineers to be hired this year
Ford is converting its Advanced Engineering Center – a 285,000-square-foot building – for its newly centralized team of engineers working on hybrid and electrification programs
Company continues adding production capacity for fuel-saving EcoBoost®, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle lineup
New Fusion is the best example of how Ford is giving customers true power of choice for fuel-efficient vehicles. From Fusion with EcoBoost and Fusion Hybrid to Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid – each will help customers save money at the pump
DEARBORN, Mich., March 28, 2012 – Ford in the past five years has doubled the size of the team working on fuel-saving technologies like EcoBoost® turbocharged gasoline engines, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles globally, and is now converting one of its largest research and development labs as it continues to hire for further fuel-saving advancements.
Ford’s team of more than 1,000 engineers working on hybrid and electrification programs – including Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid – has grown so fast that the company today is announcing the conversion of its 285,000-square-foot Advanced Engineering Center in Dearborn, Mich., to electrified vehicle development.
“Ford remains absolutely committed to providing a wide range of choices of top fuel economy solutions for our customers – from EcoBoost-powered gasoline vehicles and hybrids to plug-in hybrids and full electrics,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “To meet growing demand for our fuel-efficient vehicles, we are continuing to invest in new jobs in the U.S. and converting our facilities for further advancements.”
The new jobs are part of Ford’s plans to add more than 12,000 hourly and salaried jobs by 2015 in the United States. The company also has announced it is tripling production capacity of its hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in the U.S. next year compared with 2011.
From EcoBoost to hybrids and from plug-in hybrids to full electric vehicles, this year Ford will offer nine vehicles reaching an anticipated 40 mpg or more.
Ford will offer fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines in 11 vehicles in 2012, up from seven in 2011, tripling the production capacity of EcoBoost-equipped Ford vehicles. This expansion of fuel-efficient offerings will be led by the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine in the high-volume Escape compact utility vehicle and Fusion sedan nameplates.
Delivering up to 20 percent better fuel economy than conventional engines, EcoBoost uses smaller overall size combined with turbocharging and gasoline direct injection to bring customers the power they want and the fuel economy they need.
“EcoBoost expansion and availability in high-volume nameplates such as the all-new Ford Escape and Fusion will take this affordable, fuel-saving technology to the heart of the market,” said Fields.
Kevin Layden, director of Ford Electrification Programs and Engineering, says the new Fusion is the best example of how Ford is giving customers true power of choice for fuel-efficient vehicles. “From Fusion with EcoBoost and Fusion Hybrid to Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid – each of these cars will help customers save money at the pump,” Layden said.
Fusion offers customers the broadest selection of fuel-efficient powertrains in the midsize car segment, including a choice of two EcoBoost four-cylinder engines, a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. The new Fusion is expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy across the lineup:
2013 Fusion 1.6-liter EcoBoost: Projected 37 mpg highway, which would make it America’s most fuel-efficient non-rechargeable midsize sedan
2013 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid: Aiming to become the world’s most fuel-efficient midsize sedan with a projected 100 MPGe rating
2013 Fusion Hybrid: Expected to become the world’s most fuel-efficient non-rechargeable midsize sedan with 47 mpg
Ford Advanced Engineering Center: Past and present
The Ford Advanced Engineering Center is located within the company’s Henry and Edsel Ford Research & Engineering Center, the 500-acre technical complex in Dearborn that opened in 1953 and serves as the home for research and engineering efforts.
The AEC was constructed on the research campus in 1993 as part of an $84 million project that centered largely on noise, vibration and harshness testing with several state-of-the-art labs within.
That changed in 2009. As Ford’s investment in electrified vehicles like Fusion Hybrid increased, so did the size of the Sustainable Mobility Technologies team behind it, said Chuck Gray, Ford chief engineer, Global Core Engineering Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.
The rapid growth has not only brought together a large group of talented and smart engineers, it has brought together innovators from diverse backgrounds. Many have experience in aerospace working on jets, rockets, missiles, satellites and unmanned aircraft. One engineer even spent time in the driver’s seat of the Goodyear Blimp.
There also is an Emmy Award winner, an individual who was presented an award from retired Army Gen. Colin Powell for outstanding performance and excellence, and another engineer who helped develop Intel’s Pentium processors.
“Working with such a diverse group makes it exciting and fun to come to work every day,” said James Gibbons, Ford’s manager of Battery Units for Hybrid Vehicles. “With this group, we never run out of fresh ideas or new ways to provide our customers with better fuel efficiency.”