The 2012 Ford Explorer was shown to dealers at a meeting Tuesday, but confusion over the launch date of the vehicle put a damper on the buzz surrounding the pivotal Ford product.
The Explorer is a popular vehicle for Ford, but the new generation will change from a traditional truck-based SUV to a car-based crossover. Rather than the usual six and eight cylinder options, the new Explorer will use a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder Ecoboost engine with a six-cylinder option. It will also get a Terrain Management System, with a simple console mounted knob with clearly marked driving modes for normal, mud, sand or snow. Every mode will also be compatible with a new hill-decent feature, to navigate steep grades. Rather than use a traditional transfer case, Ford will use more advanced electronics to send power to each wheel.
Dealers likened the Explorer to a larger version of the Ford Edge, which would indicate a radical departure from the current Explorer. Sales of the current model are up 41% through April.
[Source: Automotive News]