Adding the to product range, Ford has unveiled the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport, a performance geared model which the company claims has the “highest projected fuel economy among gasoline-engine-powered, high- performance SUVs.”
The new Explorer Sport package will be powered by the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost engine which will make at least 350 hp. “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.”
Ford expects the Explorer Sport to get 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. The engine will be mated to a six speed SelectShift automatic transmission, which can be controlled by optional paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
For performance, the Explorer Sport will get larger brakes, a solid-mounted electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) rack with a faster ratio for better steering, and a stiffened, reinforced chassis.
For exterior looks, the Sport package gets a special low-gloss Sterling Gray grill, 20-inch painted and machined wheels, blacked out headlights and taillights, black roof rails and sideview mirror skull caps.
The interior styling is inspired by high fashion, namely designs that can be found on Prada and Balenciaga products. Charcoal black leather seats are available with or without contrasting Sienna inserts. Leather also wraps the steering wheel while the floor mats are stitched with Sport badges.
As an entrant to the sport SUV segment, the Explorer Sport is looking to compete with the likes of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and the Land Rover Range Rover Sport. The SRT8 makes 470 hp while the Range Rover makes 510 hp. The Ford will be a little on the light side in the power department, but if it can deliver a truly sporty feel, it may well take some of the market thanks to its fuel efficiency.
The Ford Explorer Sport will arrive in dealerships later this year.