AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Ford is confident customers will pay for improved fuel economy, announcing the new EcoBoost-equipped Explorer model will cost $995 above the 3.5-liter V6. Models will start at $19,990 and jump to $39,560 for a full-zoot Limited model.
Powering the EcoBoost model will be a turbocharged and direct-injection 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes a total of 240-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque; that’s down 50-hp from the V6 model, but up 15 lb-ft.
Fuel economy is the real factor here, however, with the EcoBoost model rated at 20-mpg city and 28-mpg highway, compares to 17/25-mpg for the V6 in front-drive trim. EcoBoost models will not be available in AWD.
By now, everybody’s patience is wearing thin with Ford‘s Explorer marketing campaign, whereby the automaker is obnoxiously revealing slivers of the Explorer’s exterior and interior design. It’s one thing to build hype for a car, but it’s another to have people inclined to hate your product before it’s even been revealed.
Ford has added yet another layer of tedium by choosing to reveal the look of the new Explorer’s grille after the car’s fan page hit 30,000 fans on Facebook. We hope predict that by the time Ford actually reveals the Explorer next week, the fatigue from the constant stream of teasers that nobody will actually report on the car.
Ford’s endless trickle of 2012 Ford Explorer teaser shots will mercifully come to an end next Thursday, when Ford unviels their new crossover in Midtown Manhattan, with spokesman Mike Rowe MC’ing the event.
The choice of venue for Ford’s event is somewhat telling, considering that the Explorer is being marketed as a crossover more adept at navigating city streets than rough terrain. Ford has stressed the “lifestyle” aspect in their teaser shots, with pictures of yuppie couples engaging in “outdoor” activity, but with very little off-roading prowess shown.
Ford‘s new Curve Control system is arguably a bigger competitive advantage for the 2012 Explorer than the crossover’s new sheet metal, but for some reason, the Blue Oval was happy to demonstrate their new technology while covering the exterior of the car in black material.
Essentially, Curve Control is an extra layer of protection on top of the vehicle’s stability control system. While there’s no new hardware involved with the system, new algorithms were developed to help detect if a driver was trying to negotiate a large radius turn (such as an on-ramp) at too high speeds. Curve Control can apply the brakes with 5 times more power and speed than standard stability control systems, giving it the ability to slow the car by 10mph in less than a second. With a big, heavy SUV and a winding on ramp, that could be the difference between life and death. Ford estimates that 50,000 accidents occur per year due to driving too fast through a curve, and the Curve Control system could become a pioneering bit of safety equipment if it actually meets Ford’s claims.
On the other hand, systems like this (and the upcoming Continental Steer Assist)the onus should be on the driver to drive at a responsible speed through a turn, especially in a big, unresponsive SUV, and most importantly, on public roads.
In an all-new approach to vehicle launching, Ford is choosing to reveal their hotly anticipated Explorer on Facebook, rather than at a traditional public launch. Ford has already shown a few teaser shots of the car on the popular social networking site, but nothing substantial has been leaked- expect a full reveal next month.
Unveiling a car on a social networking site is a new direction for a vehicle launch, but Ford has already used social media tools to help build buzz for new products. The Fiesta Movement, an online social media campaign designed to build buzz for their new subcompact, was launched over a year in advance of the vehicle’s on-sale date, and was wildly successful among young buyers who were previously unaware of Ford products.
With the move to a car-based Explorer possibly alienating longtime fans of the truck-based SUV, perhaps Ford is hoping to go after a new segment that wants a less rugged, more “lifestyle” oriented SUV.
[Source: USA Today]
Ford continues to let bits and pieces of the 2012 Explorer’s design trickle out, and the latest photo shoot (which made its debut on Ford’s Facebook page) takes place in the snowy woods, with a a few details visible. Notably, the A-Pillar of the car is blacked out, which gives less visual heft (and is a trick used on bulkier sports cars, like the Nissan GTR). Other visible design cues, like the headlights and rear-view mirrors, are chock full of the latest Ford design elements.
The Explorer is switching a car-based platform for 2012, a move that has many observers and loyal customers up in arms. Ford’s been on a hot streak with their latest products (the Fiesta, Mustang and Edge have been winning rave reviews) but the Explorer is their bread and butter, and any mishap during the launch could be a blow to the automaker’s resurgence.
GALLERY: 2012 Ford Explorer Teaser
No confirmation has been given, but there’s a very good chance that this rendering is the finalized design of the 2012 Ford Explorer, one of Ford’s most hotly anticipated products. The new Explorer marks the first time that Ford’s mainstay SUV switches to a car-based, front wheel drive platform, a move that has caused some controversy with off-road enthusiasts.
The styling mixes some Ford cues with a very slab-sided, almost Land Rover-esque styling. Power is expected to come from a pair of Ecoboost engines through front or all-wheel drive systems. A terrain management system, also similar to the one employed by Land Rover, will also make its debut.
UPDATE: Looks like the rendering was actually done by Australian artist Joshua Byrnes.
The trickle of informations surrounding Ford‘s next Explorer has been slow, but the Blue Oval released yet another teaser in the form of a portrait of the new car’s chief engineer posing with the new model. Jim Holland, formerly responsible for the 2002 Range Rover, gave an interview with the Detroit Free Press where he refuted claims that the switch to a crossover format would diminish the current truck-based Explorer’s towing capacity and off-road capability.
Holland talks about the similarities between the Range Rover, which also moved to a car platform despite decades of being truck-based. Holland said that the styling of the two cars will be similar, and that the Explorer will also have a terrain-management system, including a Hill Descent Control system similar to the Range Rover.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
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]