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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]
A real pickup for as little as $17,995
A joint project with Nissan, the 2009 Suzuki Equator pickup truck will be built in Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn. Facility. Suzuki will offer plenty of variants including Extended Cab and Crew Cab body styles, Long Bed and Short Bed variants, four- and six-cylinder engines, and two- and four-wheel drive options.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes 152hp and 171 ft-lbs of torque, whereas the more capable 4.0-liter V-6 powerplant produces 261hp and 281 ft-lbs of torque. Four-cylinder models will be available with a five-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic will be optional on the 4-cylinder and standards on V-6 models.
2WD V6 Extended Cab models will boast a towing capacity of 6,500 lbs.
An optional shift-on-the-fly 4WD system is an option with an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case. The Equator comes equipped with traction control, an electronic locking rear diff, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Hill Descent Control and Hill Hold Control.
Pricing for four-cylinder models starts at as low as $17,995 with the Crew Cab Base model with 2WD starting at $23,985. The Crew Cab Sport, which includes aluminum alloy wheels, cruise control and power windows and door locks, starts at $25,150 for 2WD and $28,095 for 4WD models. Finally, the Crew Cab RMZ-4 carries a starting MSRP of $29,325.
Official release after the jump: