The film on the teaser reel has barely cooled down and Ford is already debuting the high performance version for their Explorer SUV. The new Explorer Sport will make its world debut next week at the 2012 New York Auto Show and will arrive in dealerships later this year.
The Explorer Sport will feature a muscular, sculpted form with subtle cues to differentiate it from the other models in the lineup. Under the hood, Ford has placed a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that delivers a total of 350 HP. Combined with four-wheel drive and a Terrain Management System, the new Explorer Sport delivers the highest projected fuel economy among gasoline-engine-powered, high- performance SUVs: 16 mpg in city driving and 22 mpg on the highway.
"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."
UPDATE 06/08/2012: Thanks to an online configurator revealed today by Ford, we can now offer the official pricing for the 2013 Explorer Sport. Get yours today for $40,720.
Hit the jump to read more about the new Ford Explorer Sport.
Exterior and Interior
The new Explorer Sport will be offered in just four exterior colors: Ruby Red Metallic Clearcoat, White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat, Tuxedo Black Metallic, and Ingot Silver Metallic. These colors will be combined with 20" wheels, blacked-out headlamp and taillamp treatments, black roof rack rails, side-view mirror skull caps, and a liftgate appliqué.
The front grille has received a low-gloss Sterling Gray mesh with contrasting ebony high-gloss bars. Up front, there is also a new functional opening for additional engine cooling, while the rear gets Sport and EcoBoost badges.
The interior combines a contrast inspired by fashion: the seats are covered in Charcoal Black leather and are combined with two-tone mirroring and apparel from design houses Balenciaga and Prada. Unique elements include steering wheel stitching, a technical look to instrument and door panel appliqués, unique Sport-logo floor mats, and illuminated scuff plates.
- Wheelbase 112.6
- Vehicle length 197.1
- Vehicle width with mirrors 90.2
- Vehicle height at curb 71.0
- Track width, front/rear 67.0/67.0
- Seating capacity Six/seven passenger
- First row headroom 40.6 with moonroof
- Second row headroom 38.3 with moonroof
- Third row headroom 37.8
- First row legroom 40.6
- Second row legroom 39.8
- Third row legroom 33.2
- First row shoulder room 61.3
- Second row shoulder room 61.0
- First row hip room 56.3
- Second row hip room 56.7
- Third row hip room 40.7
The new Ford Explorer Sport is powered by a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine that delivers a total of 350 HP and a peak torque of 350 lb-ft. The engine sends its power to all wheels through a paddle-shifted six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission with a unique 3.16 to 1 final drive ratio.
The best part of the new Sport model is its fuel consumption, which stands at 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 3 mpg higher in the city and 4 mpg better on the highway than the Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
The model has also received a solid-mounted electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) rack with a faster ratio and larger brakes for shorter stopping distances and better performance while towing.
- Type 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6
- Manufacturing location Cleveland Engine Plant
- Configuration 60-degree V6, aluminum block and heads
- Valvetrain Four valves per cylinder, intake variable camshaft timing
- Bore x stroke 92.5 x 86.7 mm
- Displacement 3,496 cc
- Compression ratio 10.0:1
- Horsepower 350 @ 5,500 rpm (estimated)
- Torque 350 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-5,000 rpm (estimated)
- Recommended fuel 87-octane unleaded/premium provides improved performance
- Fuel capacity 18.6 gallons
- Fuel injection Direct injection
- Oil capacity 6.0 quarts with filter
- Recommended oil GF5 5W-30
- Emission control Closed loop with catalyst
- Federal standards Tier II/Bin 5 tailpipe, Cold Bin 4, T2e evaporative
- California standards ULEV II tailpipe, L2e evaporative
The new Ford Explorer Sport will go on sale later in 2012 at a starting price of $40,720.
Trailer Tow Package, Class III:
- required for towing with the Explorer, with maximum towing up to 5,000 pounds
- Class III frame-mounted hitch,
- 4- and 7-pin trailer connectors
- engine oil cooler.
Driver Connect Package
- SYNC® with MyFord Touch® driver-connect technology with two configurable LCD displays front and center in your instrument cluster, an eight-inch LCD color touch screen in the center stack which you also can customize, a media hub with two USB ports, SD card reader, video input jacks and five-way, steering wheel-mounted controls
- SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system
- an electrochromic (auto-dimming) rearview mirror.
- leather-trimmed, heated front bucket seats with a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat,
- six-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
- four-way adjustable front head restraints.
Equipment Group 402A - $4,130
- Voice-Activated Navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link
- BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert
- Inflatable rear safety belts
- Power liftgate
- Adjustable pedals with memory
- Power Tilt/ - Telescoping Steering Column
- Perforated leather trimmed seats, heated and cooled driver and front passenger seats, and 10-way power front-passenger seat with power lumbar
- Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
- Remote Start System
- Ambient lighting
- Universal garage door opener
- Memory driver’s seat
- Power-folding mirrors with memory
- 110V outlet
As Ford itself pointed out, the new Explorer Sport was brought onto the market as a competitor for models like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Land Rover Range Rover Sport. To be quite honest, at first glance, we like the Explorer Sport better. Why? Basically we are bored with the Range Rover’s look and the Grand Cherokee is not as aggressive as the Ford model.
Under the hood though, things are a little bit different. The Grand Cherokee is still less powerful with its 3.6-liter V-6 engine that delivers 280 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The Range Rover Sport is powered by a V8 engine that delivers a total of 375 HP and 376 lbs-ft of torque, and 520 HP and 460 lb-ft of torque in the supercharged version.
Great fuel economy