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2011 Ford Explorer Revealed

Jul 26, 2010

It's a nameplate that's largely credited with jumpstarting America's love affair with the SUV. But, as buyers have changed and moved to crossover, the Ford Explorer has had to change to stay relevant. Enter the 2011 model.

"This is not your father's Ford Explorer," says Jalopnik. "For starters, gone is a V8 engine option and in its place is an I-4 EcoBoost engine and a 3.5-liter V6. And then underneath the plastic lies an all-new car-like frame. Yup, it's yet another crossover."

Autoblog explains, "When word got out that Ford was developing a new unibody Explorer off the same platform architecture that underpins the Taurus and Flex – not to mention the Lincoln MKS and MKT – many people wondered why Dearborn had elected to develop yet another crossover, especially since the Taurus X/Freestyle had just been killed due to slow sales. This predicament was not lost on Ford's product planners, and their four-wheeled response is a new Explorer that remains squarely targeted at traditional SUV buyers – shoppers that Ford sees as a distinct group from most crossover intenders."

However, SUV buyers looking for Rubicon-ready off-road abilities may not find what they're looking for in the 2011 Explorer. "Standard with all-wheel-drive models will be Ford’s Terrain Management system. . . . Similar to systems used by Land Rover, Terrain Management allows drivers to select one of four conditions, and the system adjusts drivetrain and all-wheel-drive settings to suit. While the system can route full power to the front or rear axle, serious off-roaders who want locking differentials or height-adjusting suspensions should look elsewhere," says Kicking Tires.

In a separate article, Kicking Tires explores the interior of the 2011 Explorer. "Materials are good, with padded surfaces in all the important areas and well-integrated center controls. The iPhone crowd will appreciate the MyFord Touch controls."

Left Lane News reports, "The Explorer is set to begin production near the end of this year at the automaker’s Chicago assembly plant. 2011 Explorers will begin arriving in dealers at the end of 2010."

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