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2011 Ford Explorer: Spy Shots

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2011 Ford Explorer spy shots

2011 Ford Explorer spy shots

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Earlier this year, Ford showed a concept car that predicted how its next Explorer would look--softer, a little smaller, and definitely car-based. Now the first spy shots of the 2011 Ford Explorer are floating around--and it looks more certain than ever that the Explorer is ditching its truck roots for a unibody design.

These rough test mules spotted by TheCarConnection.com's spy photographers are a mix of Ford Taurus X and Ford Flex, but there are some telling alterations, raising the prototype's ride-height, along with a higher cowl, and rigged A-pillars to accommodate what appears to be a more steeply raked windshield. There are also clear signs around the rear hatch and roof rails that the platform has been widened. While the front clip is pure Ford Flex, the lowest slat of the Flex's three-bar grille has been removed, perhaps to better approximate airflow of the next Explorer's grille.

Ford also used the Taurus X body on mules for the 2009 Ford Flex and 2010 Lincoln MKT, but those mules had additional length added to their wheelbases. This latest mule features no such additions, suggesting that this new model will be shorter than the Flex for a more fuel-friendly footprint--and suggesting that it might also replace the Edge in Ford's crossover lineup.

The new unibody 2011 Ford Explorer crossover is expected to reach the market in 2010--provided Ford's financial condition doesn't disrupt its product plan any more.

2011 Ford Explorer spy shots

2011 Ford Explorer spy shots

Enlarge Photo

2011 Ford Explorer spy shots

2011 Ford Explorer spy shots

Enlarge Photo

2011 Ford Explorer spy shots

2011 Ford Explorer spy shots

Enlarge Photo
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Comments (9)
  1. Ok, I like the look of the Flex, but I have always thought the Taurus X was kinda ugly. But you know, who would have thought that a Taurus X with a Flex nose would look good. Hell, just leave it like this and call it the Explorer, and loose the Taurus X....
     
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  2. I agree with Wayne. The Flex does look pretty good, if not a bit "too" much. The size and large minivan proportions are not really my taste. The Freestyle (I hate the name Taurus X) is not a bad car, but styling is like a modern Carol Brady station wagon. And as for the Edge, the only thing I see "flashy" is the chrome grille and the color options. But this new Explorer I think is just about right. If it has enough room without being too big, and drives nicely (hopefully on the Fusion or Taurus platform) this may be a possible consideration for me. Honda, I think its time you start working on some major cosmetic work on the Pilot when the new Explorer comes out.
     
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  3. If this thing hits the streets . . . Ford will suffer the same fate as Chrysler. The appearance is terrible!!!
     
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  4. Actually, I don't think this new Explorer is that bad. With the right trim details and wheels, this might look very nice. Engine choices and MPG will make a lot of difference. I hope FORD will drop the weight of these SUV's and put the Same V6 in the Flex with a 6 speed auto trans. If they come out with old v6's or V8 that average 14 or 15 MPG, I think this will suffer the same fate as Durango and other similar SUV's.
     
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  5. *slaps forehead*
    You guys need to read articles before commenting! This IS NOT the design of the new Explorer. Automakers are not in the business of releasing full, un-camoed designs to the public 2 model years before the vehicles go on sale.
    This is a "rough test mule" as descibed in the article, comprised of modified sheet metal from both the Flex and the Taurus X. The only design details you can tell from these pictures are the rough dimensions of the final product. The production sheet metal will be entirely different.
     
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  6. I agree with JP. The actual finished product will look nothing like this and more like the concept explorer in last yaer's autoshow. Ford is now in the business of making better looking vehicles than this.
     
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  7. We call it the Fledgorer X...
     
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  8. Looks like something GM would produce... JUNK!!
     
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  9. There is no way Ford could be dumb enough to put this prototype into production (I hope). The 2011 Explorer concept design would have been the way to to go. My Mountaineer needs replaced and I was considering a 2011 model, but not if it looks like this! Pure ugly. It looks like they sawed off the front of the Flex and mounted it on the front of a Taurus station wagon. Apparently, the
    Ford designers from the 1970's regained control of the Ford Motor Corporation. Hey, Ford, wake up. Please go with the concept design. It is not too futuristic and it would find a market niche that currently isn't seen in the SUV/XUV arena.
     
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