This morning, the 2011 Ford Explorer takes its bow across the country. It's not being introduced at an auto show--but on Facebook, on morning TV, and in live events across the country, from New York to Los Angeles.
High Gear Media has all the details on the new Explorer today, though--including photos of the new seven-seat crossover that's being marketed as the tougher all-road alternative to Ford's own Edge and Flex crossovers.
We're curious to see if Ford can resuscitate the Explorer nameplate with the new generation. From its heyday in the 1990s to the debacle of the 2000 Firestone recall, the Explorer's gone from a market leader to nearly a footnote. SUVs have given way to crossovers, and big V-8s are slowly giving up ground to smaller, more efficient engines.
The new Explorer seems to have all those bases covered. The two engine choices top out with a 290-horsepower V-6 shared with the 2011 Ford Mustang; the alternative's a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with as much power (237 hp) as the old Explorer's V-6. Front-wheel drive is standard, with V-6 versions offering optional all-wheel drive and 5,000-pound towing capacity.
Aside from its new positioning and new architecture, the new Explorer also brings with it Ford's MyTouch system, which uses an LCD touchscreen to guide some entertainment and auxiliary functions. An active-parking system is available, as is LED ambient interior lighting.
We'll be reporting on the 2011 Explorer all day long. Start here with all the photos released to press time--you can read all the details in our preview of the 2011 Ford Explorer, and get more on its EcoBoost engine over at GreenCarReports.