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2013 Ford Explorer Sport Priced From $40,720

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It hasn't been confirmed by the usual routes, but the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport has been priced from $40,720 before destination charges and options, according to Ford's new-vehicle configurator site, updated this week.

The Explorer Sport takes the basic crossover package and puts a twin-turbocharged spin on it. With a 350-horsepower, 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 under its hood, the 2013 Explorer Sport promises performance like that of the Taurus SHO--but without those infamous initials stuck on its backside.

The Sport model comes standard with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic too, and Terrain Management controls that manage traction responses for surfaces from mud, to rocks, to sand, to pavement. The Sport model keeps the highest Explorer tow rating of 5,000 pounds, and gets more chassis and steering-system bracing and its own suspension tuning.

The outward changes stamp an "Explorer" name across the nose--like the "Flex" now etched on that crossover's face--and new wheels and polished exhaust tips.

The Sport's infotainment system includes standard SYNC, MyFord Touch, and a media hub with dual USB ports, an SD card slot and a set of RCA jacks. Safety equipment includes a standard rearview camera and options for blind-spot monitors, active park assist, and for a set of inflatable rear seat belts, new to the Ford lineup within the past year.

As for luxury touches, the Explorer Sport has power front heated seats; automatic climate control; and a Sony audio system with HD radio and 12 speakers. Options include a navigation system; a DVD entertainment system; remote start; a dual-pane sunroof; a power tailgate; a tow package; and adjustable pedals.

The Explorer Sport goes on sale late this year.

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