The next-generation Explorer will be introduced by Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally and Ford TV pitchman Mike Rowe--he of the "Dirty Jobs" TV show--in front of Macy's on Herald Square, at 34th and Broadway.
Details about the next Explorer are still sparse, but we expect it to have four- and six-cylinder "EcoBoost" engines, available all-wheel drive, unibody construction, a six-speed automatic transmission, and improved fuel economy over the outgoing model. We also wonder how it will fit in with Ford's other mid-size SUVs, the Flex and the Edge, especially with the Edge being refreshed for 2011 as well.
Ford has already shown teaser shots on Facebook, and it plans to use that social-media site to both unveil the SUV to those who can't be in Manhattan and to give an Explorer away to a Facebook user if the Explorer's fan page can generate 30,000 "likes." Now, consumers and media will get to see the offline unveiling.
It's unusual for a major product unveiling to occur outside of auto-show season, and using social media to launch a vehicle is also something of a new trend. Launch details aside, the bigger questions are about the Explorer--such as technical specs, price, on-sale date, and how it fits into the Ford family--and some of those questions might finally be answered on July 26.