|2015 Expedition. Click to enlarge.|
Ford unveiled the 2015 Expedition—Ford’s largest utility vehicle—in Dallas ahead of the 2014 DFW Auto Show. Texas is Ford’s largest market by sales volume, and home to the top two cities for Expedition sales: Dallas and Houston. The 2015 Ford Expedition will feature the 3.5-liter, direct-injected twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine popular in the Ford F-Series as the only engine offered in the vehicle in North America.
The new EcoBoost engine significantly changes the driving characteristics of Expedition, Ford says. Compared with the outgoing 5.4-liter V8, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost gives drivers not just better fuel economy, but more power and torque on demand at very low engine speeds.
To maximize performance and control, the vehicle is equipped with a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission featuring a manual mode that allows the driver to use a shift-mounted rocker switch to select the desired gear.
With EcoBoost now standard equipment across the 2015 Expedition range, the entire US lineup of Ford utility vehicles will be available with EcoBoost power by the end of 2014. Ford global utility vehicle sales rose 35% in 2013; Ford has been the leader in North America utility vehicle sales since 2011.
Expedition debuted in 1996, and accommodates eight passengers. Two versions are offered—the standard 119-inch wheelbase is just more than 6 inches longer than Ford Explorer. It has three rows of seats and up to 108.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The longer-wheelbase version sits on a 131-inch wheelbase, and features three rows of seats and up to 130.8 cubic feet of cargo space.
Expedition remains the only full-size utility vehicle not classified as a luxury offering to feature an independent rear suspension. This helps deliver more confident ride and handling characteristics, and allows for the lower, more convenient fold-flat third-row bench seat.
Continuously controlled damping, available for the first time on a Ford nameplate, will make Expedition the only Ford-branded vehicle in the United States with three selectable drive modes: comfort, normal and sport.
Using a suite of sensors that detect 46 unique body, steering and braking inputs, the advanced suspension monitors body motion and then adjusts Expedition’s damping system in milliseconds to manage the vehicle’s natural body motion. A vehicle with poor damping feels as if it is bouncing on its suspension springs; continuously controlled damping recognizes the weight of the vehicle, steering feedback and road undulations and then reacts accordingly, helping to control body motion so passengers experience an orderly, comfortable ride.
The new Expedition also features Ford’s electric power-assisted steering, which gives drivers noticeably improved maneuverability at low speeds and better feel at high speeds, and saves fuel because it operates more efficiently than traditional pump-driven systems. The technology reduces steering effort and makes Expedition more engaging to drive.