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Ford boosts highway fuel economy of 2011 Explorer V6 SUV by 25%

2011 Explorer. Click to enlarge.

The new 2011 Ford Explorer V6 fuel economy ratings are now EPA-approved at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, a 25% improvement over the previous V6 model. The Explorer V6 combines an enhanced aerodynamic body with twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), a six-speed automatic transmission and electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) to save fuel.

A full-size SUV, the Explorer V6 is available with intelligent 4WD and a terrain management system, and can be equipped to tow up to 5,000 pounds. Explorer will soon be available with an advanced 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4, expected to deliver 30% better fuel economy than the 2010 model.

Explorer’s fuel efficiency improvement is the cumulative result of multiple individual technologies, innovations and advancements.

The all-new Explorer body shape was optimized in a wind tunnel to reduce wind noise and increase fuel economy. Ford aerodynamicists and designers found that coordination between the front-mounted air dam and the rear liftgate lip spoiler could add almost 1 mpg at highway speeds.

The new Explorer marks the introduction of electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), yielding significantly improved maneuverability, reduced parasitic engine drag, weight savings and increased fuel economy.

The Explorer V6 features a low-tension drive belt, aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff and a direct-acting mechanical bucket (DAMB) valvetrain with highly polished buckets to reduce internal friction. Each of these measures contributes to Explorer V6 fuel economy.

The improvement in fuel efficiency comes without compromising Explorer’s flexibility and capability. When powered by the standard 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine, the Explorer can be equipped to tow up to 5,000 pounds. At 290 hp (216 kW), the all-new Explorer V6 exceeds the 2010 Explorer V6 by 80 hp. In addition, the 2011 Explorer V6’s power compares favorably to that of the 2010 Explorer V8, rated at 292 hp (218 kW).

When configured with intelligent 4WD and the terrain management system, the

all-new Explorer honors the nameplate heritage of off-road capability, with the additional benefit of removing driver guesswork when selecting the appropriate 4WD mode. A driver need but turn the console-mounted knob to the desired setting, and the Explorer automatically adjusts drivetrain behavior to suit conditions.

The all-new 2011 Ford Explorer V6 is on sale now.



17/25 is the mileage virtually ever V6 gets. Its nothing to write home about.


the big news is a reported 19/28 for the 2.0L EcoBoost

with 250 lb-ft from 1750 rpm, it should move well too


If you say 17/25 with 4 X 4, that's pretty good.


If it can't get 35 highway, it's going to be a huge cost to feed when gas hits $4/gallon.

The whole idea of the SUV needs to go.


Heavy, high drag factor SUVs will have to be revisited. It should be possible to build a common sense more aerodynamic SUV with 120-140 cu. ft. of internal space with half the current 4000-5000 lbs weight. A small, light weight (1500 cc) high performance 4 cyls ICE could move it around at speed limits at 50 mpg. A PHEV version should do about 100 empg. New plastics re-enforced with Crystalline Cellulose extracts could be used.

It may even look like a larger, light weight Prius III+.

Yordan Georgiev

There should be progressive taxation for cars - the more the car consumes hydrocarbon fuels per person, the bigger the percentage of the tax ... If the whole world would have paid 0,001 % of this type of taxes and fuel taxes into one "fusion fund" now fusion would have been reality regardless of the approach ... Now there you have a TED idea ...


That type of Carbon based taxation is catching up in Europe. Vehicles yearly registration fees are being based on emissions per Km. Up to 10 different tax steps are used. To be fair, the vehicle weight should also be considered. Distance traveled is already accounted for by higher fuel tax in Europe.


I'm guessing about $3.75/g by next summer, $4.5/g by 2012.


You get 30 mpg with an Escape hybrid SUV. I would not say ALL SUVs have to go, just the gas guzzlers.


30 MPG is very low for a 4-cylinder vehicle with a hybrid drivetrain. What needs to go is high, boxy profiles. Getting rid of the tippy, sight-blocking things would improve road safety all around, too.


I is what the consumer will buy. I suppose we could all say that everyone must conform to our wishes because we are right and they are wrong.


We could say that everyone must conform to our wishes because we are right, and it would be true, but it's not the way to win friends and influence people. I'm all for personal freedom as long as people pay their way. For a long time, SUV drivers have imposed costs on society that they don't pay for. It's time they do.

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25 mpg on a highway is not bad, they have made 305 improvement in the efficiency. They are still improving the engines to make it more efficient.
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