|City/highway EPA ratings for select MY2011 SUVs. Click to enlarge.|
Ford’s Explorer is now the most fuel-efficient seven-passenger SUV on the market, delivering an EPA-certified 28 mpg US (8.4 L/100km) on the highway with an all-new 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. This is the first application of this engine in North America.
The 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine combines gasoline direct injection and turbocharging with smaller overall displacement, delivering comparable power to a standard V6 engine while delivering the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder engine. Ford holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost engine technology. The four-cylinder unit delivers 240 hp (179 kW) at 5,500 rpm and 270 lb-ft (366 N·m) of torque at 3,000 rpm.
The combination of fuel efficiency and responsiveness is enabled by direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). Efficiency is further enhanced through employment of low-friction 5W-GF5 motor oil; a variable-displacement air conditioning compressor; electric power-assisted steering (EPAS); and a unique 6F35 six-speed automatic transmission developed to reduce friction and increase efficiency.
The Explorer with its standard V6 delivers up to 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway to lead the full-size V6 SUV segment in fuel efficiency. The Explorer with EcoBoost delivers 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
|Fuel economy, power and torque. Click to enlarge.|
Explorer fuel efficiency also benefits from a smooth vehicle shape and careful aerodynamic detailing like optimization of the front air dam and rear liftgate spoiler lip, as well as lightweight components such as an aluminum hood.
In the first six months of 2011, Explorer sales totaled 65,823 vehicles, exceeding the full-year 2010 total of 60,687 Explorers. More than half of early buyers of the redesigned 2011 Explorer cited fuel efficiency as a primary motivation in their purchase decision. Moreover, the majority of customers are choosing better-equipped XLT and Limited series models.