• Jan 10th 2010 at 11:12AM
  • 35
Last summer, during a preview of what was coming from Ford in 2010, the company officially announced that a 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder Ecoboost engine would debut this year. Unfortunately, that's about all we were told at that time. Like the 3.5-liter V6 Ecoboost, the four will be direct injected and turbocharged. We expect it will be rated somewhere in the 230-250 horsepower range, similar to a 3.0-liter naturally aspirated V6.

At a pre-Detroit Auto Show preview Friday morning, the 2.0-liter Ecoboost was again shown on a list of nine new engines that will debut this year, along with a new six-speed automatic for transverse applications. When asked, Ford officials told us that they were not ready to announce the product that the engine would go into. However, when we asked if it would be the new unibody Explorer, they smiled and repeated, "we're not ready to announce that yet."

Since the new Explorer is expected to be based on a platform derived from the Flex, it would make perfect sense to use this engine with the corresponding transmission. We're also expecting the 3.5-liter Ecoboost that is already available in the Flex and other models to be the optional engine, potentially giving the Explorer an all-Ecoboost lineup.

[Images: Ford, KGP Photography]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't understand what is up with the Explorer. Doesn't Ford have an extreme amount of overlap in it's lineup with this truck?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like where this is going. That said, what will differentiate the Explorer and Flex?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ford marketing FTW!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm glad Ford is shifting to what the market wants, but I would prefer that the Explorer still offered a V8 and was a BOF vehicle. Instead of going to a unibody platform, why not improve the BOF for a better ride, handling, and fuel economy? My guess is that it would cost too much to improve the BOF instead of replacing it with a unibody.

      I have a 2008 Explorer Ironman Edition V8 myself, I like and use the capability to tow 7,000 lbs and I'm a sucker for the sound of am American V8. The 4.6L is a great sounding engine, and I get decent fuel economy for a V8. 17 City/21 Highway. I've gotten up to 23 MPG on extended road trips.

      At any rate, it's progress. I just want the Explorer to be the segment leader it once was for such a long time. If this is what it takes, I'm all for it.

      I had a 02 XLT V6 that I took to 200k, the 08 is my second Explorer, and if the new model is as reliable as my first two, I'll buy another one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The problem is that BOF means more weight, a lot more weight, unless you turn to (relatively) expensive materials such as aluminum for the frame, so a BOF design will always have inferior fuel economy to a unibody design."

        Nullo...you are just FLAT wrong...like all of you Ford cheerleaders.

        Here are some facts (I know how you guys hate those) for you:

        2010 Explorer Curb Weight: 4455 (autoweek.com)
        2010 Flex Curb Weight: 4650 (insideline.com)


        2010 Honda Ridgeline pickup fuel economy: 15/20 (fueleconomy.gov)
        2010 F150: 14/20 (same)

        So...a 1 mpg drop in the city...and we are comparing a full sized, full frame truck to a small, unibody pickup with a V6.

        The 2011 Explorer is pointless (like the edge) and excessive. Ford already has the Edge, Escape and Flex...why do they need another CUV? The Flex sales are horrid and way below expectations...and we know that the "new" Explorer will be nowhere near as capable as the current Explorer (which isn't saying much). So what's the point? Where is the market? The current explorer can tow over 7000 pounds. The new, limp-wristed Explorer won't be able to come anywhere near that.

        So, in essence, we have the useless and under-performing Flex......and a slightly higher Flex with no more capability that will steal sales from the already terribly Flex sales numbers.

        Big Al is a moron and should be fired.

        • 5 Years Ago
        meant to type: comparable Explorer SportTrac.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Since Ford already has the Flex and Edge cuvs, I would hope the new Explorer is a true SUV with better (lighter) off-road capability like the Jeep GC. With the 2.0 I4 EcoBoost engine and hoping for 4500 lbs weight, the Explorer should get 25+ MPG (hoping for 30mpg) which is a big improvement from the old n heavy BOF platform.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ecoboost rocks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @reddy - yup. I've been wondering for almost a decade now why someone didn't just dump a boosted 4 banger in an econo american suv... always figured there were some sort of inherent weakness in blown fours in truck applications and that's why american companies had shied away.

        looks like ford's taken up the forced induction direct injection mantle from VW and is applying it to a whole host of new options. Very cool, and very prudent given what GM's managing with the equinox etc
      • 5 Years Ago
      does anyone know if they're going to put in a real 4wd or that retarded full time 4wd thats in the escape
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Escape's drivetrain has changed from the RBC (rotary blade coupling) to the Haldex coupling.
        Ford only has one four wheel drive product: Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer with 'awd' [mislabeled]
        All the rest are either off-road drive, where you physically couple the front driveshaft to the rear driveshaft, or PTO systems.

        Haldex is front drive with a clutch coupling the rear differential
        The Ranger & SuperDuty are exclusively off-road drive.
        The F-150 has a new, for 2010, optional PTO transfer case.
        You get: a rear drive setting, an 'auto' setting-where a computer controls the clutch that drives the front axle, a 'lock' setting where the clutch is clamped, and shouldn't slip, neutral, and low-range with the clutch fully clamped.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess only the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee will be the off-roaders in this segment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Need this in the next Focus...or better yet, in the Fiesta....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes and 4WD option!
      • 5 Years Ago
      "...but, but, but what about the rumble of an 'Merican V8!?!?"

      -dumb redneck that has been holding back the American auto industry for decades now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Awww, it looks like I hurt a few people's feelings.

        Too bad. Suck it up, Nancy.

        The Explorer of all the old-school SUVs was the one least likely to be used for anything but mall/school/supermarket duty. The next-gen Explorer - a unibody version - is going to be even less likely to be used for any type of heavy-duty duties, and Ford's new line of V6 engines are making more power than their old V8 brethren, just like new 4's will be making tons more power than old V6s did.

        If you can't handle progress, then get the hell out of the way.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "A v6 or a turbocharged 4banger would never never be able to pull over 2500pounds."

        Nissan Frontier says hello.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yes, because freedom of choice makes people dumb
        • 5 Years Ago
        "...but, but, but what do you mean I blew my engine and transmission!?!? - I've always towed my boat with an Explorer."

        - dumb "green" suburbanite after falling for the eco boost hocus pocus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol some people need V8s to pull around boats and other heavy things. A v6 or a turbocharged 4banger would never never be able to pull over 2500pounds.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because a 505-650 HP V8 getting 25+ MPG using "outdated" technology with superior torque and HP curves is such a terrible step backwards, am I right?

        Sometimes I feel like people who bash American V8s have never actually looked, or even better, driven one.

        it has nothing to do with this article, anyway. The V8 was used back then because that's all Ford had. They didn't have this level of technology then. Should they have? Probably, but that's why they almost completely failed. They've learned since then, and now here they are.

        You should really understand things in historical context before resorting to ignorant and irrelevant ad hominem attacks. But then - that would require thinking, eh?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I guess I am a redneck because I would rather an efficient V8 over a gas guzzling, high-strung, unreliable V6.

        Why make a V6 that has the same power as a V8, drinks as much fuel as a V8, will have higher maintenance costs than a V8, and be more expensive to repair than a V8...when you can just have a V8.

        I swear, one of these days, Ford is going to reinvent the wheel (even though there is nothing wrong with it), it will come out square (because let's face it, Ford can't really design anything thats...you know...good), they will issue 23 arrogant press releases falsely stating how it's a "better" design...and all of these blind, misinformed, cheerleaders that are drooling over Ford now, will claim it's the best thing to happen to the auto industry since the internal combustion engine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you need to tow a boat you opt for the 3.5 (more hp/torque than the current V8). They wouldn't be putting that combo in the F150 if it couldn't handle towing.

        If you want/need an Explorer for daily driving, you get the 4 banger. It should have comparable to better hp/torque and mpg than current V6 offering.

        Now you have a powertrain choice for all applications.

        Hey AB, when is the '11 Explorer debuting? Chicago? NY?
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Power and Economy: EcoBoost SCTi, Duratorq TDCi and PowerShift
      Ford's new S-MAX and Galaxy offer a broad selection of the latest Ford powertrain technologies developed to offer a strong combination of improved fuel economy and lower emissions without sacrificing Ford's renowned driving enjoyment.

      These are the first vehicles to offer an all-new 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost SCTi engine, which heralds a new era in Ford's petrol engine development. Featuring lightweight all-aluminium construction, the latest-generation high-pressure direct injection system, low-inertia turbocharging and twin independent variable cam timing, the 2.0-litre EcoBoost SCTi has an advanced combustion system which brings new levels of performance and fuel efficiency to petrol engines in this power range.

      The 2.0-litre EcoBoost SCTi engine has a maximum output of 203 PS (149kW) at
      5,500 rpm, combined with maximum torque of 300 Nm, which is delivered across a broad 1,750-4,500 rpm range. With this new powertrain, the S-MAX achieves 0-100km/h
      (0-62 mph) acceleration in 8.5 seconds (8.8 seconds for the Galaxy) and a top speed of
      221 km/h (137 mph) - 217 km/h (135 mph) for the Galaxy.

      Yet even with this responsive performance, fuel economy and CO2 emissions from the new engine are significantly improved. Compared with the previous 161 PS 2.3-litre automatic powertrain, CO2 emissions are reduced by 19 per cent to 189 g/km, even though the new 2.0-litre SCTi engine has over 25 per cent more power. This translates into a combined fuel economy of just 8.1 l/100 km (34.8 mpg)* and an extra urban figure of 6.4 l/100 km
      (44.1 mpg)*."
      • 5 Years Ago
      yes! correct use of "all but"
      • 5 Years Ago
      that 4L engine its stollen from mazda too or ford made it???
        • 5 Years Ago
        are you serious M7... get a clue (and a dictionary)
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