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We're going to go out on a limb and say... maybe. Judging by the recent teasers and previous spy shots, this single image of the 2012 Ford Explorer appears to be the real deal. And we like what we see.

Although the futuristic lines of the Explorer America Concept have been considerably toned down, the new crossover is notably more svelte than its predecessors. The exterior styling is more an amalgamation of current FoMoCo design cues, specifically the Edge-like headlamps and de-chromed tri-bar grille. The contouring on the front bumper is an interesting touch and the darkened A-pillars do their best wrap-around windshield impression.

If all goes according to plan, the all-new Explorer should arrive early next year, riding on a Flex/Taurus-based unibody platform with EcoBoost power being sent to either the front or all four wheels.

UPDATE: As some of you have pointed out in the comments, the Explorer rendering above looks remarkably similar to one of the spy shots in our gallery below. A little bit of digging returned this rendering on CarAdvice.com.au by artist Joshua Byrnes. Mystery solved.

[Source: TheMustangSource]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not bad. It's just an evolution of the previous generation from the A pillar backwards. The front looks like it's from a more advanced era. The proportions are pretty good on the front.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I sure hope not.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe it's just the rendering, but the proportions seem way off. It looks like it has an Expedition sized front clip on a Taurus sized station wagon.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Looks like the Freestyle
        • 5 Years Ago
        I like the looks, grill looks much better on this SUV than it does on Taurus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I hope not too, something looks disproportionate on the front, plus the Edge styling doesn't go with the blocky... rest of the car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        From this angle, it looks too much like the Flex (and I HATE the Flex, which I know not everyone does), so I too hope that this isn't it.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Wait for the Kuga/Escape. I think you'll be satisfied.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Too much design language from the Range Rover.. And that front fascia is on the whole lineup. I like the smoother lines/front fascia of the focus and fiesta.
        • 5 Years Ago
        After rather interesting concept Explore, this image doesn't look so promising. Perhaps my expectation was too high for the old-timer SUV sales King.

        Will have to see the official release and in person for proper judgement.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Jei 2:56PM (6/03/2010)

        "LOL. Looks like a Kia Borrego."

        I actually had to look that up! I never heard of the Kia Borrego and after looking at the Borrego they look nothing alike. The Borrego actually looks like a Ford Escape if you ask me! I mean everything is different friend, everything! Look again!

        I like this MUCH MUCH MUCH better than the Flex with a lift kit that was circling the web! That picture actually made me write to Ford and say "Please for the love of Henry, don't make that Flex with a lift kit" and they responded too! LOL

        I'd prefer the Explorer America but this is not offensive and will probably look better with good pics and in person!

        Just my opin...
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL. Looks like a Kia Borrego.

        Hopefully, Ford has intended this new unibody Explorer to be more street than off-road. And if so, the lower trim can be much lower. But who knows, we'll see.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The grille doesn't match the body.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I expected better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        while looks an be subjective and we all are entitled to our opinions, tell me why you dont like the above rendering?

        You liked the old block front explorer?

        I am sure this one looks more upscale, refined and shoes the new directio initiative ford's been taking.

        And I am not a Ford fan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hate the flat-slab grille. I can't decide which front end is uglier - this Explorer's or the hideous new Pilot's (and I'm the happy owner of an '04 Pilot). I'd rather see something with more finesse, like the new Taurus grille.

        Dumping the sea of chrome was a good move though...
      • 5 Years Ago
      If this is it..... It's not bad, but it's not great either. Right away I notice the front corner bubble indentations (which just look weird) and all the black plastic (which makes it look cheap).

      Honestly, I like the design of the new Jeep a bit better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its pretty close - I saw 2 quick pictures (front and side) in an official Ford presentation the other day. From what I remember, it appeared to be an upper level model and the side rear window appeared to wrap around the back end, almost Mercedes ML-ish. It didn't look much like the Edge or the old Freestyle, saw more Taurus cues in it. But it was a quick glimpse so don't hold me to anything.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So...What does this accomplish that the Edge/Flex/Escape wouldn't? It doesn't look like it'll be any more capable off-road, it's not any bigger, it's not any smaller...What area of the market does this fill that hasn't already been taken up by other Ford products?
      • 5 Years Ago
      its still rolling on 07 Si rims.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great, just what I was looking for, the new Ford Explo-rus.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Considering the amount of CUV's Ford they should at least have one BOF SUV that can go off-road.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not a fan of wraparound A-pillars. I hope there's a delete option for that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hate it.

      I was never a fan of SUVs. They were too big and useless for my taste, but at the very least they had the goes-with-everything design of a plain black suit and avoided some of the swoopy-just-to-be-swoopy sins of a lot of modern cars. Now, these new crossovers have all the uselessness of SUVs and all the ugliness of new cars.

      Bah, I was never gonna buy one anyway. So it's no loss to me. At least they'll get good mileage.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Funny... when I suggest that some companies should diversify their lineups further, people usually fire back with "That will just cannibalize their existing products..."

      How is that not the case here?


      Plus CX5 and CX7, and Volvo XC series... while Mazda and Volvo are still associated... for now.

      And they want to basically plant Explorer right between Edge and Flex, as yet ANOTHER CUV for FoMoCo.

      Is that not going to cannibalize their Edge and Flex sales?

      • 5 Years Ago
      how is this a crossover? Isn't the Explorer an SUV in the truest sense of the word?

      And since when did all compact-suv's become crossovers?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I question why they need the Explorer, Flex, and Edge. Something has to give. And when it does, feel free to plug the remaining grey area with a Mondeo Wagon, eh, Ford?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Since they all went to FWD car platforms, that's when. Explorer used to be a true SUV, with decent off-road capabilities. It's gradually lost those abilities, and now it's a glorified station wagon.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They are referring to the new model as a crossover because it is based on a unibody chassis instead of the body-on-frame of the old, truck-based model. I think it will still be considered a midsize-large SUV, but technically a crossover due to the car-based (Taurus in this case) chassis. I can't think of any compact SUV's that are built on a ladder frame.
        • 5 Years Ago
        SUVs tend to be truck based, if not fully body-on-frame, at least with truck-grade engines, and decent towing.

        CUVs tend to be car based, all unibody, usually transverse engined, and basically high-ride-height long cars. They used to be modest ride height, and were called station wagons, before they were forced out of acceptability.

        SUVs/CUVs were pushed as the new "cool", to sell them on CAFE light truck standards, to loosen the hold of government regulations via their own double-standards.

        In the late 90s, cars got watered down, wagons and coupes got hammered. SUVS got sold big-time, with more value for the price-tag, and more fashionability than wagons or minivans.

        And gee... being the shoppers that most Americans are... they smelled the value quotient from miles away, and the trend STUCK.

        Now, with efficiency being cool, the truck SUVs are being supplanted by car-based CUVs, that still fall under the "light truck" CAFE standards, rather than the stricter "car" average measurements.
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