• Jul 19th 2010 at 11:29AM
  • 53
Ford has got the gas mileage goods on its 2011 EcoBoost-powered Explorer, and it's news you might like if you want one: you'll get 30 percent better mileage with the inline-four than you could with the outgoing V6. Ford did, however, leave a key detail out of the press release touting this: it didn't reveal the actual mileage number, "pending EPA certification."

Nevertheless, with the 2010 Explorer's 210-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 EPA rated at 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 out on the highway, you're looking at a healthy increase all over with the four-pot turbo doing the work up front. Follow the jump for Ford's press release that details all the reasons your wallet won't be so sad if you end up buying a 2011 Explorer.

[Source: Ford]
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2011 Ford Explorer With EcoBoost Delivers Class Leading MPG; 30% Better Than Current V-6 Model

DEARBORN, Mich., July 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
  • All-new Ford Explorer SUV offers best-in-class fuel economy with technologically advanced powertrains featuring multiple enhancements to improve mechanical efficiency
  • Explorer offers an optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost™ I-4 engine delivering V6 power with four-cylinder fuel efficiency
  • Electric power-assisted steering, battery management, fast engine warm-up and the first North American Ford application of a variable-displacement air conditioning compressor all combine to improve drivability, increase efficiency and save fuel.
The Ford Explorer has been reinvented to shatter long-held myths about SUV fuel efficiency and performance.

The 2011 model equipped with an optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost™ I-4 engine will be the new class leader in the mid-size SUV segment, achieving at least a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency compared with the current V-6-powered Explorer.

"The all-new Explorer will give a huge universe of existing and prospective customers the capability they expect and the luxury and convenience they want, all combined with the fuel economy they need," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas.

The new Explorer, due in Ford showrooms later this year, has added comfort and convenience features, while overall vehicle weight is reduced compared to the previous model. Extensive use of lighter and stronger high-strength steels such as boron add durability while saving weight. An aluminum hood is used, while a one-piece composite front bolster – the radiator support between engine and grille – is 65 percent lighter. Lighter weight equates to fuel and money saved.

Sophisticated engine controls and advanced technologies are key contributors to the Explorer's improved fuel economy. Electric power-assisted steering, battery management, fast engine warm-up and aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff all combine to improve drive dynamics and save fuel. Explorer also features the first North American Ford application of a variable-displacement air conditioning compressor that reduces parasitic engine drag.

Powertrain advancements like twin independent variable camshaft timing and six-speed automatic transmissions help Explorer deliver responsive performance when needed combined with low-rpm efficiency when cruising.

SUV buyers placing highest priority on fuel economy can choose the available EcoBoost I-4. Delivering the power of a normally aspirated V6, this advanced engine pairs a turbocharger with direct gasoline injection to provide SUV buyers with projected class-leading fuel economy – pending EPA certification – with no compromise in performance.

Finally, all of these fuel economy enhancements are wrapped in a smooth, distinctive Explorer design that was extensively refined in wind tunnel testing. Designers and aerodynamicists collaborated to reshape sideview mirrors and harmonize the front air dam with the rear liftgate spoiler to significantly increase fuel efficiency on the highway. Reduced wind noise at speed is an incremental benefit.

"Explorer owners told us they want capability with convenience, and improved fuel economy without compromised performance," Fields said. "We believe we've hit the mark with the next-generation Explorer. It has the potential to change perceptions of what a modern SUV is all about."

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 176,000 employees and about 80 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010, and, until its sale, Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      According to the Explorer Facebook page the Ford test data shows 19 mpg in the city for FWD EcoBoost models. That's a pretty good bump
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mazda and Acura have gone the 4-cyl turbo route in an SUV. On paper it sounds good, and EPA tests show it works, however REAL WORLD driving shows poor gas mileage. More power to Ford for their leaps in engine technology, beautifully restyled cars and better quality. Ecoboost is similar to what FI has always claimed - "Power of a V8, efficiency of an I-4". They got the power thing down solid but I ain't buying this EPA gas mileage garbage, same goes for the Prius and Volt - EPA numbers provide a consistent basis, but real world driving is the truth.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Both of those engines are port injected, not direct injected. Direct injection plays very nice with turbocharging. Also, Ecoboost uses twin scroll turbos with futher help efficiency.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I stand corrected. The 2.3L never was particularly great on fuel economy. The 2008 Fusion could only muster a rating of 29 highway.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mazda's is direct injected, but with a really small charge cooler.
        and the gearing of the Cx-7 was/is ridiculously short.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A 4.0 in a ranger 5 spd manual delivers 21MPG highway, the 4 cylinder 5 spd manual in the same truck delivers 27 MPG.

      The 4.0 is a dreadfully inefficient design.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I never get EPA MPG up here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its actually the 3.0 that gets 21 EPA. The 4.0 was rated at 19.

        My modded 3.0 Ranger 5spd gets 23mpg in flat Florida. I never have problems achieving EPA numbers with any of my cars down here.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You will get great MPG and you can even tow your canoe!
      • 5 Years Ago
      You are missing the point. The Explorer is no longer aimed against the 4Runner and Grand Cherokee. It's aimed against the Highlander and the Honda Pilot. In other words, Ford is moving where the volume is. Toyota can fight for scraps of the old body-on-frame 4WD market (its own Highlander outsells the 4Runner 2 to 1). I'm sure the 4Runner will do quite nicely on off-road courses, but if nobody buys it what is the point?

      The Explorer will have more room, more off-road ability, and above all 3rd row seating to distinguish it from the Edge. In the long run I expect the Flex will go away, but in the near term the Explorer has more conventional styling and somewhat more off-road ability to set it apart there, too.

      And anyone who thinks the current Explorer has any off-road prowess clearly hasn't taken one beyond the pavement. I can't imagine the new one will be any less capable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kudos Ford.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's progress, but I'm pretty sure almost any new engine Ford chose to put in the Explorer would get better gas mileage than the old 4.0 V6.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What 'developing'?
        They were already using the ZF 6 speed auto with the V8 in the Explorer/Mountaineer.
        The only developing might have been a torque converter (it would have worked with the V8 torque converter, because you drive with the converter locked up most of the time anyway)
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is correct! After all, the 4.0L V6 was a very old, technologically outdated iron block engine. I don't know what took Ford so long to replace it with much better engine choices, but I am very happy with their progress and more proud than ever to be a devout Ford fan!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because it was a 3 speed automatic + overdrive in the same case.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why didn't Ford upgrade the crappy '5' speed automatic in the Explorer [with the V6]
        '06-'10, Maybe somewhere along the way, say 2008.5 the V6 would also get the 6 speed auto-improved mileage by 1mpg.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why'd you put '5' speed in quotes? I don't know much about transmissions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It has five forward gears....it's a five speed. And developing a six speed for the 4.0 for a 1mpg improvement would have been a freakin waste.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just hope the EcoBoost fixes the panel gaps.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "What 'developing'?
        They were already using the ZF 6 speed auto with the V8 in the Explorer/Mountaineer.
        The only developing might have been a torque converter (it would have worked with the V8 torque converter, because you drive with the converter locked up most of the time anyway)"

        you're assuming they share a bellhousing pattern. if not, then it would need a newly designed case as well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, if the math is right, we're looking at an estimated 18 City/26 Hwy for the 2.0L Ecoboost 4-cylinder engine, and possibly 21 to 22 MPG combined. It's almost as good as the Toyota Highlander's inline 4 that's offered-- 20 City/27 Hwy. Hopefully it'll provide more power though over the Highlander's 187 HP, 2.7L I4.

      That's a marked improvement over the older V6 which had, I have to say, pretty bad fuel economy. Out of all the mid-size SUVs with V6 and 2WD, the Toyota Highlander's V6 had better fuel economy at 18 City/24 Hwy, then Honda Pilot at 17 City/23 Hwy, and the 2011 Grand Cherokee next at 16/21 if not opting for the Hemi engine.

      Is it me or are American car companies still lagging in this area of SUV fuel economy? Ford is getting closer and better though, which is good. (This is not including CUVs/compact SUVs/crossover SUVs.)

      I just hope the newer V6 has better fuel economy than the older one which was 14/20. Somewhere in the ballpark of 16/19 to 18/24 I could live with in a V6 as long as it provides very good horsepower as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mike: Toyota sticking with a 5-speed in the 5th Gen 4Runner was a curious decision, since they already have such a transmission. I guess it was due to cost.

        The extra gear will only give a few percent increase, but every bit helps when you are pulling around 4800 lb pig like the 2010 4Runner.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking that the extra ratio spread (22%) should be used for more speed!
        Axle ratio should be shortened from 3.727 to 4.1-4x2 & 4.3-4x4.
        and that will still pay mileage dividends.

        (heck the Lexus GX460 should use 3.909 [the current axle ratio] for 4x2, and 4.1 for 4x4)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm holding off for the 0.5L Ecoboost!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Rollin, in my 0 . 5

      • 5 Years Ago
      If I've read the article correctly it states that the A.C. is run by electric?
      Steven R. Russell
      • 5 Years Ago
      I see many ungrateful people posting comments here.

      The Bible tells us that one of the signs that we are living in the last days, is that people will be ungrateful, and the Bible proves and stands True again!

      "SunTrust" Bank repossessed my 2004 Ford Explorer XLT 3 years ago, and I just loved that Explorer, which God had led me directly to, and it fit me like hand-in-glove. I loved all its features as well as the Ford 4.0 Liter V-6 engine. I had no problems with it, and I wish I still had that Explorer today. But such was not God's will.

      I've since checked out other Explorers, including the V-8s I saw on the lots, and even Ford sedans, if it was God's will for me to drive a car. But for the first time in my life, all re-purchasing doors have been closed, since my Explorerer was repossessed.

      It'd be interesting if God's reason for closing the doors up 'til now, would be so that He could bless me with a new 2011 Explorer as mentioned here, for this Ford Explorer fan.

      Go Ford!

      God speed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A four-banger in an SUV??? Can you say woof-woof, "Where did all of my torque go?"
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