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2011 Ford Explorer – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Ford Explorer is a drastic departure from its predecessors, ditching body-on-frame construction in favor of a unibody structure, and sharing its platform with the Taurus sedan (as well as the Flex, Lincoln MKS and MKT). This shift to a traditional crossover construction has not turned away buyers, however, and Ford reports that Explorer pre-orders have nearly doubled original projections.

According to The Detroit News, Ford has received roughly 15,000 orders for the 2011 Explorer. This includes about 3,000 retail and 7,500 dealer orders, as well as an additional 4,500 orders from companies.

Jason Mase, Ford's manager of utility vehicles, told The Detroit News that about 55 percent of buyers are opting for the trailer tow package, and 64 percent want all-wheel drive. Mase says that consumers don't really care if the vehicle is a crossover or an SUV, the major concern is that the vehicle fits their specific needs. So far, so good, and Ford expects this trend to continue after the Explorer officially hits dealerships in early 2011.

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: The Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Mase says that consumers don't really care if the vehicle is a crossover or an SUV, the major concern is that the vehicle fits their specific needs."

      • 4 Years Ago
      Bummer, I was hoping the dumb American love for vehicles that roll over, handle poorly, and block my ability to look 10 seconds ahead was starting to fade. No such luck I guess.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Read between the lines and things are not good. 15K is twice as many orders as expected, which means Ford expected 7500 orders, but only 3000 actual people ordered an Explorer which is 40% of the orders Ford expected.

      As bland as the Explorer is I'm not surprised to see this problem......
      • 4 Years Ago
      Actually Unibody is more expensive to build and produce because of it's process and engineering. For years automakers enjoyed healthy profits from BOF because it's process is quite less complicated, and require less structure points to make it work. So now we are saddled with Unibody which are much more expensive to design, coupled with MUCH more steel/welding points, to give it the rigidity of (and then more so), of a BOF unit. Which is why automakers will base their SUVs from a current existing platform, to leverage the costs. IN the Explorers case, it's Volvo derived platform.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is painful on so many levels.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What the hell? This was supposed to be a reply to Larry in Miami.

        The new Explorer is hardly painful. In fact, it looks quite comfortable.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Platform integration and consolidation, a cost saving move, disguised as innovation and progress. Overall improvement in quality through standardization is good though, but these vehicles are rapidly becoming indistinguishable.
        • 4 Years Ago
        you're simply getting old and less interested in cars
        for me majority of the cars from 20's or 30's are indistinguishable
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll bet a great many of those pre-orders came from buyers who love the new Explorer's looks. Ford has really hit on a design direction that's both handsome and brand-recognizable. There's a family resemblance to cars coming out of Ford's design center(s) that applied to all of their vehicles, is very modern and very nice looking. Ford has made every line look good . . . from trucks to cars . . . and I, for one, really like the direction they've decided to take with their products.
      • 4 Years Ago
      These figures don't seem exceptional. Did Ford just lowball the estimates so they could say they beat expectations?

      The Explorer has sold 6 million units over 20 years so far. That's 300,000 a year. So it has to sell on average about 25,000 units a month. And sales always taper off over a model's lifetime, so a new model would be expected to move much more than this, perhaps as many as 50,000 a month.

      So getting 15,000 orders at this point doesn't seem like greatly exceeding expectations unless you set your expectations unreasonably low.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm not comparing this to iPad sales. I'm comparing this to the same vehicle from years ago. And 2/3rds of the orders are not from end customers. Why would inventory orders be expected to be terribly low for the Explorer?

        1) Countering that, it's a new model. You expect new models to do better, that's why you make new models instead of keeping the old one around. Forecasting only 7,000 orders for the first month of a new model when it has over time sold about 25,000 a month is unreasonably low, even if you do take into account other options on the market now.

        Ford sold 4500 Explorers in September 2009, a very slow month with an old model.


        They sold 3700 Explorers in September 2010, in the middle of an economic slowdown and with a very old model already known to be replaced soon.

        Forecasting 7,000 orders for a new model Explorer including inventory fill orders is not realistic, it could hardly have been done for any reason other than to say "look, we sold more than expected!".
      • 4 Years Ago
      Will OJ be buying one?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The only thing that scares me, and apparently not many others for some reason, is the price. The newer Explorers are getting pricey.

      To put things into perspective, we bought a 2008 Ford Explorer V8 6AT XLT w/ Ironman Package, all power options, 3rd row, leather, heated seats, sync, and 20" wheels for a whopping $26,000. Glad I got it when I did.

      I guess those days are over. Granted the interior in my car is nothing to write home about, but it's functional and doesn't rattle despite the overwhelming amount of plastic.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not just you. Price creep is putting too many vehicles north of $30K for anything with decent content.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Great looking vehicle inside and out. Except for the airdam area. As usual, Ford could'nt design a good front airdam (area below front bumper) if their lives depended on it. I'm guessing it's designed the way it is incase, on the RARE occasion this vehicle does see off road duty and someone bangs up the airdam, it'll be a relatively cheap fix.

      Is Ford going to use the 2.0 turbo as the base engine? And if so, will you be able to get AWD with the 2.0 turbo?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey "knowitall"... NOT!!!

        The 2.0 I4 EcoBoost will have about 250lbs-ft of torque at a low (diesel-like) 2000 RPM that is more useful than the similar torque produced in the V6 at about 4500 RPM... thats more than enough power to get this FWD-only CUV/SUV performing well... not a problem!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Painted air-dams lok like garbage once they've been exposed to the usual abuse they tend to see. Black PU is really the only good solution. Since you're incapable of looking for the answer yourself in 20 seconds... the 4cyl eco-boost will be available after the launch, in FWD only. I would expect about 5 people to buy it and the option to be dropped-it simply does not have enough power for this heavy vehicle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford really started making attractive cars lately...earlier i never thought about buying a Ford but now things look different
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