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The Ford Explorer America Concept

        Auto | Concept Cars

Introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the Explorer America Concept hints at the future of large Ford SUVs. Unlike the existing Explorer, which rides on a rear-drive truck-type chassis, the America uses a car-type front-drive platform.

Ford Explorer America Concept
Ford Explorer America Concept

Explorer America is larger than the existing Explorer and features six-passenger seating. A production version -- Ford says none is imminent -- would likely offer a more practical seven-passenger arrangement. Explorer America's potential role in Ford's lineup is unclear, as the maker already markets the midsize Edge and nearly-full size Flex crossovers.

This concept's most intriguing feature may be under the hood, however. Powering Explorer America is the first of Ford's "EcoBoost" high-efficiency engines. While the existing Explorer is offered with a relatively large V6, the concept includes a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder unit. Ford claims that EcoBoost technology, which includes turbocharging and direct injection, helps the small engine produce approximately the same power as the current Explorer's 4.0-liter V6, and use less gas. Ford promises EcoBoost technology will be applied to a family of powerful, efficient engines.

Ford Explorer America Concept
Ford Explorer America Concept

Although Ford may have no production plans for Explorer America, the EcoBoost engine family is firmly grounded in reality. The first EcoBoost engine will arrive late in calendar year 2008 as the optional upgrade powerplant in Lincoln's MKS premium-large sedan.

The Lincoln sedan was originally slated to offer a V8 engine, but Ford claims the available EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 will provide approximately the same power while consuming 20 percent less fuel.


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