By on March 11, 2011

Reader Josh sends in this semi-camo’d Explorer from the Mile High city, writing that

The lady who was in the drivethru at Wendy’s was quite frustrated to see us photographing her car (we stalked her for a few blocks to find a “compromising” position) and she jetted without even ordering. While I know this is default behavior among tester-types, in my experience, they really only panic if there is something really special.

But besides the bizarre hand-painted camo on the rear-quarter panel, we’re not seeing anything too different here from a stock Explorer. Is that funny-looking tailpipe exhausting the forthcoming “premium” 2.0 Ecoboost four-cylinder during high-altitude testing? Josh notes

the exhaust seemed tame and quiet – but we were in a v8 excursion

What say you, Best and Brightest?

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66 Comments on “Stump The Best And Brightest: What’s Wrong With This Explorer?...”


  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    No guesses from me, but I’ve got a ’95 Altima with 16 years worth of scratches, dings and splotches of faded paint. Where can I get some of those appliques so people will think I’m driving a mysterious new car?

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Dang, you beat me to it. I’ve thought about getting my car wrapped, only because I could get a really good consistent color that way. It would be a pain to match old paint to new, and wrapping the car would solve that issue.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    I wonder why they felt the need to camouflage a test vehicle when the only difference is the new engine.  Since there are already plenty of Explorers running around, making the EcoBoost test car look just like a run of the mill off the lot Explorer would have worked better – just debadge it so no EcoBoost emblems are visible, and it would hide in plain site.  Maybe 1% of all onlookers would even notice the different exhaust setup.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      I have only seen a couple 2011 Explorers on the east coast.  Like 2. One was purple. Nasty. The 2012 Ford Explorer must be a big seller in Detroit.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      I agree. sometimes I think the purpose of the camo is to deliberately attract attention for publicity purposes. She probably deliberately pulled into the Wendy’s to enable the photo to be taken.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Oh boy, the trolls are out in full force tonight.  The Explorer doesn’t come in purple, not sure what you saw, but if it was purple, it wasn’t an Explorer (at least not one with a factory paint job).  The new Explorer is the biggest hit we’ve had on the lot for a while – we can’t keep them in stock at all, and we have been calling dealers across the country trying to buy more, no one is willing to sell them to us because they are flying off the lots there as well.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The Explorer doesn’t come in purple,

      Well, bordeaux reserve red metallic is definitely purple-ish.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      NulloModo…..Not to worry dude” jj99″ hates all domestics. He must of dumped his CR subsrib for the latest from Car and Driver.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      mikey, not true.  I like the 2011 Chevy Tahoe.  Several times, I have almost pulled the switch on one. White is the best color on the Tahoe.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Ajla -
       
      Maybe, I don’t personally see purple in it, but when I think purple car, this is what I think of.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @nullo Oh boy, the trolls are out in full force tonight.
      When I wrote “I agree” I meant with you Nullo. The other post slipped in.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      mcs -
       
      That’s what I figured, that comment wasn’t directed at you, sorry for the confusion.

  • avatar
    jj99

    What is wrong with the Explorer? The V6 is a gas hog. According to Car and Driver, the V6 2011 Explorer sucked the gas.  Ford had better get the 4 cylinder out fast.

    Recently, I also noticed Car and Driver tested a 2012 Ford Focus.  This “wonder car” scored a nasty 21 miles per gallon in the car and driver test.  That is terrible, and so far below the EPA numbers reported by Ford, it is near criminal. My Toyota Highlander gets better mileage than a 2012 Focus. Plus, my Toyota Highlander delivers mileage near the EPA numbers reported by Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      You need to take into consideration the driving style. Edmunds also consistently gets well under EPA numbers on all of their test cars.
      Lend your Highlander to CarandDriver and see what’s left of the tires when they’re done. Better yet, lend it to Jack and have him record his fuel economy through a track weekend.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      When Car and Driver tests Ford, often, their observed mileage is LOWER than the EPA city.

      On the 2012 Focus, EPA rating reported by Ford is 26/37, yet Car and Driver measures 21.  Plus, it had a transmission problem.

      But, when Car and Driver tests a Toyota or Honda, usually it deliveres no worse than the city EPA number.

      Here is the 2012 Focus test ( note the transmission problem ).

      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/11q1/
      2012_ford_focus_sel-short_take_road_test

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      jj -
       
      First of all, the article is wrong in calling that a production car, final production vehicles aren’t out yet, and given publishing timelines, that review likely took place a month or two ago.  So, an abused press car with pre-production transmission control software had a few hiccups and produced less than steller fuel economy while being driven within an inch of its life.  Let’s wait till actual production vehicles are in the hands of everyday drivers before we start making claims about fuel economy not hitting the numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      AlmostThere

      Nullo
      Please allow me to digress a bit. I’m looking at the ford site and there is a discrepancy with the new focus pricing. when clicking on the “Cars” tab to display all models, the listed starting price of the focus (focii) is $16,270, when clicking on the focus from this list to display the focii page it says $18,790 is the starting price. why is the inconsistency, for over 2k for the starting price of an entry level car?

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Almost there,
      The $16,270 is the starting price of the sedan. When you go to the Focus page the hatchback is up with its starting price ($18,790 incl. destination). If you click on the sedan on the back ground you can see that it starts at $16995. $16,270 plus the $725 destination charge.

      Ford is really pushing hatchbacks, but I am surprise that they push the sedan aside so much on one of their best selling cars.

    • 0 avatar
      AlmostThere

      @whynot -
      Thanks for the clarification. It does seem like Ford is pushing hard on the hatchbacks, so hard so that they’re willing to confuse their prospect clients with a higher starting price across the board. Just my 2 cents.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    “What’s Wrong With This Explorer”
     
    Where to begin?
     
    -It’s a unibody yet heavier than the old one.
    -It does not offer a V8
    -It can’t tow like the only one
    -It’s a Flex with a different body
    -Terrarian Management is nothing more than a knob that changes nothing
    -It’s severely overpriced
    -It’s been styled by 10 different people who didn’t see each others designs until the first one was assembled.
    -The interior is mediocre and bland
    -MyFord touchy thingy is full of bugs
    -The mileage is so-so.
    -The D3 platform has spawned nothing but failure prior to the Explorer.  And nothing the Explorer does or has  seems to want to change that
    -It’s FWD
    -It’s “AWD” system is mediocre at best and FWD-based
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      -It’s a unibody yet heavier than the old one.
       
      Sort of how the Traverse (4722 lbs) is heavier than the TrailBlazer (4356 lbs).  The 2011 Explorer is 4439 lbs in FWD and 4613 lbs in 4wd, both lighter than the main competition.

      -It does not offer a V8
      Like the Traverse.  The V6 Explorer was the volume seller, and with 290hp, you don’t need a V8.
      -It can’t tow like the only one
      Assuming you mean it can’t tow like the previous version, correct.  Yet the 5,000 lbs towing will handle the towing needs of the vast majority of people, and if you need to tow more, there are F-150s and Expeditions for that.

      -It’s a Flex with a different body
      You say that as if it’s a bad thing.  The Flex has gotten rave reviews in every publication, and only the polarizing styling held back the sales.  The new Explorer gave people the traditional styling they wanted, and the buyers came.

      -Terrarian Management is nothing more than a knob that changes nothing
      Umm, no.

      -It’s severely overpriced
      Explorer: $28,190, Pilot: $28,045, Highlander: $28,695, Durango: $29,195, Traverse: $29,224.  All for base models with V6.
      -It’s been styled by 10 different people who didn’t see each others designs until the first one was assembled.
      Taste is personal, most people seem to like it.

      -The interior is mediocre and bland
      Baruth called it Audi-like, and everyone I’ve shown it to has been impressed.

      -MyFord touchy thingy is full of bugs
      It doesn’t have bugs, early revisions were a bit laggy, but software updates have fixed it, and you can get the software updated free of charge when you bring yours in for an oil change.

      -The mileage is so-so.
      Explorer: 17/25, Pilot: 17/23, Highlander: 18/24, Durango: 16/23, Traverse: 17/24 – all for 2wd V6 models.

      -The D3 platform has spawned nothing but failure prior to the Explorer. And nothing the Explorer does or has seems to want to change that
      The new Taurus sells well for it’s class, and the Flex has garnered rave reviews.  On top of that, the Explorer has been an unparalleled sales success.

      -It’s FWD
      Just like virtually everything else in the segment save for the Durango/JGC and the 4Runner (if you even consider the 4Runner to be in the same class, it is considerably smaller inside)

      -It’s “AWD” system is mediocre at best and FWD-based
       
      Like almost every FWD vehicle that offers AWD, yes the AWD is FWD based, which isn’t a bad thing.  It isn’t a setup suitable for rock crawling, but there aren’t exactly people beating down the gates for that capability either, and those that are buy Jeeps.  It can handle mud/snow/sand/gravel  with no problem, and that’s all that 99% of drivers would ever ask of it.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Sorry dealer guy…you are wrong on all points.
       
      First off, I don’t like the Traverse.  Too much FWD and no V8 going on.
       
      The Flex has gotten rave reviews (not really), but the sales numbers prove the WHOLE story.  It’s a dismal failure.  Ford said it would sell 100K copies a year.  It has YET to sell 100K copies…and it’s been on sale since mid-2008.  But since you like to bring up the Traverse so much, it’s sells more in a year, than the Flex has it’s whole life.
       
      And the “new” Taurus sells WORSE than the Five Hundred did.  And because the Taurus Sales are so low, Ford is resorting to fleet dumping with the police model.  They can see the writing on the wall for the Explorer too.
       
      The Explorer is a half-done vehicle.  It still needs a lot of work just to be tolerable.  As for the ‘hot’ sales you think it has…two reasons…fleets and the old model.  That is why the Explorer had decent sales numbers last month.
       
      The new one is nowhere to be seen.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Sorry hate-guy, but you are off on a number of points.
       
      You might not like the Traverse, but it sells well, just like the new Explorer does.  Ford is offering what people want, and it’s working.  Yes, Ford forecasted higher sales numbers for the Flex that didn’t end up happening, but those that buy it love it, it’s a great car that isn’t finding buyers because of styling issues, not engineering or basic design issues.  Style will be easy to fix when it comes due for a refresh.

      The 500 landed during the height of the easy credit auto-boom, the redesigned Taurus was born during carmageddon.  As far as large sedans go, it sells well, competing vehicles like the Genesis, Avalon, Azera, and Maxima sell in similar or fewer numbers.  The breakouts in the segment are the Impala and the Charger, which both sold big due to very heavy fleet dumping (we’ll have to see what happens with the new Charger that looks like a great car, but won’t have the same heavy incentives).  The Taurus doesn’t have large fleet sales, and the police version is hardly fleet dumping – police forces have always been an important area of business for Ford, and the Taurus is currently the best car in the lineup to meet their needs.

      I’m not aware of any big fleet sales of the current Explorer – retail demand is so high that it can hardly be met.  Older Explorer models make up a very slim part of the sales results over the past month, most dealers had already cleared out the majority of the 2010 Explorer inventory.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

       
      LOL.  You two oughta get a room.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      LectroByte
      March 11th, 2011 at 10:27 pm

      LOL. You two oughta get a room.

      Heh, I’ve been good about not taking the bait for a while, but I guess I slipped a bit tonight.  In all honesty, an occasional joust with someone who doesn’t accept facts or reason makes me better at what I do.  If I hadn’t been tempted I wouldn’t have dug up the figures for the exact curb weights, fuel economy, and prices for the main Explorer competition.  I had rough ideas about what it all was, and I’ve read plenty of Ford competitive comparisons, but there is something satisfying about getting third party data and confirming that what I suspected and have read from the Ford supplied data isn’t just marketing gibberish.  

       
      At the heart of it, sales is just uncovering objections and overcoming them, so discussions with someone who is immobile in their opposition just prepare me more fully for unexpected objections that might pop up with real living breathing reasonable customers in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      My kind of auto dealer: I love it when they know at least as much or more than I do after I’ve researched what I’m looking at and for. And I’ll need to keep close tabs on any pending MCRs: I like the Flex’s current style although I’m still pining for a medium green paint option.

      I’m definitely in the “high altitude Ecoboost testing” camp: Denver’s got a good starting altitude for that, and the westward climb along I-70 offers some brutal grades for testing the power train’s ability to keep its composure. When the drive out of town starts with 10 miles of 7%, you know you’ve got a keeper when it can maintain the posted limit to the Eisenhower tunnel without budging the temperature gauge.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      NulloModo – talking reason to Z71_Silvy is not a good use of anyone’s time when it involves Ford products. Apparently he was bitten by a Ford when he was young and can now only love Government Motors vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Sorry hate-guy, but you are off on a number of points.
       
      See, there is no chance of anyone having a logical conversation with you when you get the first sentence in a post completely, 100% wrong.
       
      Apparently he was bitten by a Ford when he was young and can now only love Government Motors vehicles.
       
      Source?  Because I never said any of that.
      And a person doesn’t have to be “bitten” by Ford to see that their current line-up is the most mediocre, bland, boring, Toyota-like vehicles on the planet.  Every one of their mediocre appliances (that aren’t selling) are nothing more than the worst vehicle in the class.  Fords are pathetic excuses for modern automobiles.
       
      Ford has officially become America’s Toyota.  If Ford were a color, they’d be beige.  If they were a drink, they’d be water.  If they were a food, they’d be fast food….sure it fills you up, but there is no substance.

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      @ Z_71, here’s your ‘Source’:
      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/03/chevy-captiva-ted-by-fleet-sales/#comment-1724515

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      NulloM, I am also beginning to question the moral compass of the Ford Motor Company.
       
      1) Ford advertises many vehicles as having best in class fuel economy.  Usually, when the vehicles are put to the test in well regarded car magazines, the same Fords usually return fuel economy well below models from the Japanese.  I have a problem with this.
       
      2) Ford advertises vehicles as having better quality than Honda and Toyota.  Consumer Reports shows this is not the case.  I also have a problem with this.  Ford is using alternative quality reports that they buy in order to cover up the Consumer Report verdict.
       
      3) Ford products are way overpriced.  I can pick up a Pilot or Highlander in base trim with front wheel drive for around twenty five thousand.  This is much cheaper than the Explorer.  But, your answer attempts to cover this up.  There is a lower priced Highlander available with a four engine, but you left that out of your answer.  This is deceptive.
       
      4) I wonder if the new Ford is actively pasting propaganda all over the web.  Whenever anyone says something negative but accurate about Ford, the person immediately comes under attack.  You called someone a troll because they exposed a very poor showing by the next Ford Focus.  You also called some a hater. I have a problem with that.

      5) I found the CD Ford Focus test very informative and I am sending it to a few people that were think about looking at the Focus. Good for CR exposing the Focus for what it is because we can’t rely on Ford. You can’t get away with claiming the low mileage Focus can not be used for a result. Your answer sounds like something put together from a PR department.
       
      5) The more of this I see, the more I want to avoid anything from Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      NulloM, I am also beginning to question the moral compass of the Ford Motor Company.
       
      Fair enough if you have concerns, I’d like to add my input.
      1) Ford advertises many vehicles as having best in class fuel economy. Usually, when the vehicles are put to the test in well regarded car magazines, the same Fords usually return fuel economy well below models from the Japanese. I have a problem with this.
       
      Ford uses the same EPA test cycle as the Japanese brands.  As stated earlier, if you look at C&D reviews, the fuel economy results they get are very often quite a bit lower than the EPA estimates on vehicles from a range of manufacturers.  Gearing will play a big role in actual fuel economy, and Ford has being going for a sportier driving experience with many models compared to some of the competition, the Fiesta and new Focus included.  Shorter initial gearing will provide a more rewarding driving experience, but will lead to lower fuel economy when driven hard.

      In my experience when driven in a normal manner the Ford lineup produces fuel economy numbers in line with what the stickers indicate.
      2) Ford advertises vehicles as having better quality than Honda and Toyota. Consumer Reports shows this is not the case. I also have a problem with this. Ford is using alternative quality reports that they buy in order to cover up the Consumer Report verdict.
       
      CR test show a number of Ford vehicles ranking very high, right up with the Honda/Toyota vehicles.  Ford doesn’t buy quality tests, the initial quality reports they often use are from JDPower which is a respected third party source.  Not every Ford ranks as high as every Toyota in CR, some rank better, some worse.  CR is not gospel, their methods are not perfect, and they do have a tendency to evangelize a bit for the Japanese automakers, giving them the benefit of the doubt in situations where they don’t for domestic producers.  Honda and Toyota have certainly earned their reliability reputations, but that doesn’t mean that every vehicle they make now is as good as those they made ten years ago.  Similarly, Ford earned a reputation for subpar build quality in the past, and it will be an uphill battle to correct that in the minds of everyone.  I believe Ford has made great strides in this area, but the battle isn’t done yet. 3) Ford products are way overpriced. I can pick up a Pilot or Highlander in base trim with front wheel drive for around twenty five thousand. This is much cheaper than the Explorer. But, your answer attempts to cover this up. There is a lower priced Highlander available with a four engine, but you left that out of your answer. This is deceptive.
      Base MSRP is base MSRP, you can’t call a vehicle overpriced just because it sells on its merits closer to that MSRP.  If a vehicle can sell at or close to the sticker, and people are willing to pay it, that pretty much proves it is not overpriced.

      The current Highlander and Pilot have been out longer than the new Explorer, and have thus accumulated extra incentives that reduce the average selling price.  In time, the same will happen to the new Explorer.  Hot and new always sells for more than ‘same old’.

      I picked the closest Highlander that compared to the base Explorer.  As the Explorer has the V6 standard, along with pretty much everything else in the class, I picked the V6 Highlander as a comparison.  Yes, you could buy a I4 Highlander for less, but you are also getting less vehicle for your money.  There was nothing deceptive about it, as I clearly pointed out, all prices were for base V6 2wd models.
      4) I wonder if the new Ford is actively pasting propaganda all over the web. Whenever anyone says something negative but accurate about Ford, the person immediately comes under attack. You called someone a troll because they exposed a very poor showing by the next Ford Focus. You also called some a hater. I have a problem with that.
      If you stick around here long enough, you will learn that there is a certain theme to Silvy’s posts, as well as jj99′s.  Both like to post tirades against FoMoCo (or in JJ’s case any domestic automaker) that are in no way grounded in fact.   Most regulars here have been witness to Silvy’s hyperbolic anti-Ford rants, as well as JJ’s incessant claims that no one on the east or west coast drives a domestic product, and that anyone who claims any domestic vehicle is a success must be from Detroit.  I don’t have a problem with just criticism, and I don’t agree with every decision made by Ford or any other automaker myself.  I respect well reasoned arguments, but am not afraid to call out blatant flame-bait and trolling for what it is.
      5) I found the CD Ford Focus test very informative and I am sending it to a few people that were think about looking at the Focus. Good for CR exposing the Focus for what it is because we can’t rely on Ford. You can’t get away with claiming the low mileage Focus can not be used for a result. Your answer sounds like something put together from a PR department.
      The C&D review is overall pretty positive about the car.  I simply pointed out that their transmission feel issues could easily be fixed by the time actual production cars hit the road (early Fiesta automatics feel different from the ones more recently produced, Ford is constantly evolving and improving on the software control on this new transmission).   I might be personally a bit doubtful that they could tell if the clutches were ‘glazed’ or if something else was going on, but actual reports of final production cars will be here soon enough, so time will tell.

      They also seem a bit confused with the MyFord Touch system, which is understandable, it isn’t the simplest thing to pick up if you don’t take a bit of time to learn it, but the comment about Audi being more driver focused with MMI is just plain wrong.  If they had bothered to learn a few of the voice commands for MyFord Touch they wouldn’t have had to worry about finding areas to touch on the screen at all, and could have kept their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road the whole time – that is truly being driving and driver focused.

       
      5) The more of this I see, the more I want to avoid anything from Ford.
       
      Ford is making huge strides in reliability, offering top or near top of class driving dynamics, and integrating technology into vehicles faster than any other automaker right now.  I can understand some people might feel a bit threatened when to see a US automaker seriously threaten the big Japanese companies where it comes to product quality and desirability, as well as how some people might be skeptical due to some bad experiences with the brand in the past.

      If it’s not for you, it’s not for you, and that’s fine.  There is nothing nefarious, underhanded, or sneaky going on here though.

    • 0 avatar

      4) I wonder if the new Ford is actively pasting propaganda all over the web.  Whenever anyone says something negative but accurate about Ford, the person immediately comes under attack.  You called someone a troll because they exposed a very poor showing by the next Ford Focus.  You also called some a hater. I have a problem with that.
       
      Jimmyy, I have no dog in the Ford vs Chevy fight but any impartial person who reads his comments here will say that Silvy has Ford on the brain. He simply  cannot let the word Ford pass without some kind of negative comment. Nullo might have been gentler and not call him a hater, but things are what they are.

  • avatar
    jj99

    What is strange about the new Explorer is the chrome strip on the tailgate.  What is with that?

    And, I know of a person ( who lives in Detroit ) that went to a Ford dealer and sat in the rear seat of a new Explorer.  Said his knees were against the back of the front seats.  Something is wrong with that.  In my Highlander, my knees do not hit the back of the front seat, and I am 6’2″.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Are we talking about second or third row here?  It’s entirely possible to touch knees to the back of the front seat from the second row of an Explorer or Highlander depending on how the seat in front is adjusted.  There is plenty of room in the front seats of an Explorer that there is no reason that they would have to be all the way back unless you are carrying two NBA players in the front seats.  I’m a big guy and I can sit behind myself without knees touching easily in the Explorer.

  • avatar
    Doc

    I am really interested in why this Explorer is camouflaged. Anyone have any ideas? Any Ford employee commentators?

  • avatar
    Ion

    Perhaps Ford is considering a ‘performance’ trim level. Those taillights look more sporty than the ones on the handfull of Explorers I’ve started seeing.

    • 0 avatar
      Doc

      Ion,
      I think that you are on to something. The taillights are different. Also, there appears to be some type of light across the protrusion that sticks out over the rear glass (not sure what that is called).
      Could this be a special version for police use?

    • 0 avatar
      MoppyMop

      The cop version is already out, so no need for camo there.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    She probably bolted because it’s my understanding that it is against Ford policy to use test or M-plate vehicles for lunch runs. Believe it or not, even if your test consists of simply driving around recording data you are supposed to return to the facility, park the vehicle and use your own car come lunchtime, unless you happened to brown-bag it. While I can respect the need for policies to avoid situations like corporate cars ending up sitting in front of strip clubs, this one seems a little ridiculous.  

  • avatar
    don1967

    Just when I think the car business has evolved, they go and pull tired marketing stunts like this.
     
    Speeding off in mock horror because your “camouflaged” car got noticed?   Please.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      That’s Ford for ya!
       
      Maybe this is the Explorer SHOW model that was recently seen on Ford’s web site?
       
      Gee…as if the current Taurus SHOW isn’t enough to ruin the SHO name, now we will have an Explorer SHOW.
       
      Ford will never get anything right again.  They need to fold.

    • 0 avatar

      “Ford will never get anything right again.  They need to fold.”

      Really, Ed & Co? This is considered an acceptable post in the interest of fostering intelligent debate? I hate GM with a passion, and even I’m willing to admit they’ve done a (precious) few things right.

      Yet you allow a zit-faced 13 year-old with a tiny, tiny hard-on over Daddy’s Silverado to repeatedly — and none-too-cleverly — bash Ford?

  • avatar
    LectroByte

     
    I don’t quite get the point  of that “camo” at all.  Seems like that can only attract more attention than just a plain ol’ silver or charcoal gray paint-job would.    Maybe the only story here is someone taking it out to pick up lunch after all.  Hope some poor level 3 tunt (see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0833557/ if you think tunt is a bad word) doesn’t get in hot water over a lapse of judgment.   Have a Great Jeffers Day!

    • 0 avatar
      dastanley

      I don’t quite get the point  of that “camo” at all.  Seems like that can only attract more attention than just a plain ol’ silver or charcoal gray paint-job would. 

      That’s just it – a publicity stunt under the guise of camouflage.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    I really don’t understand why automakers put this “camouflage” on cars that are out in public. If this Explorer were painted black would anyone notice? No. Early in 2009, I was up in Wondervu coming back from Nederland, when I spotted a then new W212 E-class. I wouldn’t have given it a seconds notice but the grille, wheels, fuel filler door and a few other parts were painted matte black. The rest of the car was bright white. Why??? I followed him down the mountain into Golden but I lost him at a light and I gave up the chase.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Possible Hybrid (see how low is the front bumper) or Lincoln version, maybe both. Could be also a diesel version. The taillights fit is rubbish, although they look nice. The steering is on the correct side of the car.
     
    About why the driver was scared… umm, I would too if some @ss was following me to put the car pics on the interwebZ and my job in danger.

  • avatar
    Rusted Source

    It could be just the way the camo is applied to the back pillar but to me the rear quarter window has a different shape than stock Explorer.  It’s more a definitive parallelogram where as the window on the non-spy version the lines are more upright.

  • avatar
    faygo

    there is no reason to spend money/time to remove camo from cars after they have been launched, so they run around with camo on them until they are scrapped.  I still see 2010 Fusions with bits of the vinyl wrap camo which hasn’t been peeled off.  in this case it looks like vinyl wrap on the front 2/3rd of the car and hand-painted on the rear, also typical.
     
    agree is likely being used for high altitude testing of something, could be anything really.  I suspect the person didn’t want their picture taken for whatever reason, regardless of whether the car was anything special, which it’s not.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      It takes about three minutes to remove camo. Trust me, it comes off immediately after the show reveal for on-road test vehicles. I’ve removed it in hotel parking lots, just as soon as we got word. Drivers are thrilled when that happens. People immediately stop doing stupid stuff in traffic around you.

    • 0 avatar
      faygo

      the stick-on vinyl wrap camo doesn’t come off.  any easier than vinyl wraps go onto race cars or vehicles for advertising.  the padded camo with padding to obscure the vehicle’s shapte comes off pretty easily since you remove for testing and whatnot when on proving grounds.  the vinyl wrap stuff never comes off, no reason to waste the time pulling it off.

  • avatar
    DeadInSideInc

    Tail lights are congruent w/current dimensions – note end of roof rack aligns w/fwd edge of tail light in production photos
    The rear deflector appears to have an LED strip running its length as well as the current CHMSL under it
    Nothing appears to be stretched (indicating a LWB/livery/etc…. version)
    As noted above the tail pipe looks like it came off a 1994 Sentra
    The front airdam appears to be lower than stock
    Kudos to NulloModo for shedding some light on the situation. Thanks to the troll for playing, go back to the J/autoblog/your brotastic forum.
    So – 4cyl? Hybrid? Dare we hope diesel?
    Yes, they camo’d it for the publicity value. Part of the game boys and girls.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    Denver is the high altitude testing location for Ford’s on-road vehicle testing contractor.  High-security vehicles require special procedures; it’s a very long checklist that makes driving them a pain in the arse. Dealing with nosy folks with cameras is one of those procedures. Test drivers aren’t engineers; they just drive the cars.
     
    Camo is applied in Dearborn (Allen Park, actually) and isn’t always secure. A roll of duct tape often accompanies high security vehicles. Several times I had camo come loose, or completely off, going cross country and when we arrived at the test facility garage it was duplicated as best could be done.
     
    So that’s what you’re looking at. Oh, also: the exhaust spigot is for attaching to test equipment.
     

    • 0 avatar
      Philosophil

      Sounds reasonable.
       
      I share LectroByte’s puzzlement, however, as to why a vehicle like this would be camouflaged in the first place. If they were genuinely trying to camouflage it, then surely this particular vehicle would have been easier to hide in plain sight, rather than decking it out in ‘look at me’ camo. Would this have been a publicity stunt, or is there some other reason for the camo that we’re not seeing here.

    • 0 avatar

      rocketrodeo,
      Some camo’d cars are driven by engineers. I live in Oak Park, where Ford and other companies test for radio frequency interference because of the large number of broadcast towers near 10 Mile and Greenfield. From the conversations that I’ve had with the drivers they mostly seem to be engineers, either from the car companies or vendors. It might be different when they are doing on-road testing in Colorado or Arizona from how it is in the Detroit area.
      It wasn’t camo’d but a few weeks ago on Southfield Rd. just north of the Southfield freeway I saw a black and gold Mustang with mfg plates. My guess is that it was some kind of Hertz Shelby Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      Looking closer, you can see the dashtop kill switch and test equipment. If it’s a previously revealed vehicle in camo, the vehicle is testing unreleased features. We’re probably looking at a 2012 mule.
       
      It’s a popular theory outside the industry that camo is mostly a publicity stunt. It’s not. It’s just the way business is done in the automotive world. Everyone does it. Some are better at it than others.  I’m most familiar with Ford’s take on high security procedures, having worked as a contractor out of its New Model Programs Development Center in Allen Park.

    • 0 avatar
      faygo

      @rocketrodeo :
      we no longer maintain the facility in Denver we used to have, but I’m sure there is random testing done there.
       
      @ everyone else who thinks it’s a stunt :
      there is no freaking reason in the world to put vinyl camo onto a vehicle which is in production.  especially one which has very limited potential to interest anyone in even the far fringes of the enthusiast media by putting out a faux camo’ed unit.  put down the tinfoil hats and go back to caring about something interesting.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Ford Territory vs Ford Explorer: RWD/AWD vs FWD/AWD
    Engine(s) 4.0 L Barra I6
    182 kW (244hp) 380 Nm (SX)
    190 kW (255hp) 383 Nm (SY)
    245 kW (328hp) 480 Nm (SY Turbo)
    270 kW (362hp) 550 Nm (FPV F6X 270)
    Engine(s)
    2.0 EcoBoost I4
    3.5 Duratec V6
    Closely aligned yet worlds apart

  • avatar

    It’s right-side-up, out of a ditch, and the treads are still on the tires?

  • avatar
    walksatnight

    It’s just a tribute to the good old Razzle Dazzle camo used on Naval vessels:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dazzle_camouflage
     
     

  • avatar

    The Explorer looks quite good, and while I’m not a fan of the new model (I prefer the earlier 1990s Ranger-based variants) I will say that this should work out well for Ford. The Ecoboost four will win quite a few guys into the car for fuel economy alone.
     
    And yes, NulloModo, I am well aware that in an earlier thread I complained that Ford sold my mother a 2007 Escape and she didn’t realize that it had side-curtain airbags, and that my complaints were unreasonable, and now I’m suggesting I like the Explorer from the 1990s better even though it also had no side-curtain airbags, and am attacking this vehicle in a semi-nonsensical fashion. So if I’m a troll there’s the evidence right there and feel free to do with it as you will. My conscience is clear, I’m not like Z71_Silvy, just a phenomenally bad poster who occasionally gets emotional for reasons unexplained.
     
    (P.S. I would still prefer a base four-banger Ranger to either, by the way.)
    (P.P.S. But only with a few thousand bucks off the hood. Childhood nostalgia only goes so far.)

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      No worries Luigi, I don’t want to create the feeling that I’m some sort of Ford Avenger going after anyone who posts a negative comment.  Feel free to like or dislike, I’m just trying to stem the tide of some of the blatantly false statements made for no other purpose than to rile people up.
       
      BTW – you can buy your base 5-speed 4 cylinder Ranger right now for about $13,900 if you can find someone with a 2010 model leftover.

    • 0 avatar

      Cool beans Nullo.
       
      Yeah, there’s actually a 2011 Ranger at my Ford dealership nearby, red, auto, five-speed that I’ve been looking at. Real nice and basic. I would totally buy it, except that I’ve got no money.
       
      If the 2012 Patriots don’t improve mileage or capability I might go over there to pick up one of the last Rangers… I think I could probably scrounge to fill that space.

  • avatar
    George B

    Is Ford creating free coverage of a minor upgrade that would otherwise be of no interest to enthusiasts?  New trim package with some extra chrome strips plus an upgraded compartment for your purse!  An Explorer mule disguised to look like the Explorer currently overexposed in TV ads would be invisible.  However, put camo on the Explorer and the car press writes about it.

  • avatar
    zeus01

    It’s right-side-up, out of a ditch, and the treads are still on the tires?

    OUCH!


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