By on March 28, 2012

Anyone looking for a Ford Taurus SHO with a bit more room and towing capacity have their prayers answered with the Ford Explorer Sport.

 

Yes, it may be an answer to a question that nobody asked. The Explorer Sport will get a 350 horsepower 3.5L Ecoboost V6 engine as well as a six-speed automatic. Bigger brakes,  qucker steering and a revised exterior will seperate the Sport from lesser Explorers. Fuel economy is expected to be 16/22 mpg and the Explorer Sport should be able to tow 5,000 lbs. Anyone who ever missed out on a Saleen XP8 can now have their shot at a hi-po SUV from the Blue Oval.

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41 Comments on “Ford Explorer Sport Gets 3.5L Ecoboost...”


  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    There is a God!

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    Great move Ford! This should utterly decimate the overpriced and slow selling MKT.

    • 0 avatar

      If the MKT doesn’t have enough get up and go with the 3.7L 305hp V6, it too is available with the twin turbo, 365hp 3.5L V6. The 2013 has been tweaked a little but it’s still an odd beast. Trouble is it’s awsome on the inside but not so much on the outside and a lot of folks won’t even concider it.

  • avatar
    ktm_525

    I would think Ford would be happy if this only stole 1 in 10 MKT sales

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Actually, I think lots of people have asked the question ‘why doesn’t the Explorer have the 3.5 EB?’, so this is a good reply.

    The 2.0 EB receives abusive reviews.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    That is one great looking car. I especially like the grille/front end and the greenhouse. Bravo, Ford !

  • avatar
    greaseyknight

    Is their a reason the web address for this article includes “commercial-van-gets-diesel/”? Subtle hint that the new Transit is going to have a diesel option?

    • 0 avatar
      Tifighter

      Ford dropped a press release yesterday that a diesel is coming. Speculation around which engine it will end up being; no details yet released.

      I just want an AWD variant. Diesel, gas…don’t care. C’mon Ford.

  • avatar

    My guess it that Ford has seen the sales figures for the Range Rover Sport and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.

    • 0 avatar
      TheFredMan

      …but at only 350 HP it won’t hold a candle to either the Rover or the SRT Grand Cherokee!

      • 0 avatar

        True, but, assuming that they sell, the Range Rover Sport and SRT Grand Cherokee show that there is a market for performance SUVs and crossovers.

      • 0 avatar
        baggins

        350hp will be enough for me.

        And I need a 3rd row.
        And the SRT is 60K
        And teh Rover is a Rover and pushes 70K
        And the Explorer will be less abusive on gas, although that’s the trade off for “only” 350 hp

        I think this explorer will be a much higher volume model vs the SRT Cherokee of Rover sport

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    So the historically traditional Ford Explorer Sport has grown two doors, gained alot more weight, more bling, less utility, and a much, much higher price. I guess it wont roll over as easy, but at least it wont be anywhere as douchy as the young men who used to drive them because they couldnt afford this bloat-uv.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      But this arguably looks better, will handle better and will allow more douchey young men to fit inside – thus increasing the concentration of douchiness per vehicle but hopefully reducing the actual number of douchey vehicles on the road. It’s a win-win in my books.

      It may be a DoucheUV, but at least it’s a looker!

  • avatar
    spinjack

    The obvious question then; how do the Explorer Sport and Grand Cherokee SRT8 stack up against each other?

    • 0 avatar
      drylbrg

      I’m going to guess the SRT8 will smoke the Explorer, but the Explorer will get better mileage and be cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      “The obvious question then; how do the Explorer Sport and Grand Cherokee SRT8 stack up against each other?”

      Well…for one the JGC SRT-8 is desirable and isn’t painful to look at, is much better built with better materials, it has as FUNCTIONAL info-tainment system, and it was actually built to go fast. The faux Explorer is just the same, lumbering SUV with a bigger engine.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Happy and surprised to see that the usual profit padding cosmetics – power hatch, blindspot monitoring, push button start, leather, moonroof, etc – are optional.

    Unhappy and unsurprised that MyFordTouch is mandatory.

    This engine should have been there from day one but better late than never. I will test drive one if the sticker isn’t too unreasonable.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      Can’t you just remove the MyFordTouch unit and replace with a standard aftermarket unit? Or is it so integral to the vehicle it would be akin to a lobotomy?

  • avatar

    I’ve actually been surprised how well the EB has sold in the Flex. It should do at least as well here. Sadly, the thickness of the A-pillars is harder to fix.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Living at 6000+ ft above sea level – with any drive more than 10 miles west pushing 10,000 ft – I’ve determined any new vehicle purchase for me must have some sort of forced induction, so the take rate on the EB comes as no surprise.

      Sadly this further undermines Ford’s premium variant on that chassis. Despite its superior space efficiency and some exclusive options, the Flex may suffer the biggest hit from an Explorer with an uprated engine package.

      I’m also piqued with Ford’s decision to finally offer a medium green on several of its sedans and SUVs including the Explorer but not its upscale cousin.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Felis -

        I’m assuming you mean the ‘Green Gem’ color. I was hoping it would be a true medium green myself from seeing the color charts. In person, it looks almost black, with green highlights when the sun hits it right. It’s probably one shade lighter than the virtually black ‘Atlantis Green’ from a couple years ago.

        I’d love a nice medium metallic green, but for whatever reason nobody seems to want to offer it.

        I haven’t seen the Green Gem on the Explorer yet though, just the F-150, so it might look lighter on the Explorer (it seems to in the photos at least). I agree it would be great on the Flex, especially with a silver or white roof.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        A neighbor has one of the earlier Superduty trucks with the Holly Green finish and I’d love to see that color made available across a wider range. I’ve been seriously considering pulling the trigger on a Flex Limited w/the turbomotor but darnit, being given 2 shades of white and 2 shades of silver/grey in addition to red and blue keeps me holding out for a wider range in the color palette.

        I haven’t written a direct letter yet, but I’m more than ready to send a few gallons of DuPont’s finest to the line in order to get a color I’d like. Heck, I’ll even settle for Blaze Yellow; I could put in an application for a “shortbus” vanity plate to give fellow motorists a laugh.

        I will definitely not argue with Ford over its Explorer success; it definitely deserves the added attention they’ve been giving it.

      • 0 avatar
        fincar1

        In western Washington green – especially medium or dark metallic green – is very common on sheriff’s patrol cars. This may play a part in the scarcity of new vehicles in that color, at least hereabouts. It’s quite common to drive by the Chevy or Ford dealer here and see a long row of new trucks and cars with not one green one.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The Super Duty had another green that Ford called ‘Forest Green’ until ‘Green Gem’ came out, and it was also more of a medium green.

        I like green cars too, and I wish there was more of a variety. The ‘Ginger Ale’ color looks greener in person than it does on the website. It does have a lot of gold/beige undertones though.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        It’s hard for me to keep all these color names sorted in memory. I’ve had some fun looking back at the 24-strong pallettes most domestic automakers offered in the early to mid 70s and those were wonderfully confusing with all the descriptions given. Be certain you’ve got the right box checked!

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    So what we have is an uglier SUV…..with a V6……that gets the fuel economy of a far more capable V8 SUV……all while retaining it’s softroader capabilities.

    Oh and a ‘far too high’ price tag.

    Yippee…..just what the world needed.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      to me its a nice near-luxury vehicle for a family. It has:

      lots of power
      a smooth, quiet ride (dont like the 20 inch wheel I might switch for 18s)
      ability to go thru snow or soft road
      fantastic safety numbers, look at these data on the integrity of the structure in a side impact

      http://www.iihs.org/ratings/datatables.aspx?class=55&type=s

      only real issue for me is the mandatory my touch, but I bet they figure it out soon and I wont be in the market to replace my 04 Sienna until 2014

      I dont know about the world, but it’s what I might very well want.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Which V8 SUV does this get the same fuel economy as?

      The JGC 4×4 Hemi is 13/20
      The Sequoia 4×4 is 13/17
      The Land Cruiser 4×4 is 13/18
      The Tahoe 4×4 is 15/21
      The Pathfinder 4×4 V8 is 13/18
      The Durango 4×4 V8 is 13/20

      Most SUV owners will never take their vehicle off road, and the Explorer will handle anything short of rock crawling that you’d be better off with a dedicated off-road rig for anyway.

      baggins –

      It has already been fixed. Drop by a Ford dealer and play around with a vehicle updated to the new MyFord Touch software – the difference is night and day.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Well, the Tahoe Hybrid 4WD is rated at 20/23 and it has a 6.0L V8. It’s also rated to tow 6200lbs. The 3.5L EB vehicles aren’t cheap so the prices will probably be close-ish. I think springing for the hybrid SUV requires a much bigger leap of faith though.
        _________________________
        Looking at some police tests of the SHO Interceptor against the competiton, the EB does give better fuel economy than the V8s when idling or cruising around, but when you get to pushing on it, it does drink like a V8.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        ajla –

        Mentioned the Tahoe Hybrid below – starts at $55K for the 4wd, my guess is that Explorer EcoBoost will start at about $42-$45K. (Explorer limited 4wd starts at just over $40K with the base 3.5 V6).

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    Well, Ford does have a far more powerful engine in its lineup than any offered by Chrysler/Jeep. So if Ford put this engine, from the 2013 GT500, in the Explorer (you know, the engine with way more power – 650hp, 600 torque, than the SRT8 – 470 hp, 465 torque), do you really think that very many people would buy it?

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    The wife and I debated this. We downsized from F250 SD/Expeditions to a Sport Trac Andrenalin. I wasn’t farming anymore and the kids were gone. I still needed to tow my 5500# boat which the STA does quite easily with the 4.6. It gets a tad under 22 on the highway, rides great, AWD with the 6spd auto. Hauls 5 (in a pinch) & fits into the garage easier. I liked the Explorer but it misses that 7500 pound sweetspot on towing slightly bigger things, but not really big things of course. The Flex was a really close second but I wanted a bed that can haul chain saws & weedswhackers, fuel cans, waste oil and I’m not ever doing that again with an SUV. That being said, the best all around SUV we ever had was the Exped (two over 10 years). Before alcohol appeared, the 5.4 ’03 averaged 21 on the highway. We like the Edge. 3.5 EB would be woohoo!

  • avatar
    peteinsonj

    22 mpg? pathetic.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Find a 350hp 4wd or AWD vehicle this size that does better. (OK, the Tahoe hybrid, but the 4wd model starts at $55K, this will likely start in the low 40K range, that difference buys a lot of gas).

    • 0 avatar
      naterator

      What are you talking about? 16/22 in a vehicle this size is amazing. If I wasn’t so tight-fisted, I’d go look at one.


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