Not so Smart Now, Eh Mr. Bond? Ford Unveils Explorer America
At a press conference at the Detroit Auto Show, Ford's presidente de las Américas Mark Fields has rechristened Ford's former cash cow a "Smart Utility Vehicle." In other words, the new Ford Explorer will be a unit-body vehicle with "best in class" towing. Yes, well, the D3 chassis upon which the Explorer will sit on is something of a loser, having failed to ignite sales for the Ford Taurus, Taurus X, Five Hundred; Mercury Sable and Volvo S80 (the Swede with the more expensive aluminum springy bits underneath). On the positive side, the Explorer will get the new Twin-Force– sorry, "Eco-Boost" twin-turbo, which looks like one Hell of a motor. The changes to the Explorer are designed to stem the model's rapid and stratospheric fall from grace; down 23.1 percent this year alone. But the introduction of a new cuter ute also represents a gamble that the Explorer's non-real-SUV fans (a.k.a. concrete cowboys) haven't already left for greener pastures. Not to mention all the "real" truck fans who won't touch the new model with a ten foot pole. Besides, how many crossovers does Ford actually need?
[Reported by Sajeev Mehta]
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