The 2011 Ford Explorer

Ford is one of the most recognizable brands out there. Its Explorer SUV has evolved over the years and considerable change has shaped its trends. The expected 2011 Explorer is a fifth generation model and has promised to undergo radical changes compared to earlier generations.

As a paradigm shift, Ford intends to bust myths about SUV performance and fuel economy. It is believed that fuel economy is the primary reason for the fact that people say no to SUVs. So Ford wants to combine the better fuel economy with the performance and capability expected from a SUV. In essence, the new Ford Explorer will shatter everyone's perceptions regarding the past experience with SUVs.

The truck model is little bit lower and wider, with tucked-in body panels and short overhangs. As an improvement, the new Explorer will present itself with a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that delivers 250 lb-ft torque from 1,700 rpm with a projected 237 hp at 5,500 rpm.

Now, the standard engine delivers 255 lb-ft and 290 hp and is a 3.5-liter V6. These engines couple to a six-speed automatic transmission. So fuel economy is estimated to rise to 30%. Mpg numbers weren't released, but compared to the 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway of today's Explorer, the new 4-cylinder's would be around 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway. It is designed for 6 passengers and the four-cylinder could tow about 2,000 lbs while the V6 can tow 5,000 lbs. There is a possibility that the 3.5-liter Ecoboost of 355-hp could be delivered in the future, because there are no V8s available.

The Explorer will have a unibody structure just like the Lincoln MKS, the Ford Flex or the Ford Taurus with independent rear and front suspensions.

The V6 model rides on all wheels, a technology developed with Land Rover. The adjustment of engine behavior to terrain conditions is accomplished by means of a knob on the console. It can adjust the car's transmission shifts, throttle tip-in, calibrations for traction and stability systems. The Hill Descent Control option brakes the engine to control the car when going down-hill.

The interior features a set of inflatable seat belts for the backseats, a technology developed in the last 10 years. The materials, fit and finish and the tight gaps are the best interior Ford has accomplished. The goal for the interior design was to make it compete with other strong and expensive ones like the Audi Q7 and BMW X5.

Limited trim levels, XLP or Base levels will be sold this winter. The first two will come with incorporated MyFord Touch technology with LCD screens, a color touch screen in the center and USB ports, RCA video input jacks, SD card readers and Ford Sync.

The prices will range in line with the current Explorer, beginning at $29,280 for the MSRP. Ford has a page on Facebook for the new Explorer which started ahead of its online debut on July 26, 2010. The car will continue to be marketed as an SUV, not as a crossover.