2008 Detroit Auto Show: Ford Explorer America Concept
- Looks like: Ford’s serious about updating a dinosaur
- Defining characteristics: Bold grille that doesn’t have three chrome bars
- Ridiculous features: 3-D compass and navigation unit
- Chance of being mass-produced: Pretty darn good.
The big news about the Ford Explorer America concept is that Ford has confirmed it will move its Explorer SUV from a truck-based body-on-frame design to a car-like unibody design that many crossovers use. This will save weight to increase gas mileage and also follows GM’s recent crossover trio the Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.
Ford also said it will bring turbo engines to the Explorer, including a four-cylinder capable of making 275 hp and 280 lb.-ft of torque. That’s equivalent to what GM’s V-6 crossovers get. To replace the V-8 engine, there will be a turbo V-6 producing around 340 hp. Ford says fuel economy could increase from 20% to 30% over the current V-6 Explorer.
Now, before you go saying this is just a concept, we want to make sure you understand that Ford is serious about making the next Explorer more fuel-efficient and making the next Explorer a crossover with three rows, just like this concept. Whether the aggressive looks, power doors, tailgate seats and other features make it to final production, we’re not sure. Regardless, this is a big, big concept for Ford. Many more photos below.