Saturday, January 10, 2009

Spied! 2011 Ford Explorer Prototype

November 5, 2008

By Benson Kong

The times of body-on-frame SUVs are passing before us, and the Ford Explorer is next in line. With concerns over fuel economy and gas prices, more and more SUVs are starting to be built on unibody platforms, and the Explorer will be next in line in 2010, when the SUV will no longer be built on its current body-on-frame construction.

The spotted prototype was made up of various vehicles, in a typical Ford fashion. Shielding the prototype Explorer were modified body panels of a Taurus X and Ford Flex crossover. The 2011 Explorer will ride on the D3 platform, the same as the Ford Taurus and Taurus X. The new Explorer is expected to carry over some styling cues from the Ford Explorer America Concept from the 2008 NAIAS.

Thanks to the unibody construction and resultant weight savings versus body-on-frame construction, fuel economy for the 2011 Explorer is expected to improve by as much as 25%.

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