2011 Ford Explorer unveiled live from coast to coast

Filed under: SUV, Ford

2011 Ford Explorer Live Debut in Southern California – Click above for high-res image gallery

It’s been quite a day for the new 2011 Ford Explorer. After teasing, more teasing, and even more teasing, Ford finally unveiled what it thinks will “reinvent the SUV for the 21st century.” At 12:01 EST this morning, we presented an in-depth look at the new Explorer, providing details on the new exterior and interior as well as some of the safety features, and at noon we went over the new powertrain options, including the 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-4 that will deliver 30 percent better fuel efficiency than the previous V6 model. Ford has even put up a configurator for the 2011 Explorer, allowing you to build your own.

The 2011 Explorer was also introduced live in various parts of the country, from the middle of New York City to Detroit to Los Angeles. We were in attendance on both ends of the coasts to cover the unveilings, each of which had an entirely different feel. The Discovery Channel’s Mike Rowe was on hand with CEO Alan Mulally to make the introductions in the Big Apple, while Ford’s President of the Americas Mark Fields did the honors amidst huge sand sculptures alongside the famous boardwalk in Venice Beach. You can see photos from both unveilings in the galleries below.

Gallery: 2011 Ford Explorer Southern California Live Debut

Gallery: 2011 Ford Explorer New York City Live Debut

Photos copyright (C)2010 Drew Phillips / Alex Nunez / AOL

2011 Ford Explorer unveiled live from coast to coast originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Jul 2010 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Ford Explorer unveiled, tries crossing over on road to redemption

Filed under: SUV, Safety, Crossover, Ford, Design/Style


2011 Ford Explorer Deep Dive – Click above for high-res image gallery

In creating the 2011 Explorer, Ford engineers and designers had an enormously difficult task set before them. Ford’s President of the Americas, Mark Fields, described the job as “Reinventing the SUV for the 21st century.” Despite the near complete collapse of the traditional mid-to-large SUV market over the last several years, Ford still sees a substantial market for the capabilities of these boxy behemoths. Customers just don’t want the traditional downsides that accompany these body-on-frame ‘utes – specifically, their higher fuel consumption and poor ride and handling.

The new Explorer remains squarely targeted at traditional SUV buyers.

Since its debut some 20 years ago, the Explorer has sold over six million units, four million of which are still traversing the world’s roads. Through much of the late-1990s and early part of the last decade, the Explorer was Ford’s second-best-selling vehicle behind its F-Series pickups, regularly selling 400,000 units a year. Fast-forward to 2009, and that volume had plummeted to just over 52,000. Even so, Ford believes it still has an opportunity. According to the automaker’s vice president of global marketing, Jim Farley, each year, at least 140,000 Explorer owners come back to Blue Oval dealerships looking to purchase new vehicles. And obviously, they just aren’t buying Explorers.

When word got out that Ford was developing a new unibody Explorer off the same platform architecture that underpins the Taurus and Flex – not to mention the Lincoln MKS and MKT – many people wondered why Dearborn had elected to develop yet another crossover, especially since the Taurus X/Freestyle had just been killed due to slow sales. This predicament was not lost on Ford’s product planners, and their four-wheeled response is a new Explorer that remains squarely targeted at traditional SUV buyers – shoppers that Ford sees as a distinct group from most crossover intenders. Long ago, Jeep proved with the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee that a unibody chassis isn’t necessarily an impediment to building a fully capable off-roader, and Ford appears to have taken that lesson to heart, along with targeting big improvements in fuel economy and driving dynamics. Follow the jump to find out if they succeeded.

Gallery: 2011 Ford Explorer

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2011 Ford Explorer unveiled, tries crossing over on road to redemption originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Jul 2010 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bloodhound Gang: Full-scale model of supersonic car unveiled in UK [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, UK, Specialty, Racing

Bloodhound SSC show car – Click above for high-res image gallery

It looks like the Bloodhound project has reemerged from the ether of the internet, this time with a full-scale model of the team’s actual world land speed-record hopeful. If you dust off the way-back synapses, you might recollect that the Bloodhound Education Program is a ploy to get school-aged kids into the sciences by showing them exactly what Algebra can do. You know, like launch a hunk of metal to 1,000 miles per hour on land. As a show of progress, the team has unveiled a 42-foot-long life-size replica of the machine that it hopes to use to obliterate the standing world land-speed record of a little over 763 mph.

So far, construction of the rear section of the machine is slated to begin in the second quarter of next year, and the team claims that it’s in talks with another organization to begin building the front half right now. That means we could be hearing reports of shakedown runs by the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012. From there, it’s a short hop to the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa for the real trial. Get excited, people. Hit the jump for a video of the car as well as the full press release. Thanks for the tips, Carlos and Mark!

Gallery: Bloodhound Supersonic Car

[Source: Bloodhound Project]

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Bloodhound Gang: Full-scale model of supersonic car unveiled in UK [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 19 Jul 2010 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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