포드가 6인승 익스플로러 아메리카 (Explorer America) 컨셉을 2008 디트로이트 모터쇼에 선보였다. 별다른 특징 없이 너무 평범하기만 한, 익스플로러를 앞, 옆, 뒷모습 모두, 이렇게 단정하게 다듬어 컨셉을 출시하니, 참 보기 좋다. ㅡ,.ㅡ;;
컨셉의 핵심은 무게를 줄이고 엔진효율을 높인 것. 기존 익스플로러의 body-on-frame 방식 플랫폼을 버리고 유니보디 플랫폼과 경량 소재를 활용해 무게를 68kg (V6 모델 기준) 정도 줄였다.
차세대 포드 중소형차 라인업의 주력 엔진이 될 직렬 4기통 2000cc 엔진 (EcoBoost technology)은 최고출력 275마력에 최대토크 38.7kgm를 낼 정도로 강력하다. 뿐만 아니라 20% 연료소모와 15%의 이산화탄소 배출가스를 줄였다. V6 3.5리터 엔진 (340마력)의 경우, 이전보다 20~30% 연료 소모량을 줄였다. 엔진 출력은 최신 6단 자동변속기를 통해 구동륜에 전달된다.
아래는 프레스 릴리즈 기사....
The Ford Explorer America concept showcases a new kind of utility for the vehicle customers have known and loved for years: even better fuel efficiency.
"Customers are smart. They value vehicles - the more efficient, the better," said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president of Marketing and Communications. "Ford gets it.
"Innovative technologies can transform people's favorite vehicles. Look at SYNC, the Ford system that connects people and their favorite portable devices, including media players and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, while in their vehicles."
Technologies and engineering innovations help Ford Explorer America concept deliver an approximately 20 to 30 percent fuel-economy improvement, depending on engine selection, while providing room for six and their gear as well as moderate towing and off-roading capabilities.
This smarter utility concept simplifies Ford Motor Company's systems approach for delivering sustainable vehicles, specifically demonstrating:
- A powertrain lineup that includes a 4-cylinder 2-liter engine with EcoBoost technology delivering 275 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque or, as a premium engine, a 3.5-liter V-6 delivering about 340 hp. Depending on engine selection, fuel-efficiency will improve by 20 to 30 percent versus today's V-6 Explorer
- Migration from current body-on-frame to unibody construction, reducing weight and delivering superior driving dynamics
- A fuel-efficient 6-speed transmission with auto shift control, allowing the driver to select and hold a lower gear with just the turn of a dial when conditions warrant it
- A weight reduction of 150 pounds for the V-6 version thanks to its downsized - yet superior performing - engine, as well as more lightweight materials, suspension and chassis components
- Fuel-saving electric power assisted steering (EPAS) and other engine actions that deliver a fuel savings benefit of about 5 percent. Between 80 to 90 percent of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles will have EPAS by 2012
In addition to its fuel-efficient powertrain and technologies, the Ford Explorer America concept addresses how the SUV market has changed in the past 15 years.
In the 1990s, customers were drawn by SUVs aligned with people's adventurous, more rugged lifestyles. Today's consumers are more discerning, demanding products that are capable and flexible - but more intelligently executed.
The Ford Explorer America concept looks the part, too, with a modern, muscular design language that belies its ability to harness today's active lifestyles. Its integrated three-bar grille, defined power dome hood, wrap-around rear glass panel window and sliding rear door give the appearance that this concept is ready for modern Lewis-and-Clark types to explore, from their own neighborhoods to the trail head.
Inside, intelligent features abound, including: single-touch stackable, sliding seats that allow for convenient access to the second row; a work table with seats deploy from the tailgate; and a three-dimensional compass and navigation unit with a topographical map built right into the instrument panel.