With it’s debut yesterday, Ford gave the evergreen Explorer model 300-cc of added space. Fortunately that extra displacement comes under the hood in the form of the newly available 2.3-litre EcoBoost four which will replace the outgoing 2.0 four as the Explorer’s mileage-minded motor. According to Ford, the 2.3 brings to the party 270-bhp and 300 lb-ft of torque which is 13% more ponies than the 2.0 could manage. That’s enough grunt that Ford felt this mill was up to 4×4 duty and hence will make it available in the AWD edition as well as the front-drive wagon.
Just like 5.0 V8, a 2.3 litre four has been a staple displacement for Ford for decades. This is the first time that size has found its way under an Explorer’s hood, but it sure seems that if you’re going to buy a Ford with a four, it damn-well ought to be a 2.3. Another element of the 2016 Explorer recalls Ford’s past is in its looks. Ford has restyled both ends of the truck to give it a smaller, more rounded appearance and what they’ve ended up with is a look that’s reminiscent of the 2007-09 Taurus X. You have to squint a little, but it’s there.
Not only that, but the new Explorer’s nose is an even more uncanny doppelgänger for the Land Rover Discovery Sport, which also made its LA debut yesterday. As you will recall, Ford once owned Land Rover, and it’s quite possible that the same designer’s sketches were still on somebody’s computer at both companies after the breakup. What do you think, are they twin brothers of different mothers?
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