SUV Spotlight: Ford Explorer

2017 Ford E XLT Sport

2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package ©Ford Motor Company

As promised, February is the month of SUVs on Automobheels.com.  I will be reviewing all types of SUVs. Everything from the practical and affordable to the super luxurious and pricey.

First up, Ford Explorer, the best selling SUV in the world over the past 25 years.  That’s quite a claim, and quite a bit of time in the world spotlight, however, with the new 2017 Explorer XLT Sport Appearance package, they prove why they deserve it.

2017 Ford E XLT Sport Rear

2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package ©Ford Motor Company

With SUV sales expected to grow over the next decade, Ford is ramping up options for the 160 million boomers and millennials who will be lining up to buy this type of vehicle.  “As members of the 80-million-strong millennial age group enter their prime child-rearing years, a leading indicator of more SUV sales, nearly 80 million aging baby boomers continue to prefer their SUVs,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service. “It’s a demographic double whammy and it all points to one thing – more SUVs for the foreseeable future.”  Along with that growing demand, Ford has also tapped in to the fact that SUV consumers want unique and customized, which is why they are offering the new trim for 2017.  They want their consumers to have more choice and more options when buying their new vehicle.  “In the market right now, across all our SUVs, customers are looking for unique colors, wheels and interior appointments,” said Omar Odeh, Explorer brand marketing manager. “We’ve worked closely with Ford Design to deliver a unique look that will resonate with customers.”

2017 Ford E XLT Sport Interior

2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package Interior ©Ford Motor Company

Enter the new Explorer XLT Sport Appearance, with multiple updates to the both the interior and exterior including:

  • 20-inch Magnetic Gray wheels
  • Magnetic Gray grille
  • Magnetic Gray mirror caps
  • Magnetic Gray rear appliqué
  • Ebony Black body side cladding
  • Black roof rack
  • Explorer hood badge
  • Dark Earth Gray leather for front seats, including outer bolsters by premium leather maker Salerno; Dark Earth Gray Miko® suede for seat back uppers and inserts with Umber scrim, and door trim inserts; Umber contrast stitching
  • Explorer logo floor mats

The new trim also comes equipped with the stellar standard features expected from Ford, including a 3.5L V6 engine, Intelligent Access with push-button start, 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, Sync®3, LED fog lamps and more.

2017 Ford E XLT Sport Rim

2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package 20-inch Magnetic Gray Wheels ©Ford Motor Company

“Our Sport Appearance philosophy is rooted in the fact that we know exterior appearance is the No. 1 consideration in SUV purchase decisions,” said Odeh. “The XLT Sport Appearance Package is a dramatic offering that gives customers another attractive option.”  Add to the sporty appearance the EcoBoost® engine available in every nameplate at Ford, and consumers not only decrease fuel emissions, but look good while doing it.

With the introduction of the XLT Sport Appearance Package option, Ford has positioned itself well to capture the growing SUV market in the next year.  They are actively taking into consideration consumer trends and demands and making it available to their customers.  The new XLT Sport Appearance Package model looks to have it all: a stylish and sporty interior, some decent power under the hood, and one mean looking exterior.  I can’t wait to take this baby for spin when it’s available.

 

 

 

Ford Recognized for Water Achievements

The Living Roof Hero Shot Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

The Living Roof Hero Shot Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

This week Ford Motor Company was the only automaker to have their company profiled in the Michigan Blue Economy Report.  The report, compiled to encourage continued growth of the state’s already blue economy, highlights Michigan’s efforts to be the world’s freshwater and water innovation capitol.

In 2000, Ford began their Global Water Management Initiative, designed to reduce their water impacts.  Over the last 15 years, this initiative has evolved to include not only Ford’s water footprint, but to address water concerns affecting supply chain and broader communities.

According to the latest 2013/14 sustainability report published by Ford, they set a goal of reducing water usage by 3 percent year-over-year. They built on that initial goal in 2011 by adding a 30% reduction globally in water used to produce each vehicle between 2009 and 2015.  They met it two years ahead of schedule in 2013.

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company

Between 2000, the start of the Global Water Management Initiative, and 2013 Ford has decreased the total of water used globally in their facilities to 25 million cubic meters, down from 64 million. This is a decrease of 61% and a total of more than 10 billion gallons of water.  They have cut water usage in all aspects from cooling towers, paint operations and washing parts.

Water is a critical global resource and it is important all companies be good stewards of it.  Seeing the progress Ford has made is quite exciting.  Hopefully not only automakers, but corporations around the globe, will adopt more aggressive conservation practices that lead to a significant decrease in water usage.

Congratulations to Ford for their profile in the Michigan Blue Economy Report.

Ford GT Supercar

Ford GT Supercar Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford GT Supercar Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford recently unveiled the latest in its performance vehicle production line-up, the all-new Ford GT Supercar. The unveiling was accompanied by the news the GT will go into production late next year in celebration of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans 50th anniversary, where the Ford GTs took first, second and third place.  The Ford GT Supercar will join more than 12 new performance cars slated to hit the market by 2020.

Ford GT Supercar Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford GT Supercar Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

The GT is a rear-wheel drive, mid-engine dynamo, engineered to be as sleek and aerodynamic as possible.  Within the mid-engine mount, enthusiasts will find the most powerful V-6 Eco Boost engine designed to date.  This twin-turbo boosted baby will crank out more than 600 hp without batting an eye, and that’s just the beginning of its modern design aesthetic.

In order to facilitate the car’s power, handling, efficiency and braking capabilities, Ford had to look to the weight of the car, as well as engine design.  The GT is comprised of lightweight, yet strong materials.  The passenger cell is made from carbon fiber, with the front and rear subframes made of aluminum encased in structural carbon fiber panels.  This gives the vehicle one of the best power-to-weight ratios in production. Likewise, the seating design is integrated directly into the passenger cell, further reducing weight.

Ford GT Supercar Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford GT Supercar Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

“The GT is the ultimate execution of an enthusiast supercar,” said Raj Nair, Ford Group Vice President, Global Product Development.  “GT includes innovations and technologies that can be applied broadly across Ford’s future product portfolio- another proof point that Ford continues raising the performance bar while ultimately improving vehicles for all of our customers.” Beginning this year, Ford is delivering on its promise of innovation.  Each new vehicle is now available with the EcoBoost engine.  The new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 in the GT boasts a wide powerband as well as high efficiency, giving it an incredible advantage over the competition.  The car will also come with a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle which provides flawless gear change and maximum control to the driver.

Ford GT Supercar Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford GT Supercar Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

The outside of the car is just as thoughtfully designed.  This car is all about aerodynamics.  Not only does the tear-drop body shape reduce drag, it also provides needed downforce, creating stability.  The rear spoiler is active, allowing it to reactively engage and adjust height and pitch angle as needed for existing external conditions. Access to the modern interior is provided via upward-swinging doors.

Ford GT Supercar Interior Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford GT Supercar Interior Photo credit: Ford Motor Company

Once inside the cockpit, drivers will find a sleek and functional design.  The F1-style steering wheel comes with fully integrated driver controls and unencumbered access to the paddle shifters, while the digital instrumentation provides driver-focused information available for multiple drive modes and environments.

“While we hope enthusiasts rejoice about this all-new GT, all Ford customers will benefit from the ultimate performance Ford and its new-generation innovations,” said Nair. The GT made quite a splash in Detroit and will no doubt find the same welcome in the ever image conscious LA market.  I, for one, cannot wait to see this beauty up close and personal.