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2012 Ford Explorer

EcoBoost 2.0-liter four-cylinder  (Source: Dana60Cummins/Wikipedia)
The new EcoBoost engine option gives up 40 hp to the V6, but betters it in low-end torque and fuel efficiency

With rising gas prices and the government's keen eye on CAFE numbers, more and more fuel efficient vehicles are starting to flood the market. Turbocharging was once relegated to performance cars and diesels, but now manufacturers are starting to adopt the direct injection and turbocharging for their mainstream gasoline engine vehicles. Hyundai has found success by replacing its V6 engine on the Sonata with a 274 hp turbocharged inline-4. Likewise, Ford has found success with its EcoBoost V6 engines in the Taurus SHO, Flex, and F-150. 

Now, Ford is bringing a new 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder to the recently revamped Explorer crossover. While the Explorer is currently available with a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 that produces 283 hp (@6,500 rpm) and 252 lb-ft of torque (@4,100 rpm), the new EcoBoost generated 240 hp (@5,500 rpm) and 272 lb-ft of torque (3,000 rpm). The new engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and is only available with front-wheel drive models. 

Many people would likely give up the 40 horses for the added low-end grunt and the fuel economy increase. The V6 is rated at 17/25/20 (city/highway/combined) while the new EcoBoost four-cylinder is rated at 20/28/25. Ford says that these numbers better segment rivals like the Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot.

Much like the EcoBoost V6 engine option (which is more expensive than the 5.0-liter V8), the EcoBoost four-cylinder in the Explorer will command a $995 price premium versus the V6.

"Today's SUV buyers place a high priority on miles per gallon, so Explorer has expanded its portfolio of fuel-efficient engines with an all-new EcoBoost offering," said Amy Marentic, Ford group marketing manager. "SUV buyers deserve efficiency with their capability, so Explorer now offers best-in-class V6 and four-cylinder fuel efficiency." 

Ford has seen the sales of its V6-equipped F-150s eclipse those of the larger V8 engines as buyers flock to power and fuel economy -- the company is hoping that that same formula works for the Explorer which has already sold more units in the first six months of 2011 than the old model did in all of 2010. 

Ford is also bringing an EcoBoost three-cylinder engine to its subcompact Fiesta.

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Why no diesel?
By Isidore on 7/28/2011 11:10:31 AM , Rating: 2
In Europe this type of vehicle would just be sold with a turbocharged diesel which is a much better engine for towing than an anaemic 4 cylinder gasoline engine. Also, front wheel drive only is a poor choice for a tow car

RE: Why no diesel?
By Brandon Hill on 7/28/2011 11:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
Because Americans have been "told" that hybrids are the answer to all our fuel economy woes.

When most Americans think of diesels, they think heavy duty pickups and VWs

RE: Why no diesel?
By Spuke on 7/28/2011 12:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
Because Americans have been "told" that hybrids are the answer to all our fuel economy woes.
No Americans generally don't like diesels. You know that. Supposedly there is a shift in that thinking but we'll see when the new Cruze diesel hits the streets.

RE: Why no diesel?
By twhittet on 7/28/2011 2:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't European diesel and American diesel slightly different? I thought American diesel wasn't refined the same way, making 1 more reason small diesel cars don't work well for us.

RE: Why no diesel?
By Iaiken on 7/28/2011 2:52:46 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel standards in Canada, the US and Mexico converged with those of the EU back in 2008 and the current TDI's engines that are imported are identical to those used in the EU.

RE: Why no diesel?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/28/2011 8:13:36 PM , Rating: 1
No Americans generally don't like diesels. You know that.

That and the fact that we have a viable trucking industry that the government loves taxing the living hell out of, so usually diesel fuel here costs more than regular grade pump gas. Kind of hard to push a technology that costs even more at the pump than people are paying now. And before anyone says it, yes I understand that you still end up paying less because of efficiency. But it still causes a marketing and image problem.

RE: Why no diesel?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Why no diesel?
By drycrust3 on 7/28/2011 12:15:47 PM , Rating: 1
Do you make cars for a living? No.

What does America make and sell that no one else does?

RE: Why no diesel?
By Wiggy Mcshades on 7/28/2011 12:21:20 PM , Rating: 4
Bullshit, world's finest bullshit.

RE: Why no diesel?
By Spuke on 7/28/2011 3:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
What does America make and sell that no one else does?
Do you mind not lumping all 300 million of us into one person please? I know plenty of Europeans as well as people from other nations and I would not lump them in with a$$wipes like yourself. Euro people are not robots and neither are we.

RE: Why no diesel?
By thurston2 on 7/28/2011 10:53:57 PM , Rating: 1
You need to let go of all that hate.

RE: Why no diesel?
By GruntboyX on 7/28/2011 11:52:42 AM , Rating: 4
Europe subsidies the cost of Diesel in much the same way America subsides the cost of corn.

If Diesel was taxed the same way Petrol was, then it would be a wash. Couple that with Americas more stringent Diesel air quality standards and it doesn't make it a viable option. I like to think that America cares more about its environment than Europe ..... I jest.

RE: Why no diesel?
By Las123 on 7/29/2011 4:39:08 AM , Rating: 1
I am not aware of any subsidies for Diesel in Europe. If anything all type of fuel costs way more in Europe than in the States and Diesel is typically more expensive than Petrol and is a major source of tax revenue.
Just a few examples: today a gallon of diesel here in England is 8.70 dollars and a gallon of unleaded is 8.43
I would not call it a subsidy.

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