Ford’s totally revamped, unibody Explorer has been big news since word broke about two years ago. Ford’s already given their dealer network a preview of what the revised SUV will look like, and the general public will see the new design sometime this summer. The new Explorer will come with an EcoBoost four cylinder motor as standard equipment, and will be be offered in either FWD or 4WD, with RWD sadly going away. Photos of the new Explorer in testing show an SUV with styling influences borrowed from Ford’s very successful Edge crossover.
Production is slated to begin this fall, alongside the Taurus in Ford’s Chicago assembly plant. If Ford runs into production delays (to be expected with any new-from-the-ground-up model), it’s likely they’ll hold back deliveries to dealers until after the first of the year. Under this scenario, Ford will skip the 2011 model year and launch the new Explorer as a 2012 model. If all goes well and they can begin shipping inventory by year end, it’s likely the new Explorer will launch (as planned) as a 2011 model.