Gas may be inching ever closer to an all-time record but Ford Motor Co. is betting there are still plenty of buyers who want performance as well as high mileage. With the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport, it’s hoping to deliver both.
Scheduled for a formal unveiling at the New York Auto Show next week, Ford lifted the covers to provide a sneak peek at the performance SUV, which will deliver muscle car levels of acceleration using a turbocharged V-6 rather than a conventional V-8 – which Ford abandoned when it introduced an all-new version of the Explorer for the 2011 model-year.
“We’re confident there are people out there who still want the extra horsepower – but want to do it in a smart way,” said marketing manager Eric Peterson.
Instead of the traditional big-block V-8, the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport turns to the maker’s turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine which makes 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. That’s in line with competitors like the more up-market Ranger Rover Sport, at 375 hp, and the similarly priced, Hemi V-8-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee, at 360 hp.
According to Ford, the Explorer Sport will turn 0 to 60 in about 6.0 seconds, or a full two seconds faster than the normally aspirated V-6 version of the SUV.