It’s been a decade since former Ford Motor Co. CEO Jacques Nasser pledged to increase the fuel economy of the maker’s trucks and sport-utility vehicles by “25-in-5.”
But while Ford will be a little late in that pledge to boost mileage 25% in 5 years, it will actually exceed the former chief executive’s goal, at least with the next-generation Ford Explorer, which the company has announced will get 30% better fuel economy than the old SUV.
A key reason behind that improvement is the complete shift in the design of what was once the most popular sport-ute in the U.S. Since its launch, Explorer relied on a truck-like, body-on-frame platform. The 2011 Ford Explorer will switch to a lighter, more car-like unibody platform.