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2016 Ford Explorer : Current Models

With a dramatic styling refresh, the new 2016 Ford Explorer makes its debut at the LA Auto Show. The update brings with it the availability of a larger EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and all-new top trim model.

The previous generation Explorer's 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is replaced with a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that Ford claims will deliver more horsepower and torque, with no expected fuel economy reduction from the current 23 mpg combined estimate. The displacement bump and accompanying boost in torque are also likely reasons that the four-cylinder model can can now be paired with either the available tow package or four-wheel-drive system with Terrain Management.

The automaker states that the new turbocharged four-cylinder will deliver "at least 270 horsepower and at least 300 pound-feet of torque." Presumably, the use of "at least" indicates that the final performance and efficiency tune hasn't been finalized. We've seen the 2.3-liter EcoBoost in action previously in the new Lincoln MKC, where the stated output was 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, and expect the Ford to be in that ballpark.

Elsewhere in the lineup, the Explorer's 3.5-liter V-6 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine options persist unchanged for the 2016 model and still output 290 and 365 horsepower, respectively.

New active shutters close the front grill openings at highway speeds and new ducts force a high-speed "air curtain" around the rolling wheels and tires at speed. Both of these standard aerodynamic technologies reduce drag at highway speeds and potentially boost the new SUV's highway fuel economy across the lineup.

Ford also eases parking the big Explorer with new driver aid tech. Available front and rear cameras feature wide-angle lenses and come equipped with spray washers to keep the view clear of dust or snow. Ford's automatic park assist system can automatically park the Explorer at the touch of a button -- guiding the SUV with the electric power steering while you man the accelerator and brake. Parallel parking and perpendicular parking assist are supported; and now the system even has a "park-out" assist feature that can help semi-automatically guide the vehicle out of a parking spot as well.

First seen on the Ford C-Max and Escape, the automaker's hands-free liftgate makes an appearance on the 2016 Explorer, unlocking and raising the liftgate with a kick of a foot beneath the rear bumper. And throughout the cabin, the automaker tells us you'll find new smart-charging USB ports to quickly charge passengers' gadgets.

The 2016 Ford Explorer will also debut a new "Platinum Series" trim level at the top of the line that the automaker hopes will appeal to a more upscale buyer. According to Matt Zuehlk, Ford Explorer brand manager, "90 percent of today's Explorer Sport buyers purchase the most expensive package available. That's a strong signal customers are ready for Platinum."

Ford will find out just how ready those customers are when the new Ford Explorer goes on sale next summer.

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Sources : 2016 Ford Explorer Photo | 2016 Ford Explorer Article

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