Re: Why is the Explorer going car-based?
Same goes with GM's new Lambda SUV platform (ie Traverse, Acadi, etc.). There's a bit more to it than just going car biased with vehicles that were previously body on frame vehicles (essentially a truck!). Cost is the major concern, it's easier to steal parts from cars already on the market and just change a few bits and pieces so they can name it something else.
Really, it is a shame, but its CAFE regulations and consumers that control the market. With the way fuel prices are fluctuating over the last couple years it's no wonder why they're going with car-based SUV's and eventually, half ton trucks.
For those who want off-road capability, Jeep will soon be the only one left that will offer a real off-road vehicle. The current Explorer isn't very off-road friendly as it is. It's another reason I'm still holding onto my first generation Dodge Durango. You can't get a body on frame mid size any more with half decent off-road credentials while being able to offer a large V8 (5.9L), tow 7300lbs and carry 7ppl or 88cu ft of cargo nearly anywhere. It's a dying breed.
GM also expects that 70% of it's new Lambda SUVs will be front wheel drive.
'11 Ram Quad Cab 4x4 SXT 5.7L HEMI (stock); 48,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 64,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 28,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!