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Ford Motor Company is clearly hedging its bets on this EcoBoost thing. For the 2011 Explorer, it will be dropping one of these engines between the frame rails, though unlike those found in the Flex, Taurus SHO and Lincoln MKT, this will be a four-cylinder version, a 2.0-liter mill that; via direct injection, forced induction and electronic trickery, is claimed to deliver 30 percent better fuel economy than the hoary old V6 in the current truck.

If Ford's claims are to be believed, that means the 2011 Explorer will likely get 18 miles per gallon in town and around 26 on the highway, versus the 14/20 cycle for today's truck. Factor in other such features on the 2011 model such as a six-speed automatic transmission, unit-construction (versus a heavy separate frame), electric power steering and a variable-capacity air-conditioning compressor designed to reduce parasitic loss and it would appear Ford has the right ingredients for helping achieving these fuel economy targets.

The 2011 model will also employ a terrain management system to aid four-wheeling ability and other current Ford fads such as Blind Spot monitoring, collision warning with brake support, cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. Who said nothing good came out of the Premier Automotive Group?

More: 2011 Ford Explorer to Get 30% Improvement in Fuel Economy on
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