Along with class-leading performance, the new Explorer Sport also delivers solid fuel economy numbers - all for just over $40k.
Whoever said that a crossover (read: not a true SUV) can't have nearly 400 horsepower? Ford was certainly out to change the industry's idea of what a crossover can do when it launched the totally redesigned Explorer last year. Ditching the old body-on-frame construction, the 21st century Explorer may not be the off-roading SUV it once was, but it's still a capable vehicle and one that's considerably more fuel efficient. Fortunately, it can also be quite powerful.
Ford has officially released specs of the 2013 Explorer Sport, which goes on sale this fall. Powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, total output has just been announced as being 365 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. These numbers should sound quite familiar to many because this is the same power plant that's under the hood of the Taurus SHO. Ford says that its "class-leading high-performance SUV....has an EPA-rated fuel economy of 16 city and 22 highway mpg." For comparison, this is 3 mpg better in the city and 2 mpg better on the highway than the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango R/T, both of which are powered by the 5.7-liter Hemi V8.
The base naturally aspirated V6 Explorer has just 290hp and 255lb-ft. The EcoBoost engine is mated to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic with paddle shifters. In addition, the Explorer Sport receives Ford's Terrain Management System that optimizes the vehicle for increased power and torque in on-road touring and under rough conditions such as snow, rutted mud and hill descent. With the capability of towing up to 5,000 pounds, the Explorer Sport comes with standard 20-inch painted and machined wheels, blacked-out headlights and taillights, black roof rack rails and a special grille featuring a low-gloss Sterling Grey mesh.
The interior also receives a number of upgrades over the standard model's such as optional charcoal black leather, a unique steering wheel, and Sport logos floor mats and illuminated scuff plates. Along with the latest version of SYNC with MyFord Touch, there's also a Sony audio system with 12 speakers. Pricing starts at $40,720 and when compared to something such as a supercharged Land Rover Range Rover Sport (with a 5.0-liter V8 with 510hp) that runs for nearly $77k, the 2013 Explorer Sport is quite a bargain.