Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Innovative technology creates new 2011 Explorer that adapts to drivers and roads to deliver new levels of comfort and safety
The new Explorer will be one of Ford’s first vehicles with four-way head restraints designed to provide occupant protection and more adjustable comfort for passengers of different heights, while encouraging proper use of restraints
The new Explorer also features new technologies to help the vehicle adapt to driving conditions, including a terrain management system, Curve Control and radar-based systems such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support
Customers can personalize Explorer even more with custom graphics and seven accent lighting choices for footwells, cupholders and other areas
Fact Sheet: 2011 Ford Explorer: More Adaptable Than Ever (PDF)
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 12, 2010 – Whether hauling mountain bikes through mud ruts or groceries and kids through rush hour traffic, the new 2011 Ford Explorer will adapt to peoples’ lives more than ever – building on the capability, flexibility and utility that made it America’s favorite SUV for two decades.
The redesigned Explorer, which arrives later this year, will deliver more adaptability than ever before – from adjustable creature comforts like a four-way head restraint to responsive driver-assist and safety technologies such as terrain management system and Curve Control.
“The Explorer has always been about maximum adaptability, but it’s not just about off-road capability, flexible cargo space and seating configurations anymore,” said Amy Marentic, group marketing manager, Ford cars and CUVs. “With the new Explorer, we’ve redefined what adaptability means by expanding the user’s ability to adjust vehicle features and functions. At the same time we are offering innovative technologies that can allow the Explorer to automatically adjust to driving conditions if needed”
Making easy adjustments for comfort and whiplash protection
One of the new Explorer’s flexible features is a new four-way head restraint designed to provide protection for occupants with more adjustable comfort than industry standard two-way restraints.
The four-way head restraint offers increased flexibility over the two-way head restraints that proliferate in the industry. The four-way system moves up and down, as well as forward and backward using a manually operated ratcheting system that allows 12 positions to increase occupant comfort while helping to provide occupant injury protection in rear impacts.
“A well-positioned head restraint is important because it helps keep the occupant’s head and neck aligned with their torso and may reduce the risk of whiplash injury,” said Agnes Kim, Ford senior technical specialist. “Our four-way system is designed to provide protection while offering more flexibility so drivers can find more comfortable driving positions.”
Ford recommends properly adjusting the head restraint so that the top of the head restraint is even with the top of one’s head and positioned as close as possible to the back of one’s head. For occupants of extremely tall stature, the head restraint should be adjusted to its full up position. Approximately 80 percent of all passenger vehicles in the United States have adjustable head restraints, yet studies indicate less than 10 percent of occupants adjust them properly.
Two other Explorer features that should be adjusted before hitting the road are the adjustable brake and accelerator pedals and tilt/telescoping steering wheel that allow drivers of different statures to position these controls at a comfortable distance closer or farther away from them.
Adapting to the road; Taking curves and all terrain
While the new Explorer’s driver and passengers can easily adjust interior features to their liking, the Explorer seamlessly adjusts to external driving conditions. Two new-for-2011 technologies that perform in this adaptable manner are Curve Control Hill and a terrain management system.
Curve Control, which makes its debut on the Explorer, senses when a driver is taking a curve too quickly and rapidly reduces engine torque and can apply four-wheel braking, slowing the vehicle by up to 10 mph in about one second. The system can be useful when drivers are entering or exiting freeway on- or off-ramps with too much speed.
The new Explorer gets adventurous by offering Ford’s first intelligent four-wheel-drive (4WD) control system that optimizes vehicle capability by integrating powertrain and braking controls to provide appropriate traction for any driving conditions. Terrain management is activated by a console-mounted, switchable knob, enabling 4WD control through an intuitive choice of settings that eliminates guesswork with simple icons that represent the climate or surface situation drivers may encounter.
“The Explorer’s terrain management system and Curve Control are predictive technologies that are designed to work with the driver to respond to varying road conditions or potential hazards,” said Jim Holland, Explorer chief nameplate engineer. “They help the Explorer and its driver adapt to changing conditions.”
Adapting to the driver’s mood
Explorer drivers will be able to adjust the ambience of their vehicles in several ways. First they can personalize the interior by selecting from a spectrum of seven different ambient lighting colors, for the gauge cluster, foot wells, cup holders, door map pockets and rear foot wells. Drivers and passengers also can get comfortable with the Explorer’s dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control.
Other adaptive technologies on the new Explorer include:
MyKey™ which helps encourage safer teen driving and seat belt use, and allows owners to program the vehicle key to incorporate features such as limited top vehicle speed and audio volume.
Ford SYNC® in-car connectivity system with 911 Assist™ - designed to assist occupants in using their paired cell phone to place a call to a local 911 operator should an accident occur that activates an airbag or the emergency fuel cutoff.
HomeLink gives the vehicle the technology to learn up to three garage door and power gate remote control codes, eliminating the need to clutter the interior with separate remote control units.
Reference by Ford Motor Company
Monday, November 8, 2010
The 2011 F-150 EcoBoost Engine Endures More Torture Testing
The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost™ “torture test” truck engine moved from the lab to the outdoors with a stop at a logging company in Oregon. It’s the current phase of a multi-part series of Web-based documentaries that began when this randomly selected EcoBoost engine endured the equivalent of 150,000 miles or 10 years of use on the dynamometer, replicating the duty cycle of the harshest-use customer. You can read more about that by clicking here.
After the dyno torture testing, the engine was dropped into a new 2011 Ford F-150 to work as a log skidder for Nygaard Logging of Warrenton, Oregon. Skidding is the process of moving harvested timber, after the branches have been removed, from the forest to a staging area where it is placed on a truck to be sent to a sawmill.
The 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost replaced a vehicle similar to a backhoe that “ropes” the harvested timber using high-strength cables and drags it to the staging area.
The work was performed at Clatsop State Forest, where the 2011 F-150 EcoBoost pulled logs weighing from 4,000 to 9,000 pounds. That’s where the new engine’s best-in-class torque of 420 lb.-ft. at 2,500 rpm was essential – especially low-end torque. Up to 90 percent of the EcoBoost truck engine’s peak torque is available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm – all on regular fuel.
The EcoBoost truck engine also delivers best-in-class maximum towing capability of 11,300 pounds.
Go to fordvehicles.com to see firsthand how the EcoBoost truck engine performs.
Reference: Ford Motor Company