Thursday, September 9, 2010

2011 Ford Explorer SUV Development Continues in Dubai [with Video]

Ford has released some new pictures and video footage of the new Explorer SUV hot-weather testing in Dubai. According to the Dearborn automaker, with a 50 percent humidity factor and midday temperatures pushing over 125 degrees Fahrenheit, the desert climate provides "an ideal environment to test and validate vehicle performance in some of the world's most extreme conditions."

Chief Engineer for Vehicle Engineering Don Ufford adds one more reason to the list as to why Ford's trying out the new 7-seater Explorer in Dubai, and that is to listen to what local customers have to say about the SUV model.

"We regularly sell close to 10,000 Explorers per year in the Middle East market," Ufford says. "SUV drivers in this part of the world regularly use the broad range of capabilities these vehicles offer. Our rationale for testing in Dubai is simple: If we can perform well here, we can do well anywhere."

Along with numerous other tests, including for the effectiveness of the air conditioning system, Ford claims Dubai also offers unique terrain characteristics to validate the Explorer's four-wheel drive capabilities.

"Customers here regularly drop tire pressure and head off into the sand dunes for off-road vehicular recreation," said Ufford. "We wanted to make the terrain management system on the new Explorer easy and intuitive to use so customers have the confidence to go off-road without worrying about whether they have properly engaged all the vehicle systems."

The freshly revealed 2011 Explorer will be offered in the States with a choice of two engines, either a 290HP 3.5-liter V6 or a 235HP 2.0-liter EcoBoost Turbo four-pot. Sales in North America will begin later this year, while Ford plans to export the Explorer to more than 90 markets globally starting from early 2011.


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