Drive Type: C4 automatic
Model: Model A
Trim: 1931 Slant Windshield Model A Ford
Hawkins, Texas, United States
The current Ford Explorer is sold in more than 64 countries, and this three-row vehicle continues to grow in popularity worldwide. To keep up with demand, Ford began producing the Explorer at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant in Tatarstan, Russia, a joint venture facility. This partnership will build Russian-market Explorers only, and production of export vehicles not destined for Russian buyers will continue to be built at Ford's assembly plant in Chicago.
Before this plant went online, Ford would ship Explorers to Russia (and other regions around the world) as partially assembled knock-down units where final assembly would eventually take place. While there is no indication as to how many Explorers Ford Sollers will build for Russia, Ford did add that exports of the SUV were up 65 percent last year (from 2011) accounting for more than 24,000 units.
Scroll down for a press release about the Russian Explorer as well as a video (bad music and all) showing the SUV being produced in Tatarstan.
As we prepare for the arrival of the all-new, next-generation Ford F-150, rumors about the new truck are picking up steam. Naturally, many of said rumors aren't just related to the way the truck will look (it's expected to take design cues from the Atlas concept shown above), they're tied to what's going to motivate the Blue Oval mainstay, with Ford's EcoBoost range likely to play an increasingly key role. While we're still expecting the current 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 to retain its position as a premium alternative to Ford's naturally aspirated V6 and V8, a Canadian automotive news site is proposing that the Dearborn automaker is also preparing a new, more fuel-efficient downsized EcoBoost option.
Autos.ca is reporting that a new, 2.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 could find its way into the lighter, aluminum-intensive truck. The new engine supposedly makes use of asymmetrical turbos to generate 320 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque - substantially more impressive numbers than the current 3.7-liter base engine's 302 ponies and 278 lb-ft - while offering improved fuel economy and emissions. The new 2.7 EcoBoost (internally dubbed "Nano") isn't expected to supplant the naturally aspirated V6 as the F-150's base engine, it's expected to slot in above directly it.
Naturally, we're prescribing more than a few grains of salt to go with these rumors, at least until Ford debuts the next F-150 at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, a reveal we'll be covering in a mere two weeks.
Ford hybrid customers apparently have very short memories. With two EPA fuel economy reratings in the last year, sales of the C-Max, Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ haven't been too terribly dented, Ward's Auto reports.
All three vehicles saw sales dips following the August 2013 rerating, although sales of the MKZ Hybrid had begun to rebound as early as November of that year. C-Max sales, meanwhile, took slightly longer, with sales on a steadily improving course as early as February of this year.
The second rerating, in June of this year, has had an even smaller effect on the Blue Oval's hybrids. The C-Max has actually been subject to a sales increase, while both the MKZ and Fusion saw minor sales drops (less than 400 units between the two in the month following the rerating).