It took 380,000 LEGO bricks and 2,500 hours to create this 1:1 replica of the Ford Explorer which was revealed last month in Chicago. This replica has a curb weight of 2,654 pounds (1,204 kg) and it was created by LEGOLAND Florida. It has an aluminum support structure that weighs 768 pounds (348 kg).
After being revealed in Chicago, the Ford Explorer returned to Florida and is on display at the Ford Driving School.
Source: Ford via WCF
Each and every year, almost all of the major manufacturers phase out some models without making a big fuss and concentrate on their new models that hopefully will do better than the outgoing models. Let’s face it, not many of us remember the day when the Ford Five Hundred was rebadged as the Taurus. This is just one example, there are dozens more, but this isn’t a history lesson.
In 2010, there were many models that went out of production; some of them had a significant impact in the North American automobile market. The reasons behind these decisions can be found in their low sales figures while some models were just filling a niche. Regardless of the reasons, here are the 10 models that you won’t be seeing anymore:
body-on-frame Ford Explorer
The body-on-frame Ford Explorer was manufactured between 1991 and 2010. The car itself created a category and started a real craze. It managed to survive during the harsh Firestone tire scandal as well as being able to face the demand of even larger vehicles. Most of you don’t know but this car was rebranded as a Mazda Navajo. It was also covered in body cladding and commercialized as a Mercury car. It was even deconstructed back into a pickup form and was sold as the Sport-Trac. Thankfully, the Explorer name is not dead as Ford introduced a 2011 model, but without the body-on-frame construction.
At number nine we find the Kia Boreggo, one of the most unpopular sport utility vehicles in the last decade. It was sold between 2008 and 2010 and although reviews were generally positive, the low sales figures are most likely due to the bad timing. The Korean automaker Kia decided that the ideal time to launch a body-on-frame sport utility vehicle was when customers were looking for crossovers, hybrids and subcompacts because the gas prices reached and surpassed the $3 mark. For this reason, Kia managed to sell only a few Boreggo SUVs and stopped importing them in the US for 2010, leaving the dealerships with the 2009 models. Although the car is still being produced in Korea as the Mohave, the Boreggo has the same fate as the Rondo.
Mercury Grand Marquis
We mentioned Mercury before, they too also axed one of their models, we are talking about the Grand Marquis which was introduced back in 1983 and 2010 was its last year of production. Ford made a lot of RWD full-size body-on-frame sedans, but this is the one that we will all miss. Let’s face it; the Town Car was for going to the airport, funerals and weddings. The Crown Vic was basically a police car and a cab. Although both of these were suitable for specific jobs, the Grand Marquis however was a deliberate choice made by the car’s owner, which tells us a lot.
Toyota Corolla (NUMMI-built)
The Toyota Corolla (NUMMI-built) production has ended last year, after 16 years of long and prolific history. Although most of the car’s customers wouldn’t notice any significant changes, the final Corolla model that was made in the now defunct General Motors – Toyota factory located in Fermont, California, rolled out on April 1st last year.
The NUMMI – New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. was just what General Motors needed to increase efficiency and reduce defects. However, there were a lot of reasons that led to the downfall of the factory which was sold to Tesla Motors.
Chrysler PT Cruiser
Finally, the awful-looking Chrysler PT Cruiser is officially dead. After 10 years of service to God knows who, the car was officially pulled off the production line. If you didn’t know, the automaker launched this model so that it could be classified as a light truck in order to lower the average fuel economy for light trucks. It did the exact opposite; it came with a gas mileage that befitted the light truck.
Between 2002 and 2010 Honda produced the odd-looking Element and they announced it in an official press release, unlike other companies that didn’t say a word. The reason behind the failure of the Element is very simple as Honda marketed the car for an active twenty-something audience, but forgetting that only very few people of that age could afford a new car.
Here is a car that we considered to be a looker and we were shocked to find out that Lexus pulled the plug on it. We are talking about the sexy SC model which was introduced back in 1991. The most recent generation was launched in 2001 and in 2005 it received a well-deserved facelift. This hardtop convertible couldn’t live up to its sales expectations and in 2009, Lexus managed to sell only 720 units, in comparison to 2002 when they sold about 14,400 in the United States.
It is family time as we are talking about the Volvo V70, a car that was introduced in 1998. The reason for this should be obvious; nobody would buy a new Volvo station wagon, except the Stockholm police department.
Between 1995 and 2010 Chrysler manufactured the Sebring model which started off quite nicely as a LeBaron replacement. It offered lots of options for its price and the handling was surprisingly good. Because of the company’s lack of funds to invest in the car, the Sebring stuck around well past its prime. The latest generation of the model was a total flop, although rebate buyers and rental fleets saw them a very good deal.
The last car mentioned in this article is the Chevrolet Coblat which was launched by the American automaker in 2004. It was introduced in order to replace the awful Cavalier and was advertised as the next import compact-killer. The car looked good in our opinion, but didn’t stand a chance in front of the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla.
All things considered, some were bad while some were awful. We hope that automakers will learn from these mistakes and improve their current and future models so that they could avoid these automotive disasters.
At the beginning of the year, Ford showcased its brand new, Taurus-based Police Interceptor cop car. Now, a utility-inclined version has also been revealed, based on the recent 2011 Ford Explorer and titled, what else, the Police Interceptor Utility.
The new model is available with the 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine, capable of 280 HP and paired up with a six-speed automatic. Police departments can order it in either front or all-wheel drive, and will get a lot of upgrades as opposed to the civilian Explorer.
Things like bigger brakes, improved suspension, 18-inch wheels, as well as options like the Curve Control or the AdvanceTrac Roll Stability Control are also included. Strangely, the new Terrain Management System won’t be a part of the police SUV.
On the inside, the front seats have been modified so that officers won’t have any problems with their extra equipment, while the center console has been cleaned up so that police computers can be added. The rear seats aren’t exactly as luxurious as the front ones, but they do have a separate climate control system, ideal for K9 units, according to the Blue Oval. The SYNC system has been upgraded with voice commands, while the steering wheel buttons can be reprogrammed to various other functions.
Don’t expect the Ford Police Interceptor Utility to be patrolling the streets anytime soon, as it will enter production alongside the sedan version around the end of 2011. Until then, check it out in the photo gallery below.
Photo Gallery: Ford Police Interceptor Utility
As we’re sure most of you know by now, the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV has been officially revealed by the Blue Oval at the beginning of the week.
The onslaught of information continued yesterday with the unveil of the online car configurator for the next generation SUV, and now we’re treated with a healthy batch of videos. These showcase all of the new technologies and systems that are available in the 2011 Ford Explorer.
From the Terrain Management System we saw before, to the Blind Spot Information System or the Trailer Control system, all of them are thoroughly explained. Also, don’t forget that we already saw the impressive Curve Control system in action a while back.
Hit the jump to watch these three videos.
The 2011 Ford Explorer is the one of the Blue Oval’s biggest bets this year, and as such, it has been promoted through a lot of new ways.
We’ve already seen the official launch yesterday, and now the online car configurator is already available, albeit in a not-so-complete way.
Customers are able to configure their own V6-equipped Explorer, as the 2.0-liter EcoBoost version isn’t available for configuration just yet. Still, prices for the base Explorer, with the 3.5-liter V6 and front-wheel drive start at $28,190.
Afterwards, things increase to as much as $39,190 for the top-of-the-range Limited trim line, with the same engine and four-wheel drive. That doesn’t even include any extra options you might want, nor the $805 destination charge.
Still, if you want something to do until the 2011 Ford Explorer hits dealerships this winter, the configurator will keep you busy.
It’s been an extra long time coming, but the Blue Oval finally decided to pull the curtain off its newest model: the 2011 Ford Explorer.
As you can see above and below, the new SUV is thoroughly overhauled, borrowing cues from the new Taurus, as well as the Flex or the Fusion. According to Ford, the next generation Explorer will offer “best-in-class fuel economy, improved driving dynamics and terrain management system – all wrapped in a modern, weight-saving design.”
In terms of engines, the new Explorer will be offered with a 3.5-liter V6 option, expected to output 290 HP with 255 lb-ft of torque, and be 20% more efficient. The new SUV can also be equipped with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline-four cylinder unit, capable of 237 HP and 250 lb-ft of torque, while at the same time being 30% more efficient than the outgoing V6. These two engines will be mated with a six-speed automatic gearbox, which feeds power to all four wheels.
Safety plays an important role for the new Explorer, as it boasts a more rigid unibody structure, as well as an array of safety features, including the innovative inflatable seat belts Ford premiered at the beginning of the year. Stability systems like the Curve Control we saw a few weeks ago, as well as a terrain management system are also included.
The next generation SUV will come in three trim lines, Base, XLT and Limited, each boasting various equipment. Among them we have the SYNC infotainment system, with the Limited getting the new MyFord Touch iteration.
The 2011 Ford Explorer SUV will be premiered in the following week all over the USA, with production set to start later this year. Expect it to hit dealerships before the end of winter. Until then, hit the jump to check out the high res photo gallery.
As we’re sure most of you know by now, Ford is investing heavily in establishing the 2011 Explorer SUV on Facebook. As such, it revealed a few weeks ago that if it will get 30,000 fans (likes, actually) on its Facebook page, it will organize a sweepstakes and give away one of the brand new SUVs.
Now, that goal has been reached. While no details have been revealed as of yet about the sweepstakes, the Blue Oval did reveal a brand new teaser photo of the 2011 Explorer.
As you can see above, the grille of the next generation SUV is pictured, alongside a bit of its headlight, a part which was revealed last week.
The official presentation of the next generation 2011 Ford Explorer SUV is scheduled on July 26. At that time, locations all around the USA, including New York, Chicago or Los Angeles will display the new model. The biggest celebration will be at the ‘Glass House’ showroom, right beside Ford’s HQ in Dearborn, Michigan.
Even though we’re a week away from the official unveiling of the 2011 Ford Explorer, the Blue Oval continues to spoon feed us little tidbits of information.
The latest one concerns the Explorer’s new EcoBoost 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine. The turbocharged engine is 30% more efficient than the outgoing V6 Explorer.
Sadly, that’s all we’re getting, as official EPA numbers for the 2011 Explorer haven’t been revealed by the federal body just yet.
Still, considering the existing 210 HP 4.0-liter V6 is ranked at 14 mpg in the city and 20 on the highway, we can figure out that the 2011 Explorer EcoBoost 2.0-liter might achieve 18-19 mpg in the city and 26-27 mpg on the highway. The new engine is also expected to develop around 230 HP with 250 lb-ft of torque, making its efficiency mighty impressive.
Ford is practically torturing its fans with the Facebook page for the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV, as it has been slowly revealing teaser shots of the next generation SUV.
Now, we at least know when it will all end, as the new Blue Oval model will be presented to the public on July 26.
Until then, we are now treated with a shot of the headlight of the future 2011 Explorer, confirming what many already believed, that it will borrow cues from the existing Ford Fusion.
Still, perhaps Ford would’ve been better off starting this teaser campaign a bit later, as people aren’t that fond of waiting around and catching slivers of information every now and then. At least Facebook users might get a chance to win a 2011 Explorer if they’re lucky.
Ford is definitely trying to become one of the coolest automakers around, as it hasn’t shied away from using the new social networks in order to promote its models.
First we had the Fiesta Movement, which gave long term test drive vehicles to influential social media members, and now the 2011 Ford Explorer is slowly being revealed on its special Facebook page.
The Blue Oval wants to kick things up a notch for its overhauled SUV, and has announced it will be giving away a free model on Facebook, on one condition.
What’s that condition? If the 2011 Ford Explorer page will get 30,000 ‘Likes’ (aka fans). If it will reach that goal, the Blue Oval will organize a sweepstakes and give away the new SUV.
Currently, 10,699 people like the new Explorer. If you fancy a shot at getting the new SUV for free, then check out the official Facebook page and click on the Like button. While you’re at it, perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you ‘liked’ our own website. Check out own Facebook page here.
Source: Ford Explorer Facebook
Most drivers know that when approaching a sharp corner, it’s best to brake in order to maintain control over your car and trajectory.
According to a recent statistic revealed by Ford, however, things aren’t like that. It seems that over 50,000 accidents that happened in the USA last year were caused by drivers who didn’t brake before entering curves, eventually going off road or in the opposite way.
As such, in the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV, the Blue Oval will be premiering a new technology called Curve Control. The system, as its name implies, will help the car go around curves more accurately and safer. It will sit atop the existing electronic and roll stability control systems, and actively apply the brakes on all four wheels, preventing the car from going off road.
In order to really highlight the tech, a new video was revealed by the guys at Autoblog, who experienced first hand the Curve Control system on a camouflaged prototype of the 2011 Explorer. Check it out after the jump.
Ford knows there’s good money to be made from offering police vehicles to departments across the USA as it has a 70% stake in this segment thanks to the tried and true Crown Victoria.
But the old model will soon be replaced with a new Taurus-based Police Interceptor, as we saw a few months ago. At that time, the Blue Oval also hinted that another model would also be made available to police fleets across the USA.
Many voices hinted to the Flex crossover, but it now seems that the utility-focused model will be none other than the upcoming 2011 Explorer SUV.
The new, full-pledged police SUV, will be made available around the end of 2011, but a concrete release hasn’t been scheduled. The Detroit News also hints that this larger model will get all-wheel drive and be pursuit-rated, in order to one-up the GM’s current police SUV offer, the Chevrolet Tahoe, which features just two-wheel drive in its pursuit-rated version.
Either way, it seems Ford is keen to continue serving the police forces of America. Do you think the Taurus Interceptor and the Explorer SUV will make for great law enforcement vehicles? Share your thoughts below.
Ford took a pretty big gamble when it revealed the Flex crossover (or more like slightly higher riding wagon), confident that it will conquer the public. Sadly, this hasn’t happened, at least in terms of the sales the Blue Oval was expecting.
As such, given the fact that the next generation Explorer is preparing for its market debut, many believed the Flex will be phased out, in favor of the full pledged SUV.
That’s not quite so, according to the Detroit Free Press, which reports that even though sales numbers aren’t that good, the Flex is moving units with plenty of extra options added, so Ford is still making a bit of money from its crossover/wagon.
Also, seeing as how the Explorer will use the same platform and most of the Flex’s systems, the manufacturing costs will stay low enough so that the Flex won’t be a complete waste of money.
What do you think? Should the Blue Oval continue with the crossover/wagon or just place its money on the next Explorer? Share your thoughts below.
We take many things for granted in a car. Among them are the seat recliners which, in case you didn’t know, can actually break down. This is what can happen in several Ford models, including the 2010 Fusion, Explorer and Explorer SportTrac, as well as 2010 Mercury Mountaineer and Milan vehicles.
As such, the company, together with the NHTSA, announced that over 33,000 models will be recalled to dealerships were new seats are going to be added, so that no harm can come to their occupants. While such a defect might seem a bit trivial, in case of a crash, the back of the seat might completely recline to the rear, resulting in an improper protection for the front passengers.
As usual, the repairs will be free of charge and the Blue Oval will begin contacting owners so that they can have their 2010 Ford or Mercury models fixed. If you don’t want to wait, you can contact the company at (866) 436-7332.
Ford impressed quite a few people last week when it revealed the new Terrain Management System for its next generation Explorer SUV. The system, as you may remember, used a dash-mounted knob to select between various settings like normal, mud, sand or snow.
Now, Land Rover, the British SUV specialist who, for some time, was under Ford ownership, published an interesting reply on its corporate blog, reminding the Blue Oval who thought of the system first. For those not in the know, back in 2005 Land Rover developed the Terrain Response system, and premiered it on the mid-range Discovery, or LR3, as it is known in the States.
As you can imagine, it seems Ford used some of the insight it got when overseeing Land Rover and implemented it in the next Explorer through the chief engineer for that platform, Jim Holland. The executive, according to Land Rover, worked three years in the UK, where he oversaw Range Rover development.
After clearing these things out, the company also points out a few things. Its Terrain Response system has more settings: from General to Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand or Rock Crawl. Also, in case you were comparing the next Ford Explorer with a Land Rover offer, the Brits also hint that a carmaker with 60 years of offroading experience might be the better choice.
But it’s not just corporate fighting, as the company concluded on a ‘friendly’ note: “We naturally wish our friends the best of luck with their new vehicle. We just want everyone to know where the system was invented. And that was right here at Land Rover.”