Ford’s previous ownership of Land Rover looks to be paying off for the 2011 Ford Explorer. The all-new SUV will feature a terrain management system very similar to the one found on high-end Land Rovers.
The next-generation Explorer’s new “intelligent four-wheel-drive (4WD) control system” features a number of settings that should help take the mystery out of operating the four-wheel drive system. These setting include:
- Snow: For snow and slippery conditions. Limits torque to wheels to prevent slippage
- Sand: For deep sand and rutted conditions. Optimizes torque for increased traction
- Mud: For slippery, muddy conditions. Allows wheel spin for momentum build
- Hill Descent: For Creeping down steep inclines, without using the brake pedal
- Normal: For all regular driving under normal road conditions.
While the majority of Ford Explorer owners will probably not take their vehicle off the beaten path, this new system is intended to make enabling 4WD control easier and more user-friendly when it’s needed.
“Talking with customers told us that flexibility and freedom to tackle any road, anytime is important to them,” said Explorer Chief Nameplate Engineer Jim Holland. “We saw the opportunity to eliminate a compromise by adding an intuitive and efficient terrain management system that can demystify four-wheel-drive control and enable the driver to properly match 4WD traction to the situations and road conditions they encounter.”
In recent years, the Ford Explorer had lost ground to competitive newer entries in the segment it helped create. With all-new styling, powerful yet fuel-efficient engines, and advanced technology such as this new 4WD system, the 2011 Ford Explorer is gearing up to dominate the midsize SUV segment once again.
The 2011 Explorer will enter production later this year.
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Read more about the new Explorer and other Ford news on this blog.