Hybrids and EVs are great, but what about those who need a full-size SUV and would still have environmental and fuel consumption concerns? There’s no hybrid for them yet, or at least since the demise of the Chevy Tahoe’s hybrid version.
Ford has redeveloped the powertrain of its Expedition SUV to bring this vehicle more in-line with the fuel consumption requirements of modern buyers.
Ford explained the 2015 Expedition goes on sale later this year with a slightly updated look, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and a quieter cabin with more technology than previous-generation vehicles.
As a side note, Ford said this Expedition will be the latest Ford nameplate to offer a high-end Platinum series.
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, using direct injection and twin turbochargers, provides according to Ford more power, efficiency and performance than the 5.4-liter V8 in the current 2014 Expedition.
Unfortunately, Ford has not yet revealed fuel consumption ratings for the updated 2015 Expedition to back these claims.
“Customers still have a need for a traditional full-size utility vehicle and the new 2015 Expedition delivers what those customers are looking for,” said Keith Wilson, Expedition marketing manager. “These are Ford’s more affluent customers who won’t compromise – they want space, performance, comfort and capability all in one impressive package.”
The Expedition, which debuted in 1996, is currently Ford’s largest utility vehicle, with seating for eight. Ford added the standard 2015 Expedition, one of two versions available, has three rows of seats and up to 108.3 cubic feet of cargo space. It sits on a 119-inch wheelbase, making it a little more than 6 inches longer than Ford Explorer. A longer-wheelbase version – 131 inches – has three rows of seats and best-in-class maximum cargo space of 130.8 cubic feet.
“Ford is building on a successful tradition of Expedition capability and quality with significant improvements in design, performance, efficiency and technology to bring customers a full-size utility they want to get into when hitting the open road,” said Wilson.
The 2015 Expedition was engineered to be a technologically advanced utility that is easy to drive and offers refinement for all types of drivers, said Ford in a press release highlighting the upgraded 2015 Expedition.
“The EcoBoost engine will bring increased torque and horsepower that will excite our customers,” said David Cantrell, Ford assistant chief program engineer for Expedition. “Thanks to improved efficiencies and an independent rear suspension, the 2015 Expedition is not only more fun to drive, it’s also easier to own.”
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 will be the only engine offered on the Expedition in North America. The company said to maximize performance and control, the vehicle will be equipped with a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission featuring a manual mode that allows the driver to use a shift-mounted rocker switch to select the desired gear.
With the new powerplant, Ford declared the Expedition will be among the full-size SUV leaders for capability, generating 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Add best-in-class maximum cargo space for the extended-length version and available best-in-class towing of up to 9,200 pounds when properly equipped, and Ford believes customers will find a truly useful utility vehicle.
With the launch of the 2015 model, the Expedition also becomes the first Ford nameplate to offer a continuously controlled damping suspension that allows drivers to select from three drive modes – comfort, normal and sport.
Ford explained a suite of sensors detects 46 unique body, steering and braking inputs. By monitoring Expedition body motion, the system can automatically adjust damping in milliseconds. Continuously controlled damping technology analyzes the weight of the vehicle, steering feedback and road undulations and reacts accordingly to help control wheel and body motions so passengers experience an orderly, comfortable ride. A vehicle with poor damping feels as if it’s bouncing on the suspension springs.
The new Expedition also features Ford’s electric power-assisted steering, which the company said gives drivers improved maneuverability at low speeds and better feel at high speeds, and helps save fuel by operating more efficiently than traditional pump-driven systems.