The stylish SUV segment is one of the hottest in the entire auto industry right now, and the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport enters its tailored hat into the ring as it enters dealerships this week.
The Ford Explorer Sport packages 365 horsepower EcoBoost V6 engine with impressive 16/22 mpg fuel economy for its class, and wraps it in a luxurious interior and glossy design. A standard Terrain Management System reinforces the Explorer off-road pedigree and the 20-inch wheels and tires mean business, but it’s the look that will make or break the Explorer Sport on sales sheets.
In fact, it’s a design that perhaps even evokes hints of… well, the Evoque. The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque has won several design awards and been a hit with customers since it debuted last year, and several observers have noted a passing resemblance between the Explorer and the all-new 2013 Range Rover. But the Explorer Sport is an even closer cousin to the Evoque, and it appears that the high-fashion look may be here to stay in sporty SUVs.
2013 Ford Explorer Buyers Guide and Photo Gallery - AutoMedia.com
Ford paid close attention to the available two-tone leather seats, inspired by Parisian design houses more suited for the catwalk than the carpark, and added plenty of small touches like a stitched steering wheel and stylish logos throughout to compliment the supermodel exterior design.
When it comes to actually driving the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport, a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters controls the EcoBoost V6 to deliver low-end torque and maintain fuel efficiency. The four-cylinder EcoBoost in the base Explorer is a bit underpowered at 240 hp, but that isn’t an issue in the Sport. The Explorer is based on the chassis of the Taurus, so driving at speed can feel more like a car than SUV – which is a very good thing when you share a segment with dynamic vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mazda CX-9.
How will the public react to this newer, faster, prettier version of the Ford Explorer? If recent trends are any indication, Ford could have a real Miranda Kerr on its hands.
Ford - Official Site
Ford Explorer Sport - Build Your Own
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