2011 Ford Explorer to be built in Chicago, will get EcoBoost-ed

Ford’s assembly plant in Chicago will be responsible for building the next-generation version of the Explorer SUV, reports the Chicago Tribunal. Union leaders said that Ford executives agreed to produce the new Explorer at its Chicago facility as a part of a recent deal with the UAW to cut pay and benefits.

When asked, Ford said that the Torrence Avenue plant will “receive a new product” but FoMoCo declined to identify it.

The next-generation Ford Explorer will abandon its body-on-frame construction and will become a uni-body SUV that will ride on the D3 platform used on the new 2010 Ford Taurus.

Powertrain options are said include a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder unit making 275-hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Of course the 340-hp 3.5L twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost will also be offered. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, fuel-economy is expected to be improved by 25 to 30 percent.

Rumors suggest that the next-generation Ford Explorer should arrive in the fall 2010.

– By: Kap Shah

Source: Chicago Tribunal