Ford Explorer V U502 52011 - ...
Model: Explorer (1990 - ...)
Wikipedia (Explorer): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Explorer
The fifth generation 2011 Explorer takes cues from the Explorer America concept's construction, and includes a monocoque (unibody) structure based on the D4 platform, a modified version of the D3 platform. The new Explorer features blacked-out A, B, and D-pillars to produce a floating roof effect similar to Land Rover’s floating roof design used on its sport utility vehicles. Ford already uses this floating roof design on the Ford Flex. The Explorer's C-pillar remains body colored. It also gets sculpted body work with stepped style headlamps similar to the Flex, Edge, Escape, Expedition and F-150. In addition, the Explorer receives new stepped style tail lamps. The grille will receive the corporate three-bar design with upper and lower perforated mesh work, similar to that of the sixth-generation Taurus.
The Explorer's chief design engineer is Jim Holland, who was also a chief design engineer for Land Rover. Holland is responsible for the design of the current generation Land Rover Range Rover (L322). Holland also worked on the outgoing Ford Expedition (U324) during its initial development.
The fifth generation 2011 Explorer, developed under the U502 program code name, made its debut online on July 26, 2010. Ford had set up a Ford Explorer Facebook page ahead of its debut. Assembly of the fifth-generation Explorer moved to Ford's Chicago Assembly plant, where it is built alongside the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS. The Louisville plant, where the previous generation was built, was converted to produce cars based on Ford's global C platform (potentially including the Ford Focus, Ford C-Max, and Ford Kuga). Like the Escape, the Explorer will continue to be marketed as an "SUV" rather than a "crossover SUV". It went on sale in early 2011; pre-launch sales had by the end of November 2010 totaled around 15,000.
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