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Ford taking a page from Apple's playbook?
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Atheist
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May 28, 2010, 11:28 AM
 
Ford is being very secretive about the redesigned 2011 Explorer. It will be released in a few months and this is the only image available:



Seems a little weird to me. It's not even like it's a whole new model.

Anyone recall any other cars in recent history that have been kept secret until just a couple months of being released?
     
erikschmidt
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May 28, 2010, 03:03 PM
 
Check out this recent Wired article on the subject of camouflaging new car models.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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May 28, 2010, 03:15 PM
 
Uh pretty much all of them are tested with skirts covering them to keep the design hidden.

I remember the Porche SUV had a ton of secrecy to it. I did ads for them and had to sign NDA's even though it was released shortly after.
     
Laminar
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May 28, 2010, 03:36 PM
 
     
The Final Dakar
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May 28, 2010, 03:39 PM
 
That is ****ing ugly.
     
imitchellg5
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May 28, 2010, 03:49 PM
 
It's a total redesign from the ground up of one of Ford's best selling models. That's a big deal. A lot of cars are kept very secret, and under press NDAs, until they go on sale, just not usually American ones. When I worked at Audi, I remember hearing that when the S5 came out in 2007 that at the launch in California at Infineon that Audi even brought out some R8s, but the journos were under NDA until mid-2008 to talk about how it handled on the track (the R8 didn't officially go on sale until 2009 in the US).
     
Laminar
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May 28, 2010, 04:00 PM
 
I'm curious as to what this means for the Flex, since they're both in similar markets now with respect to size and configuration now that the Explorer has a unibody and EcoBoost.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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May 28, 2010, 04:04 PM
 
Looks modern but cheap and plasticy. How come no side mirrors?
     
Art Vandelay
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May 28, 2010, 04:07 PM
 
The Flex has a tall wagon design whereas the next Explorer will retain an SUV-like design. Also, the Flex is about the length of an Expedition which means it comfortably has three rows plus cargo space. The Explorer will probably be the same length as it is today. So you can have two rows and cargo space or three rows and virtually no cargo space. Also, it will have a more advanced all-wheel drive system with a terrain management system similar to Land Rover's.




Plus this is what it looks like, not the picture above of the concept from a few years ago.
( Last edited by Art Vandelay; May 28, 2010 at 04:17 PM. )
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Atheist  (op)
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May 28, 2010, 05:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by erikschmidt View Post
Check out this recent Wired article on the subject of camouflaging new car models.
Having grown up just a few miles from Ford's Dearborn Proving Grounds and having worked at Ford's Body and Chassis Engineering complex, I'm well aware of the camouflage techniques. What I find interesting is that they are just a couple of months from releasing the new model and there have been no official images. Typically the auto mags would have been filled with photos as the auto maker tries to build up interest.

Based on the pic that Art posted, I'm not too thrilled with the new Explorer.
     
Art Vandelay
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May 28, 2010, 05:31 PM
 
I've read that it's not coming out until either late this fall as a '11 or early next year as a '12 depending on whether they want to make it a '11 or '12 model. So the planned reveal this summer is still several months before release.
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Atheist  (op)
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May 28, 2010, 05:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
I've read that it's not coming out until either late this fall as a '11 or early next year as a '12 depending on whether they want to make it a '11 or '12 model. So the planned reveal this summer is still several months before release.
Well then... color me misinformed. I was under the impression it was being released this summer as a 2011 model.
     
Art Vandelay
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May 28, 2010, 05:44 PM
 
Nope, the new '11 Edge is going on sale this summer though.
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Laminar
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May 28, 2010, 06:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
The Flex has a tall wagon design whereas the next Explorer will retain an SUV-like design.
There's a difference?

Also, the Flex is about the length of an Expedition which means it comfortably has three rows plus cargo space. The Explorer will probably be the same length as it is today. So you can have two rows and cargo space or three rows and virtually no cargo space. Also, it will have a more advanced all-wheel drive system with a terrain management system similar to Land Rover's.
Those two features could easily be an off-road package and a cargo package.
     
Art Vandelay
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May 28, 2010, 06:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
There's a difference?
Yes, the Flex looks like a station wagon and the Explorer looks like an SUV.

Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Those two features could easily be an off-road package and a cargo package.
How would changing the interior volume be a cargo package? That would be like saying the cargo/interior volume of an Expedition could just become an option package on the Explorer.

Think of it this way. The Flex is the crossover version of the Expedition, albeit with less of an SUV appearance. The new Explorer is just a unibody version of the old Explorer. It will be about the same size with a more traditional SUV-like appearance.
( Last edited by Art Vandelay; May 28, 2010 at 07:03 PM. )
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Laminar
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May 28, 2010, 07:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
How would changing the interior volume be a cargo package?
The Aerostar was offered in two versions - one had an extra couple feet of cargo space behind the rear seat.

All I'm saying is that it seems like the Explorer and Flex are really overlapping in their targeted market. Since the Explorer doesn't offer true 4x4 with a transfer case, body-on-frame design, or V8 it no longer has any real advantage (perceived or otherwise) over the Flex that couldn't be fixed with an option package.
     
Art Vandelay
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May 28, 2010, 07:16 PM
 
Ah, you mean a short wheelbase and a long wheelbase version. They could have gone that route but they aren't.

I still think the new Explorer and the Flex have distinct markets. The Flex is for people who want space to comfortably seat 7 people and still have room for cargo. They also don't plan to go off road. They also want a unique looking vehicle that does not look like the old SUVs. It's for people that want the space of an Expedition but the ride of a car. The new Explorer is for people who want space to seat 5 people with cargo or with the optional 3rd row, seat 7 in a pinch. It is also for people who want a vehicle that looks more like a traditional SUV and may want or need to do light off-roading. It's really for people that would have gotten the old Explorer.

No one really knows what the mechanics of the new Explorer is going to be. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a unibody design but people still think it's a capable off-roader. The head engineer of the new Explorer is from Land Rover. They could be adding some off-road capabilities to it that just wouldn't be practical in the Flex package without seriously altering it.
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imitchellg5
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May 28, 2010, 10:49 PM
 
Actually the Flex is based off of the Taurus platform, while the Explorer has its own unibody platform. The Explorer will use many of Land Rover's electrics (!?) such as hill descent control.
     
Art Vandelay
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May 28, 2010, 11:01 PM
 
The Explorer will also be based off the Taurus platform but it has more customizations for off-road use. I don't think it's actually using Land Rover components since Ford sold them off a few years ago. They are just using the same concepts that they learned from Land Rover.
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Doofy
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May 29, 2010, 09:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a unibody design but people still think it's a capable off-roader.
Well, it was, when the front axle was still live.

That new Ford effort is a parallel design to the Disco 3, by the looks of it.
1) Buy company.
2) Borg all the technology from it.
3) Sell company.
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macaddict0001
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May 29, 2010, 10:18 PM
 
I think the new explorer will overlap far more with the edge than the flex, sure dimensionally it is far more similar to the flex, but stylistically it is more like a stretched edge. The expedition is a different vehicle altogether because it is a "1/2 ton".
     
Wiskedjak
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May 29, 2010, 10:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
Plus this is what it looks like, not the picture above of the concept from a few years ago.
Why do they always wimp out when it comes to the production models? That production model looks like EveryCar.
     
gorickey
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Jun 5, 2010, 12:56 AM
 
     
   
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