DEARBORN, MI – Ford’s next-generation Expedition isn’t even on sale yet, but the Dearborn automaker is wasting no time rolling out a special off-road-version to appeal to 20% of the SUV-buying public.
The all-new ’18 Expedition FX4 will be available when the entire lineup goes on sale this fall.
With new advancements in available technology features and all-wheel-drive hardware, Ford says the new model is the most off-road-capable Expedition ever.
Similar to the revolutionary aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup introduced in 2015, the ’18 Expedition is cloaked in a high-strength aluminum body and a redesigned high-strength-steel frame. The lighter materials cut 300 lbs. (136 kg) from the new model’s curb weight.
The Expedition gets one powertrain, a 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 producing 375 hp and 470 lb.-ft.(637 Nm) of torque; with 93-octane fuel, the engine generates 400 hp and 480 lb.-ft. (651 Nm), making it the most powerful Expedition engine ever, Ford says.
Ford research shows more than 20% of Expedition owners use their SUV for off-road adventure or will need some type of off-road capabilities in the future, Expedition Marketing Manager Ryan Gillenwater says.
“When redoing the Expedition and developing the new one, we took this into consideration,” Gillenwater says.
The Expedition’s all-new Terrain Management System lets customers select from seven drive modes to help the Expedition automatically adapt to different road conditions.
“It gives people a peace of mind when they don’t have to worry about stopping to push a certain button to place it into a specific gear in order for it to work,” Gillenwater says.
The Terrain Management System, along with a patented electronic limited-slip rear differential, off-road-tuned shock, all-terrain tires, skid plates and 18-in. cast-aluminum wheels deliver a package that gives customers the ability to travel to their cabin or cottage and take on the rugged terrain they might find in those places.
“Although customers say they want to go off-road, it doesn’t mean all 20% are going to buy a vehicle with off-road capabilities,” Gillenwater says.
The Expedition’s roomy, flexible interior offers seating for up to eight people with a wide cargo area to hold their gear, depending on cargo weight and load distribution.
It also is the first fullsize SUV to feature a second-row seat with tip-and-slide functionality providing easy access to the third row without the need to first remove a child safety seat.