Ford Pumps Explorer With Sport Package

Ford adds a Sport Appearance Package for the built-in-Chicago ’17 Explorer. The company reveals the upscale version at the Chicago auto show.

Jim Mateja, Correspondent

February 9, 2016

1 Min Read
Ford gives rsquo17 Explorer buyers a sporty option
Ford gives ’17 Explorer buyers a sporty option.

CHICAGO – A new Sport Appearance Package for the midsize Ford Explorer SUV will be available starting this summer for the ’17 model year. The new Explorer option will be unveiled this week at a media preview of the Chicago auto ahow that opens Feb. 13.

The new decor package is added to the XLT version of the Explorer, which is built in Chicago and shares platforms with the Taurus sedan, assembled in the same plant.

Ford says the No. 1 purchase reason consumers give for opting for an Explorer is exterior design, which prompted the Sport Appearance Package. It is designed to let owners customize their machine with 20-in. black wheels, a redesigned grille, black bodyside cladding and roof rack and a special Explorer hood badge.

Inside the cabin, front seats are covered with Ebony leather outer bolsters and dark earth gray Miko suede inserts in the seatbacks and door trim, along with Explorer floor mats.

The ’17 XLT with Sport Appearance Package will come standard with front-wheel drive but will be available with Explorer’s Intelligent all-wheel-drive system with Terrain Management, Ford says.

The only engine choice on the XLT Sport Appearance Package will be the naturally aspirated 3.5L V-6 rated at 290 hp and 255 lb.-ft. (346 Nm) of torque. The 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 available on other Explorers won't be offered with the Sport Appearance package.

The V-6 in the current XLT gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg (9.8 L/100 km) combined with FWD. Ford says it doesn't expect fuel economy ratings to be much different for ’17 models.

The ’16 XLT starts around $33,400. Pricing for the Sport Appearance Package will be released closer to the launch date, Ford says.

About the Author(s)

Jim Mateja

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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