DEARBORN, Mich., July 21 (UPI) -- A Ford executive says the U.S. marketing plan for the 2011 Explorer includes "myth-busting" about the sports utility vehicle's thirst for gasoline.
The Detroit Free Press on Wednesday quoted Jim Farley, Ford's head of global marketing, as saying, "The main focus for us is to connect with our loyal owners on one hand and also to myth-bust … and myth-busting takes some time."
Ford said this week the 2011 Explorer would be at the top of the SUV class for fuel efficiency. An optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 engine would increase the vehicle's fuel efficiency by at least 30 percent, the company said in a statement.
Ford said the 2011 model weighs less than the older Explorers, using "lighter and stronger high-strength steels," an aluminum hood and a "one-piece composite front bolster -- the radiator support between engine and grill."
New engine controls, including a quicker warmup and a faster fuel shut off when letting up on the gas, also add to the vehicle's improved efficiency, the company said.
But previous Explorers sopped up 16 mpg in city driving, which makes marketing the car as a gas-efficient SUV an uphill battle, the newspaper said.