2013 Ford Explorer Sport CUV with big performance from SHO

Ford is upping the ante for its Ford Explorer model with bigperformance from its SHO performance line. The latest performance edition isthe 2013 Ford Explorer Sport compact utility vehicle, which could be the answerto the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk.

The new 2013 Ford Explorer Sport CUV is equipped with thesame twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 found in the Taurus SHO, F-150 andLincoln MKS. The twin-turbocharged V6 engine produces about 350 horsepower andwe’re estimating about 345 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a6-speed automatic transmission featuring shift paddles at the steering wheel.

But with a more powerful engine in the 2013 Ford ExplorerSport, expect fuel economy to be low as well. Ford projected fuel economynumbers are around 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 miles per gallon onthe highway, the company even states that towing capacity is around 5,000pounds.

Other revisions to the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport includereinforcements to the chassis, a faster ratio for its electric steering system,a 3.16:1 final drive ratio and larger brakes to provide a more responsiveacceleration and fuel efficiency at cruising speeds.

“Upgrading to Sport specification enabled us to maintain thestandards of traditional Explorer capability plus delivering the highesthighway fuel efficiency among gasoline-engine-powered, high-performance,three-row SUVs,” Widmann said.

Look wise, the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport gets a dark theme,such as black lighting elements, roof rails, sideview mirrors, grille, frontfascia and wheels.  And on the interior,it gets Charcoal Black leather seating and stitching on the seats and steeringwheel.

No pricing has been announced yet, but we expect it toaround $47,000, and this is based on the current price of the Explorer Limitedmodel at $38,180.  Ford is currentlydebuting 2013 Ford Explorer Sport in Dearborn, Michigan.

Update: 3/28/2012

During the debut of the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport inDearborn, Michigan today, Ford has released some official specs and performancenumbers.  The Explorer Sport has receiveda brake upgrade with 13.8 -inch discs to provide up to 22 percent more stoppingpower. Torque spec is confirmed at 350 pound-feet of torque, which gives theExplorer Sports a full two seconds faster than other variants in the “o-60 mph”run.