FORD Explorer Sport

Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures


Body style:

FORD Explorer Sport
FORD Explorer Sport   2001 2005
2001 2005

Ford pushed the Sport version from the second generation Explorer into the third generation of its mid-size SUV, but with a mild change to keep-it competitive.
According to the American carmaker, the mid-size SUV segment was not very big in 2001, but Ford was able to get around 75% from it. The blue oval brand kept the 3-door version of the Explorer-based on the older chassis and added enhanced it to look like it was part of the third generation to keep its momentum. It didn’t work too well.

Apart from the liftgate, Ford changed all of the other panels from the car. Its front fascia took inspiration from the third-generation Explorer, with rounded corners for the headlights and a black grille. The lower part of the body was covered with gray plastic moldings to prevent the bodywork from scratches. A set of step-rails were included on the options list, useful for city use but bad in the off-road since they decreased the ground clearance.

Inside, there was a new instrument cluster with white-faced instruments, which looked better on a sports car, not on an SUV. Ford didn’t forget about child safety and installed tethers into the rear seats and three-point seatbelts on the outboard seats. To show its safety concern, Ford introduced the front side airbags for the front seats.

The biggest improvements were under the bodywork. There was a new 4.0-liter V6 engine, with on-head camshafts, instead of the older pushrod 4.0-liter. It was paired as standard to a 5-speed automatic, but a 5-speed manual was on the options list. Unlike its five-door sibling, the Explorer Sport featured a rigid axle with leaf-springs instead of the bigger model’s independent rear suspension.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

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