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Lighter, "smarter" Ford Expedition now in the open

09.02.2017

A staple of the large SUV scene in North America since its original debut in 1996, Ford has taken covers off the long awaited fourth generation Expedition.

Known internally as U553, the new Expedition replaces the much revised but aged U324 generation which debuted back in 2006, with Ford touting it as the smartest iteration of the Expedition lineage thus far. As with previous models, the newcomer once again rides on the same platform as the F150, but with extensive use of aluminium and steel to help cut weight down by some 135 kg.

Said to be feature 40 brand new tech and driver assist systems, the exterior incorporates a number of touches first seen on the F150, with one of the biggest changes being a completely revised interior still able to accommodate eight people across the three rows.

New on-board tech consists of Ford's SYNC 3 media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 10-speaker Sony sound system or optional 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen Play setup, Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless smartphone charging, electric tailgate, up to six USB ports and four 12v power sockets.

As well as new panoramic roof which spans two of the three rows, new safety items includes Lane Keeping Assist, 360 degree view cameras, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring and Trailer Reverse Assistance.

Available in three trim levels; XLT, Limited and Platinum with a base XL derivate offered only for fleet buyers and law enforcement agencies, the Expedition retains its predecessor's 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 and although no power or torque figures were divulged, expect it to produce the same 280 kW and 640 N.m as the F150.

In addition, the Expedition becomes the latest recipient of Ford's new 10-speed automatic gearbox developed in co-operation with General Motors, with drive either going to the rear wheels or all four with the latter setup featuring an electronic limited slip diff and Terrain Management System with seven modes; Normal, Sport, Tow/Haul, Eco, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Sand and Mud/Rut.

Scheduled to arrive in North America around September, the Expedition will remain forbidden fruit for South Africans with no plans in place to produce it in right-hand drive.

Article written by Autodealer
09.02.2017
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