We've already seen the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport and learned how much it will cost, but now we know how efficient it will be. As an added bonus, Ford has also revealed that the Explorer Sport will make more horsepower than originally expected.
At 365 hp, the Sport is the most powerful in the Explorer lineup. Ford had previously announced that the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 would be rated at 350 hp, but some last-minute fine tuning by the engineers netted an extra 15 hp. The V-6 is mated to a six-speed automatic that sends power to all four wheels. Also offered on the Explorer is a 3.5-liter V-6 producing 290 hp and a 240-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo-four.
Buyers who opt for the high-power Explorer Sport will pay the price not only at the bank – it's the most expensive at $41,545 with destination – but also at the pump. The EcoBoost six-cylinder has the lowest EPA-rated mileage of any Explorer, at 16/22 mpg city/highway. Compared to the 3.5-liter with all-wheel drive, the Sport is down one mpg in the city and on the highway; against the front-wheel-drive-only 2.0-liter, the Sport is off by four and six mpg in the city and highway, respectively. However, the Explorer Sport bests its closest competition: the 390-hp Dodge Durango with its 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 is rated at 13/20 mpg, and the Explorer Sport loses just one mpg on the highway against the V-6-equipped Durango.
Differentiating the 2013 Explorer Sport from lesser models are a black grille and mirror caps, dark-tinted head- and taillights, and 20-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels. The interior has been upgraded with charcoal leather seating and unique steering wheel stitching, as well as the option of Sienna (brown) inserts. Mechanically – beside the EcoBoost V-6 – Explorer Sport models gain larger 13.9-inch front brakes from the Taurus SHO, a bigger radiator, and a tweaked all-wheel drive system that can send up to 80 percent of the power to the rear wheels.
The 2013 Ford Explorer Sport is available now to order, and will begin showing up at dealerships this fall.