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Ford plant will make performance Explorer

2013 Ford Explorer Sport: The first-ever high-performance Explorer model features a 350 horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, structural chassis enhancements for improved dynamics, and sporty design cues. (03/28/12)

Ford Motor Co. unveiled Wednesday a performance version of its Explorer, the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport.

The mid-size sport utility vehicle will have a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged, 350-horsepower V-6 engine for better fuel economy.

The Ford Explorer Sport will be produced in Chicago and will be available in dealerships later this year.

It will be shown at the New York Auto Show next week.

The engine can achieve 16 miles per gallon in city driving and 22 on the highway.

Ford, which has 15 percent market share in the U.S. utility-vehicle segment, said consumers are demanding a fuel-efficient high-performance utility vehicle.

“It’s really something that people were asking about,” said Eric Peterson, Ford’s marketing manager for utility vehicles.

The vehicle’s fuel economy and design elements, such as its two-tone leather interior, will help the Sport compete against other segment leaders such as Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.

Gannett News Service