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Old 02-08-2011, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default Mulally Gives Ford Lightness Lead After Threat to End Explorer

Long article but a good read. Makes me excited for the next generation of cars.

Quote:
To keep rolling, Mulally is requiring new models introduced from 2012 to 2020 to weigh 250 to 750 pounds less than their predecessors. If they can’t achieve best-in-class fuel economy, he won’t approve them.

“Every engineer needs to think about weight as one of the most fundamental elements,” Kuzak says.
Quote:
Kuzak chose Jim Holland as the Explorer’s chief engineer in a bid to prove naysayers wrong and save one of the auto industry’s most famous nameplates. Holland says his team had a big motivation to succeed: They saw thousands of colleagues lose jobs during the recession.

‘It Changed Us’

“You never, ever forget that,” Holland, 50, says in an office surrounded by empty cubicles. “You’ll never see that sense of complacency here again. It changed us. It changed me.”

To rescue the Explorer, Holland abandoned the truck-style frame and adapted underbody components from the Taurus sedan. That helped boost the fuel economy of the V-6 model to 17 mpg in city driving from 14 mpg and to 25 mpg on the highway from 20 mpg, the best among all similar vehicles.

Holland says a four-cylinder version coming in June will do even better. The turbocharged engine generates 237 horsepower, 13 percent more than the V-6 it replaces, while enabling the seven-passenger Explorer to get the same mileage as a five- passenger Toyota Camry with a V-6 engine, Holland says.

Kuzak says taking out weight forced him to change his team’s mind-set. In the past, each engineer was responsible for making his or her part as robust as physics allowed. Even after Kuzak’s diet, the 4,355-pound Explorer still weighs 13 percent more than it did in 1991. Without Ford’s weight crusade, meeting safety regulations and adding the room inside that customers wanted would have added an additional 411 pounds, Holland says.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...-explorer.html
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:18 PM   #2
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The 4WD V6 model in XLT trim is a hefty 4752lbs, though. It undercuts the Traverse by 250lbs, but the Pilot (4504lbs) and Highlander (4266lbs) are a decent amount lighter. (All are 4WD, V6 models)
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by quentinberg007 View Post
The 4WD V6 model in XLT trim is a hefty 4752lbs, though. It undercuts the Traverse by 250lbs, but the Pilot (4504lbs) and Highlander (4266lbs) are a decent amount lighter. (All are 4WD, V6 models)
Toyota needs to step it up. The Explorer is a bit larger than a Highlander, weighs more, and gets better gas mileage. Weight is just a number on a piece of paper. Gas mileage people can understand.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rootus View Post
Toyota needs to step it up. The Explorer is a bit larger than a Highlander, weighs more, and gets better gas mileage. Weight is just a number on a piece of paper. Gas mileage people can understand.
Highlander V6 4WD is rated at 22mpg. Explorer in V6 4WD is rated at 23mpg. Only 6 cu. ft difference in passenger volume. That isn't hugely different IMO. Toyota could be a lot worse off considering the HL debuted back in 2007. If mileage really matters to you, the Highlander Hybrid offers 28mpg city & highway with V6 performance.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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Man i cant believe im saying it but... i like Ford.. I like them a lot right now, they seem to be the one manufacture that CAN unlike Chevy.


I just sit and hope for a EcoBoost I4 Escape with start/stop so i can achieve 25mpg city and 30mpg hwy
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:25 PM   #6
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If mileage really matters to you, the Highlander Hybrid offers 28mpg city & highway with V6 performance.
I'd have to do a lot of miles before mileage would be important enough to me to spend an extra $7K for 5 MPG . I don't routinely keep my cars for 300K miles.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:26 PM   #7
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Man i cant believe im saying it but... i like Ford.. I like them a lot right now, they seem to be the one manufacture that CAN unlike Chevy.
Goes to show how important a CEO with vision and balls is worth. Mulally is worth every penny Ford pays him.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rootus View Post
I'd have to do a lot of miles before mileage would be important enough to me to spend an extra $7K for 5 MPG . I don't routinely keep my cars for 300K miles.
Like I said, if mileage really matters. When it came down to dollars and cents, ditching my 31mpg GTI and driving my 22mpg 4Runner made more fiscal sense than continuing to pay for insurance, maintenance, and (indirectly) depreciation on the GTI so that I could still have something with "good" gas mileage. I used the money I got for the GTI and knocked out 12% of what I owed on my house. Wayyyy better payback than saving a couple hundred dollars a year in gas.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by quentinberg007 View Post
The 4WD V6 model in XLT trim is a hefty 4752lbs, though. It undercuts the Traverse by 250lbs, but the Pilot (4504lbs) and Highlander (4266lbs) are a decent amount lighter. (All are 4WD, V6 models)
Where are you getting that from? The Limited is rated at 4,695lbs according to Edmunds, I'd imagine the XLT is lighter. Even so it's really about the philosophy shift. I'm all about a GT500 that weighs 250lbs less too.

http://www.insideline.com/ford/explo...full-test.html
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:56 AM   #10
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Where are you getting that from? The Limited is rated at 4,695lbs according to Edmunds, I'd imagine the XLT is lighter. Even so it's really about the philosophy shift. I'm all about a GT500 that weighs 250lbs less too.

http://www.insideline.com/ford/explo...full-test.html
Cars.com under the individual spec page. I can't seem to find any number for weight on ford.com.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:20 PM   #11
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The article on Autoblog says they only dropped 100lbs off the platform. With a vehicle topping 2 tons, dropping 100Lbs is underwhelming. ( http://www.autoblog.com/2011/02/08/h...-a-crash-diet/ )

The Porsche Cayenne dropped 400Lbs in its revision, that's REAL weight loss, from a smaller company than Ford ( http://www.abc24.com/auto/story/Driv...a6nKPsSyQ.cspx )
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #12
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The article on Autoblog says they only dropped 100lbs off the platform. With a vehicle topping 2 tons, dropping 100Lbs is underwhelming. ( http://www.autoblog.com/2011/02/08/h...-a-crash-diet/ )
I'll take a small decrease in weight over a small increase any day. Remember that this has to meet tougher crash standards.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lboogie View Post
The article on Autoblog says they only dropped 100lbs off the platform. With a vehicle topping 2 tons, dropping 100Lbs is underwhelming. ( http://www.autoblog.com/2011/02/08/h...-a-crash-diet/ )

The Porsche Cayenne dropped 400Lbs in its revision, that's REAL weight loss, from a smaller company than Ford ( http://www.abc24.com/auto/story/Driv...a6nKPsSyQ.cspx )
To put the 400 pound weight loss in perspective you have to remember that the Cayenne was a fatty to begin with. It's 220 pounds lighter than the Explorer. And costs 50% more. I'm a little underwhelmed that with such a price premium Porsche couldn't engineer something a little more impressive. RTFA, Ford is honest about cost considerations and they're in a much more competitive segment of the market.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rootus View Post
I'd have to do a lot of miles before mileage would be important enough to me to spend an extra $7K for 5 MPG . I don't routinely keep my cars for 300K miles.
The hybrid has the most power of the three choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quentinberg007 View Post
Like I said, if mileage really matters. When it came down to dollars and cents, ditching my 31mpg GTI and driving my 22mpg 4Runner made more fiscal sense than continuing to pay for insurance, maintenance, and (indirectly) depreciation on the GTI so that I could still have something with "good" gas mileage. I used the money I got for the GTI and knocked out 12% of what I owed on my house. Wayyyy better payback than saving a couple hundred dollars a year in gas.
But you had two cars at the same time if I'm interpreting what you wrote correctly. It would be hard to break even with a 100 MPG car.
I've seen this a million times on this forum. If you're going to buy a big vehicle like the Highlander and your intent is to load it up with miles than the hybrid makes more sense in fuel costs, maintence costs, and resale value. Hybrids aside, the Eco Cruze will cost more, but if you keep it you're going to save. People are very afraid of spending the premium initially, but in the long run you will spend more for being cheap as gas prices have yet to drop to 1990s levels.

Last edited by SLegacy99; 02-09-2011 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:12 PM   #15
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The hybrid has the most power of the three choices.



But you had two cars at the same time if I'm interpreting what you wrote correctly. It would be hard to break even with a 100 MPG car.
I've seen this a million times on this forum. If you're going to buy a big vehicle like the Highlander and your intent is to load it up with miles than the hybrid makes more sense in fuel costs, maintence costs, and resale value. Hybrids aside, the Eco Cruze will cost more, but if you keep it you're going to save. People are very afraid of spending the premium initially, but in the long run you will spend more for being cheap as gas prices have yet to drop to 1990s levels.
I had them at the same time, yes. I didn't expect a break even but the money suck out of my wallet for just keeping them on the road (in insurance premiums alone!) was enough to push me to sell the GTI when it started showing reliability issues. I still intend on being a 3 car family once I find the right one.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:22 PM   #16
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looking forward to lighter Fusion and Mustang...
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rootus View Post
To put the 400 pound weight loss in perspective you have to remember that the Cayenne was a fatty to begin with. It's 220 pounds lighter than the Explorer. And costs 50% more. I'm a little underwhelmed that with such a price premium Porsche couldn't engineer something a little more impressive. RTFA, Ford is honest about cost considerations and they're in a much more competitive segment of the market.
It costs 50% more because it has a Porsche badge on it rather than a VW badge (shared platform with the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7).
The Cayenne shares a meatier platform than the Explorer does (Taurus, Flex, Lincoln MKT & MKS) but managed to drop proportionately more weight. That's just BETTER engineering, you can lose 100Lbs from the Explorer by simply removing the third row of seating when not used (which likely is 90% of the time for most owners). So a 100Lb fat trimming is lackluster, and I'm a HUGE Ford fan.

Is it asinine to compare the Explorer to the Cayenne? Nope; look at the 5.0 Mustang GT being put up against the BMW M3, or The 2012 Focus using the Audi A3 as a benchmark.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by quentinberg007 View Post
I had them at the same time, yes. I didn't expect a break even but the money suck out of my wallet for just keeping them on the road (in insurance premiums alone!) was enough to push me to sell the GTI when it started showing reliability issues. I still intend on being a 3 car family once I find the right one.
Fiesta? Tata?

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It costs 50% more because it has a Porsche badge on it rather than a VW badge
And that's the truth.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SLegacy99
Fiesta? Tata?

And that's the truth.
Neither of those. Have you seen how expensive the fiesta gets with options? I really haven't decided, though.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:43 PM   #20
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looking forward to lighter Fusion and Mustang...

As am I. Supposedly the next get Stang will get a dimension decrease as well.

It would be nice to see it with 3 or 4 engine options: 4T, 6T (maybe TT), and the good ol 5.0 V8. It would be feasible because these are already offered in other models.
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