The one truck
desperately in need of makeover is the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. The sport-utility
pickup has a loyal, consistent audience and accounts for about 60,000
to 70,000 sales each year. But the Sport Trac also has the worst rating
(2WD model) in the federal government’s new rollover safety test,
shows its age with quirky but dated styling and is based on the old Explorer
platform that dates back 10 years.
just released illustrations of a new Sport Trac concept vehicle the company
will show at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in
January. The timing couldn’t be better as Nissan, Toyota and Dodge
released new midsized pickups this summer—all of which can be ordered
in a four-door/short bed configuration similar to the Sport Trac. Also
expected to debut at the Detroit show will be production version of Honda’s
new four-door pickup expected to appeal to families and adventurous shoppers.
gives a sneak peek at an updated Sport Trac that will address the safety
issues with a wider track, lower stance, independent rear suspension and
Roll Stability Control. The truck also has a larger cargo bed and more
room in the interior.
wanted the Explorer Sport Trac concept to turn heads and to give it ‘street
cred.’ This concept is as at home in an urban environment as it
is hauling surf boards to the beach,” says J. Mays, group vice president
of Global Design at Ford.
Trac concept is nearly five inches longer and 2 inches wider than the
current model. The Roll Stability Control technology features roll-rate
sensing and correcting capability to help drivers maintain control during
extreme maneuvers. If the system’s gyroscopic sensors detect the
possibility of a rollover, a computer will automatically engage counter
measures such as applying brakes at specific wheels to reduce that risk.
The new Sport
Trac has lost much of its distinctive but often criticized exterior design
lines. The styling is simpler with better proportions and cleaner body
panels. Gone are the curvy cab/bed transition and aggressive nostrils
on the nose. Inside the cab, the Sport Trac concept has a street rod look
and feel with four captain’s chairs, front/rear center consoles
and two-tone color theme. Power comes from a 4.6-liter V8.
the addition of a number of new competitive offerings, the sport utility
truck segment is red hot, and it’s time for the original to raise
the bar again for everyone else to try to follow,” sums up Chris
Feull, the SUV group market manager.