Ford to Reveal All-New Vehicle in Texas Next Month
Could It Finally Be the Aluminum-Built Ford Expedition? We Have Reasons to Believe It Is
We received an email from Ford inviting us to the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility early next month. The reason? To witness the unveiling of “an all-new vehicle that is the very definition of adaptable, smart and capable,” said the invitation.
Hmmm… what could that be? These three adjectives could be applied to many vehicles, especially when at the hands of a trend-setting automaker’s marketing department. After pondering what Ford could have in store, we believe that when the massive cover comes off next month in Texas, we’ll be looking at the next-generation Ford Expedition. Sure, it’s just a guess. But it’s an educated guess. Here’s why:
The current-generation Ford Expedition came to market for the 2007 model year, so you could say it’s been a while. Because it has. Back then the Expedition still had a V8 under its hood. That was eventually thrown out to make room for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost – exclusively – starting with the 2015 model year. The model year 2015 also marked a major facelift of the full-size SUV, which Ford showed us in late 2014.
Even though Ford is being vague about what it’ll be showing us next week, it’s no secret the Expedition and the F-150 share more than a little DNA. The newest generation F-150 hasn’t had an Expedition to give its platform, lightweight aluminum body, and engine choices to since it debuted as a 2015 model. Since then, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost has gone into its more powerful second generation, and Ford has rolled out a 10-speed automatic transmission in 2017 F-150s. Hell, Ford recently showed us the redesigned 2018 F-150, and teased us with its new 3.3-liter V6, tweaked 2.7-liter EcoBoost, more powerful 5.0, and new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel.
The 2017 Expedition still makes do with a heavy steel body, the original 3.5-liter EcoBoost, and a six-speed automatic. It has a lot to gain from all of the advancements Ford’s engineers have made with the F-150.
Process of Elimination
We already know what the 2017 F-150 and the facelifted ’18 model will look like. The Raptor is new for 2017, and Ford has already launched the newest Super Duty. In addition, they showed the EcoSport at the LA Auto Show. Furthermore, the new Ranger and Bronco are still far out. So what does that leave us with? Perhaps the Explorer of the future, but next week seems a little early for an in-the-metal reveal.
Spyshots of a heavily disguised Expedition test mule have circulated the internet as far back as 2015. Could we see what Ford has been hiding under all of the cladding next Tuesday?
Listen to the Words
Let’s go back to the phrasing of Ford’s email: “adaptable, smart and capable.” Do you remember the words Ford used to describe the 2018 F-150 in a press release? “Tougher, smarter, more capable.” Sure, Ford loves using such words when it talks about its bread-and-butter, but there is a definite resemblance between the company’s description of the F-150 and what is more than likely going to be the next Expedition. It’s safe to assume the Expedition will continue to be offered in regular and extended-wheelbase configurations. There’s the adaptable part. All of the infotainment and safety tech that’s come to the F-150 over the past couple of years can give the Expedition its smarts. Lastly, a lighter aluminum body and the more powerful 3.5 EcoBoost can make it more capable.
Location, Location, Location
Excluding the 2017 Super Duty, do you know which was the last vehicle Ford invited us to see in the northeast Texas area? Yep, you guessed it (by now, we hope you would). It was the 2015 Expedition. We saw it in Dallas and shared the experience with you. Whatever it is that they show us, you bet we’ll share it with you, too.
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