2018 Ford Expedition: Ford adds an off-road option
Redesigned for 2018, Ford’s full-size Expedition is both larger and lighter than the previous generation. Its all-aluminum skin pares curb weights by as much as 300 pounds, according to Ford, and the new steel chassis has a higher rigidity index.
Similarly, power from Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 is up. The turbo V6 is offered in two levels of output -- 375 horsepower, 470 lb-ft of torque (base) and 400 hp, 480 lb-ft, depending on trim level. The ratings represent gains of 10 hp and 50 lb-ft in the standard EcoBoost 3.5, and make the high-output version the most powerful Expedition yet.
Towing capacity increases slightly, to a max of 9,300 pounds -- best in class, according to Ford -- and the company’s new 10-speed automatic transmission sends power to either the rear or all four wheels. Also, like the F-150 pickups, all Expeditions will have stop/start technology.
Off-road ready with the FX4 package
The latest addition to the 2018 Expedition inventory is the FX4 Off-Road package, available with the XLT trim. Although a long-wheelbase vehicle like the Expedition isn’t a good bet for rock-crawling on rugged terrain like the Rubicon Trail, the FX4 is intended for roadless regions, particularly sandy ones, such as rural Saudi Arabia. In fact, Ford marketing troops anticipate that at least 25 percent of FX4 Expeditions will be sold in the Middle East.
Although ground clearance is unchanged at 9.0 inches, the package includes retuned Hitachi shocks, all-terrain tires on 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels, a 3.73:1 rear end with a limited-slip differential capable of apportioning torque side-to-side, seven underbody skidplates, and chromed side steps.
A key element in the FX4 electronics package is the new Terrain Management System, with seven different drive modes: eco, normal, sport, tow/haul, grass/gravel/snow, mud/rut, and sand. The FX4 package includes the 375-hp version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.
The 2018 Expeditions will reach showrooms this fall.