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Ford Trucks and Cars For 2001

By Carey Russ

You could be excused for thinking of Ford as a truck maker that also builds cars. Trucks, including pickups, SUVs and vans, are very important to Ford. The 2001 Explorer Sport Trac debuted in early 2000, and the 2001 Escape was introduced later in that year. Look for the next-generation 2002 Explorer soon.

2002 Explorer
If it wasn't the first sport-utility vehicle, the Explorer has been the most popular. It has been updated since its introduction in 1990, but the SUV class has changed considerably since that time. So, an all-new Explorer debuts in early 2001. The name is about all that has been left unchanged. Similar in size to the current Explorer, the 2002 version will be slightly wider and have a longer wheelbase for improved interior space. A new independent rear suspension improves ride and handling and interior space as well, allowing for a third-row seat. Ford's 4.6-liter single overhead cam V8 joins the sohc 4.0-liter V6 and replaces the old 4.9-liter pushrod V8; the automatic and manual transmissions are also new. Two- and four-wheel drive models will be offered. Adjustable pedals will be available, as will the "AdvanceTrac" stability control system.

The all-new Escape may be similar in size to other small SUVs, but it has something they don't - an available 3.0-liter, 200-hp V6 engine. The Escape is smaller than an Explorer, but still big enough to hold five people. Unibody construction and a fully-independent suspension give it the comfort and handling of a car, while available all-wheel drive gives it all-weather versatility.

A new model of the Ranger compact pickup debuts for 2001. With its aggressive styling and high stance, the Edge is aimed at young, active-lifestyle buyers. Other Ranger models have freshened styling as well. While a wide variety of Ranger configurations is offered, including regular and "SuperCab" extended cabs, two- or four-wheel drive, and four-cylinder or V6 engines, the number of possible build combinations has been reduced from 330,000 to 184.

The super-size Excursion SUV, new last year, has more standard equipment for its second year. The optional 7.3-liter "Power Stroke" turbodiesel V8 has increased power, to 250 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of torque.

F-Series Pickups
Ford's F-series pickup has been the best-selling truck for the past 23 years, and the best-selling vehicle, car or truck, for the past 18. Variety plays a large part in those statistics. There are plenty of choices of cab, power train, and equipment level. The F150 Super-Crew is the newest version, offering crew-cab room and four-door versatility in a personal transportation-sized truck. A limited-production Harley Davidson model is also offered. Performance truck fans have the Lightning, which gets more power, 380 horses worth, and suspension tweaks. The Super Duty F250 and F350 trucks are trailer-ready. More power is available from their optional turbodiesel engine.

Explorer Sport Trac
It may look like a crew-cab pickup, but the 2001 Explorer Sport Trac, introduced in early 2000, is the first SUV with an open cargo area. An available lockable tonneau cover can turn that cargo area into a huge trunk.

The full-size Expedition's standard 4.6-liter V8 is lighter, with an aluminum block, and more powerful. Most trim levels have increased standard equipment.

The Econoline full-size vans have minor changes for 2001

Ford Truck Specifications 2001

2002 Explorer
4.0-liter V6
Peak horsepower:    210 @ 5250 rpm
Peak torque, lb-ft: 250 @ 4000 rpm
4.6-liter V8
Peak horsepower:    240 @ 4750 rpm
Peak torque, lb-ft: 280 @ 4000 rpm

Front-engine, rear- or four-wheel drive
 5 - speed automatic
 5 - speed manual
Body-on-frame construction
Front suspension: independent short and long arm
Rear suspension:  independent short and long arm

4-wheel antilock disc

City / Highway: 14/19 to 16/22 depending on configuration
Fuel tank:      22.5 gallons

2.0-liter inline four-cylinder
Peak horsepower:    130 @ 5400 rpm
Peak torque, lb-ft: 135@ 4500 rpm
3.0-liter V6
Peak horsepower:    200 @ 6000 rpm
Peak torque, lb-ft: 200 @ 4750 rpm

Front-engine, front- or all-wheel drive
 4 - speed automatic
 5 - speed manual
Unit construction
Front suspension: independent MacPherson strut
Rear suspension:  independent multilink

Disc/drum, antilock optional

City / Highway: 18/24 to 23/28 depending on configuration
Fuel tank: I4: 15.6, V6: 16.4 gallons
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