2011 Ford Explorer roaring out of the starting blocks

Bill Ford (L-R), Ford executive chairman, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn, Jim Farley, Ford group vice president, Global Marketing and Canada, and Ford employees unveil the all-new 2011 Explorer at an event in Millennium Park in Chicago on July 26, 2010. The redesigned SUV includes safety features such as inflatable seatbelts, and over 30 percent better fuel economy than the current model Explorer.   UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

Ford’s new 2011 Ford Explorer won’t go on sale until early next year but early signs are “all good” as orders are pouring in!

Ford Motor Co. has about 15,000 orders — about double its projections — for the 2011 Ford Explorer that isn’t slated to hit showrooms until the new year.

The preorders include about 3,000 retail orders, 7,500 dealer orders and more than 4,500 from companies, Ford officials say.

For the 2011 model year, the Explorer goes from its traditional body-on-frame truck roots to a reincarnation atop the underpinnings of the Ford Taurus, making it a more fuel-efficient crossover, compared to an SUV. Ford hopes the remake will spur a sales resurgence for a vehicle that was hugely successful before higher gasoline prices tamped down the demand for SUVs.

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