The Ford Explorer Sport and the Platinum both offer standard the now venerable 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, along with the Police Interceptor version of the Explorer where the engine is an option.
In the Explore the engine is tuned to 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard a heavy duty six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive to put that power to the ground. You’ll notice however, the power and torque is somewhat lower than other applications of the engine.
In the F-150, the Expedition and in the Lincoln Navigator this first-generation EcoBoost engine is tuned as high as 380 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It’s tuned down here because its trans-axle cannot handle that maximum output possible and still be reliable.
The engine itself features an aluminum block with a 60-degree V-angle, aluminum heads and in this vehicle and aluminum intake manifold. Direct fuel injection and the boost from its twin-turbochargers offer combine for a nice fat torque curve and minimum turbo-lag when its pushed.
Following the airflow here is a little tricky as there’s a lot of plumbing both seen and unseen. From the air filter box up front the stream is split in two, each turbocharger getting its own intake tube down below.
From there the boost pressure heads to an air-to-air inter-cooler up front and then back up top where it flows through a single throat throttle body and into the aluminum intake manifold. The fuel system isn’t much to see as its mostly buried under the valve covers – no traditional fuel rails here. You can see a large foam insulator on top for the fuel regulator, but that’s about it.
In spite of all the plumbing and tight fit, servicing this engine bay yourself isn’t that challenging. The air filter and battery are locate up front and easy to reach, along with the fuse block. The brake fluid reservoir in its expected location on the drive side fire wall.
Checking and filling your windshield washer fluid and coolant can easily done on the passenger side. One thing of note here is the pretty beefy strut tower brace from the factory that spans from side to side to add strength and stiffness.
This engine rolls into the 2017 model year unchanged. When the second-generation EcoBoost V6 with both port and direct fuel-injection found in the 2017 F-150 pickups will make its way here is yet unknown. It will likely be when the Explorer sees its next major redesign.