2011 Ford Explorer Continues The Off-Road Charade

The 2011 Ford Explorer will be built on the same platform as the Ford Taurus. No transfer case acting as the four-wheel-drive system's linchpin. That's not stopping Ford from releasing this teaser shot touting the potential for off-road prowess.

So what do we now know?

First, based on today's release of 2011 Ford Explorer info, we can expect the automaker to follow its recent trend of an agonizing teaser campaign that everyone stops caring about after the third round (prove us wrong Ford, please).

2011 Ford Explorer Continues The Off-Road Charade

Second, the new Explorer will have something they'll call "Terrain Management" which works with what we can only assume is the Taurus' tarted up all-wheel-drive system. It's controlled by a knob system like Land Rover (in looks alone people!) with pictures of the crossover next to a snowflake, all alone, in ruts beside a tree, near a cactus and on a hill. Those icons — surrounding a duck on a skateboard (Autoblog's Damon LaVrinc should remember that reference. —Ed.) — denote various weather and road conditions to be selected by the driver which will have an effect on the performance of the "four wheel drive," traction control, and braking systems.

2011 Ford Explorer Continues The Off-Road Charade

Third, the mall Explorer will get Ford's shiny Smartgauge system which uses two 4" LCD screens to provide all kinds of information about the vehicle and how you're driving. Finally, an Explorer without a transfer case is like a bull without horns — functional, but what's the point?