Jim Holland, chief engineer for the Explorer, told the Detroit Free Press that the fact that the Explorer offers three rows of seats allowed the manufacturer to make the vehicle even safer by installing rear inflatable seat belts.
"This is a Ford Motor Co. statement about how important safety is," he told the aforementioned source. "What we find is, a lot of times, the passengers in the second row are children, or older people, that are more susceptible to injuries in the chest. The air bag inflates and distributes the crash load better than a single belt."
"Explorer is one of our bread-and-butter vehicles ... and we've got a great opportunity to introduce a few features on it that aren't in the marketplace right now," Holland said.
The Explorer will be offered with a choice of two engines, a 3.5l V6 and a 2.0l four cylinder EcoBoost. The first unit, developing 290 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque, will be offered as standard on base, XLT and Limited trims.
The full list of details, along with specifications regarding every trim level to be included in the 2011 Explorer range, is available here.