2007 Ford Sport Trac – Advances the Breed
- December 29, 2005
- Ford, New Model Introductions
- Posted by George Peterson
- Comments Off on 2007 Ford Sport Trac – Advances the Breed
VehicleVoice (http://www.vehiclevoice.com) and AutoPacific (http://www.autopacific.com) were impressed with the previous Ford Sport Trac and are more impressed with the new 2007 version of Ford’s Sport Utility Truck. The 1st Sport Trac was a funky, hose-it-out, derivative of a two-generations ago Explorer. In its last year in production, the first gen Sport Trac came within a hair’s breadth of winning AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award for the compact pickup category. This is quite an achieve for a last-year vehicle.
The new Sport Trac goes upscale and more sophisticated and adds a V8 to its powertrain offerings. Adopting the more modern Explorer as its basis, Sport Trac gets an independent rear suspension for the first time.Sport Trac gets Ridgeline-like storage bins in the cargo bed. But the key improvements are the V8 and IRS.
Here is Ford’s press release for the 2007 Explorer Sport Trac….
2007 FORD EXPLORER SPORT TRAC AS UNIQUE AS ITS OWNERS
Ford Explorer Sport Trac Adrenalin Concept
Gone are the days when vehicles fit neatly into one of three categories: truck, van, or car. Today, the automotive landscape is much more complicated, with vehicles for every personality or lifestyle. Leading the way in originality and versatility has been the Ford Sport Trac.
The new 2007 Ford Sport Trac follows the same formula of its predecessor. First launched as a 2001 model and based on the best-selling Ford Explorer, the Sport Trac offered the refinement and five-passenger seating of an SUV with the cargo bed and towing capacity of a pickup truck. Its unique blend of capability and personality has attracted a loyal fan base, whose passion for their vehicles rivals that of Mustang enthusiasts.
In fact, nearly 100 Sport Trac fans attended the unveiling of the 2007 Sport Trac at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, some driving from as far as San Francisco and Buffalo. What the owners found was the 2007 Sport Trac kept what they loved about their Tracs, and addressed their three biggest requests: a V-8, more towing capacity, and more refinement.
Underhood, Sport Trac features a standard 4.0-liter V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission, rated at 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. The big news with the 2007 model, however, is the addition of a V-8.
“Customers have been asking for a V-8 since day one,” says Bryan Olson, Sport Trac marketing manager. “These customers want the added capability and towing capacity, as well as the power and performance that only a V-8 can deliver.”
This V-8, inspired by the one found thumping under the hood of the Mustang GT, is a 4.6-liter, three-valve V-8 delivering 292 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the V-8 Sport Trac delivers an impressive maximum 6,800 pounds of towing capacity, and 1,390 pounds of payload.
That payload is stored in the 40 inch-long cargo box, made of sheet molded composite (SMC) with a molded-in black inner liner that resists scratches and is dent-proof. Notches in the box for two 2×4 boards across the bed provide tiered storage of materials – including 4×8 sheets of plywood.
Inside the box are three integrated cargo bins recessed into the bed floor, with two six-pack-sized bins in the right and left rear of the box and one large bin that runs the length of the box headboard. The bins are equipped with weather-resistant lids and removable drain plugs for storing wet gear or ice.
An available tubular aluminum cargo cage acts as a cargo divider or can be swung out as a bed extender for extra storage capacity when the tailgate is lowered.
Inside, the hose out Tuflor™ rubber floor covering is offset by Berber-carpeted floor mats, and available two-tone six-way power seats or 10-way heated leather seats give the 2007 model two tiers of interior comfort.
Other cool features available on the 2007 Sport Trac include a heated windshield, which uses micro-wires embedded in the glass to help prevent fogging and speed up de-icing, and a six-disc CD changer with integrated SIRIUS satellite radio and navigation.
Refinement is dramatically improved with the all new frame, which Ford engineers say is 427 percent stiffer than before. For the first time, the Sport Trac features an independent rear suspension, which offers significantly better handling over both smooth and rough surfaces as each wheel reacts independently to bumps in the road. In addition, IRS drastically reduces rear-end skate, which is the lateral movement that occurs when a vehicle with a solid rear axle travels over sharp bumps or washboard/corrugated road surfaces.
Sport Trac has a Loyal Following
An example of owner enthusiasm is mysporttrac.com, (http://www.mysporttrac.com) a grassroots, on-line organization created by Sport Trac owner Rich Stern. The site boasts more than 10,000 registered owners, and up to 2,000 forum postings every month.
Stern, an information technology consultant from Atlanta, originally created a site for another of his hobbies, bass fishing.
“I designed the enthusiast website programming as a professional learning exercise,” says Stern. “At the same time, I found there wasn’t a good online source for information on the Sport Trac. I adapted the framework from the bass fishing site, and launched mysporttrac.com in September 2000. People started showing up really quick, and soon mysporttrac.com eclipsed the fishing site.”
In addition, mysporttrac.com has helped owners organize approximately 70 regional rallies, four national rallies, and the owner rally to Dallas to see the 2007 Sport Trac.
“The first meeting was six people in the parking lot of a diner,” says Stern. “More than 70 Sport Tracs came to our last national rally, which was at Ford’s Louisville (Ky.) assembly plant.”
Stern has had his Estate Green 2001 Sport Trac for five years, and has accumulated more than 54,000 miles on the odometer. Like many owners, Stern bought his Sport Trac because it uniquely fit his needs.
“I wanted something comfortable enough I could take clients out to lunch,” says Stern. “But, I also needed something to pull my bass boat with. I considered an Explorer, but an SUV wasn’t ideal. I often fish by myself, in the winter. With an SUV, that requires getting in the water to load and unload the boat. With the Sport Trac, I could walk from the bed into the boat, without stepping into the cold water.”
Stern’s current dilemma – whether to part with his beloved Sport Trac for a new one?
“I absolutely love my Sport Trac. It’s done everything I hoped it would, and I don’t see any need to replace it. Then again, the new Sport Trac is as big a jump in refinement.”