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Ford's New Expeditionary force

What's an "Expedition Max"? It's the coming replacement for the Excursion in Ford's full-size SUV stable, and a competitor for GM's Suburban.

What's an "Expedition Max"? It's the coming replacement for the Excursion in Ford's full-size SUV stable, and a competitor for GM's Suburban. As the name implies, the Expedition Max is based on the Expedition, but adds more than a foot—15-in., to be exact—to the standard vehicle's 119-in. wheelbase. Chevy's Suburban, on the other hand, has a slightly more compact 130-in. wheelbase. Like the Suburban, the Expedition Max will seat nine.

Unlike that vehicle, which offers V8 gasoline engines ranging in size from 5.3 to 8.1-liters, the Expedition Max will offer only the 4.6 and 5.4-liter V8s found in the standard-sized Expedition. Also, there will be no diesel option, which opens the door for Ford to offer a larger percentage of its F Series trucks with a diesel engine. Other than slight changes to the suspension to cope with the extra weight and capacity, the Max carries over its smaller brother's mechanical pieces pretty much intact.

This same principle holds true elsewhere as the Expedition Max has fewer unique parts than the Excursion it replaces. Except for the area behind the second row of seats, the cabin is carried over. Ditto the outer panels forward of the C-pillars. This should make the Max an affordable addition to the lineup, and increase its profitability per unit when compared to the Excursion.—CAS