The Ford Excursion is a heavy duty (Class 2), extended-length sport utility vehicle that was produced by Ford for the North American market. Introduced for the 2000 model year, the Excursion remains the longest and heaviest SUV ever to enter mass production. Based upon the F-250 Super Duty pickup truck, the Excursion was developed as a competitor for the 2500-series Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL.
2000–2004 Ford Excursion
|Production||1999–September 30, 2005|
|Model years||2000–2006 (2006: Mexico only)|
|Assembly||Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door SUV with lift gate and 2 dutch doors|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Related||Ford Super Duty|
|Engine||5.4 L Triton V8|
6.8 L Triton V10
7.3 L Powerstroke V8 turbodiesel
6.0 L PowerStroke V8 turbodiesel
|Wheelbase||137.1 in (3,482 mm)|
|Length||226.7 in (5,758 mm)|
|Width||2000–01: 80.0 in (2,032 mm)|
2002–05: 79.9 in (2,029 mm)
|Height||4WD: 77.2 in (1,961 mm)|
2WD: 74.8 in (1,900 mm)
|Curb weight||7,688 lb (3,487 kg) (Turbodiesel)|
7,230 lb (3,280 kg) (Gasoline)
|Predecessor||Centurion C350 Classic (unofficial)|
|Successor||Ford Expedition EL/MAX|
The lowest-selling of Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln SUVs during its production, the Excursion was withdrawn after the 2005 model year (a short 2006 production run was made for Mexico). For the 2007 model year, Ford introduced the extended-length Expedition EL/MAX to match the Chevrolet Suburban in terms of size; while effectively replacing the Excursion, it is derived from the F-150, not the Super Duty F-Series. As of 2020 production, Ford has not produced an SUV based on the Super Duty model line.
For 1978, the second-generation Ford Bronco was introduced. To compete directly against the Chevrolet K5 Blazer/GMC Jimmy and Dodge Ramcharger, the Bronco increased in size, entering the full-size SUV segment. To lower its production costs, the model line adopted the chassis and powertrains of the Ford F-100.
Remaining strictly a three-door wagon, the Bronco competed solely against the Blazer/Jimmy, with the closest competitor to the Chevrolet/GMC Suburban being the International Harvester Travelall (discontinued in 1975). During the 1980s, license-built four-door conversions of the Ford Bronco (using F-Series crew cabs) were developed, but few were sold. For 1991, the Ford Explorer became the first four-door SUV sold by Ford; derived from the Ranger pickup truck, the Explorer served as the replacement for the compact Bronco II.
For 1997, Ford redesigned its full-size SUV model line. Coinciding with declining demand for three-door vehicles, the Bronco was replaced by the five-door Ford Expedition. Derived from the F-150 (in line with its predecessor), the Expedition was sized between the Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban. For 1999, the Super Duty trucks were introduced; along with their own body design, the F-250 and F-350 were given a heavier-duty chassis and suspension, intended for work usage and towing. Coinciding with the development of the Super Duty pickup trucks, the Excursion was developed as a heavy-duty SUV based on the F-250, competing against the 2500-series Suburban.
The Ford Excursion was produced sharing the platform architecture of the F-250 Super Duty pickup truck. Sharing nearly all of its chassis components and dimensions with the F-250, the Excursion shares a common width, wheelbase, and front/rear track with its F-250 counterpart. Other shared assemblies include the front and rear suspension, along with the steering gear. The rear axle for all Excursions was a Sterling 10.5 axle. The four wheel drive models were equipped with a NV273 transfer case and Dana 50 front axle.
During the development of the chassis, Ford learned that its initial design caused smaller vehicles (such as a Ford Taurus) to become severely overridden in a head-on collision. In the test, the tire of the Excursion drove up to the windshield of the Taurus, reducing the chance of survival for the Taurus driver. As a response, Ford modified the chassis to include an under-bumper "blocker beam"; the device was initially tested by the French transportation ministry in 1971. For the rear of the chassis, Ford chose to include a trailer hitch as standard equipment in production to reduce underriding in rear-end collisions by smaller vehicles.
During its entire production, the 5.4L Triton V8 was standard, with the 6.8L V10 as an option. As a running change during the 2003 model year, the Navistar-sourced Powerstroke diesel V8 was changed from the 7.3L V8 to the 6.0L V8. The 4-speed 4R100 automatic was standard with the Triton engines and the 7.3L diesel; a 5R110W 5-speed automatic was paired with the 6.0L diesel. Although using the 3/4 ton chassis of the F-250, the Excursion was rated with a GVWR of 8,900 lb (4,000 kg) when equipped with gasoline engines, and 9,200 lb (4,200 kg) with equipped with diesel engines. As its GVWR was above 8,500 lb (3,900 kg) , the Excursion was exempt from EPA fuel economy ratings; reviewers cited fuel economy in the range of 12-15mpg with the V10 gasoline engine.
|Engine||Configuration||Fuel||Production||Horsepower output||Torque output||Transmission|
|Ford Triton V8||5.4 L (330 cu in) SOHC 2V V8||Gasoline||2000–2005||255 hp (190 kW; 259 PS)||350 lb⋅ft (475 N⋅m)||4-speed automatic
|Ford Triton V10||6.8 L (413 cu in) SOHC 2V V10||310 hp (231 kW; 314 PS)||425 lb⋅ft (576 N⋅m)|
|Ford/Navistar PowerStroke V8||7.3 L (444 cu in) OHV V8 turbo||Diesel||2000–2003.5||250 hp (186 kW; 253 PS)||525 lb⋅ft (712 N⋅m)|
|Ford/Navistar PowerStroke V8||6.0 L (365 cu in) OHV 4V V8 turbo||2003.5-2005||325 hp (242 kW; 330 PS)||560 lb⋅ft (759 N⋅m)||5-speed automatic|
While the Ford Expedition was designed to adopt similar exterior styling of the popular Ford Explorer, the body of the Excursion adapted a high degree of commonality with its F-250 Super Duty counterpart. To directly fit the four doors from the Super Duty crew cab, the Excursion is among one of the only mass-produced SUVs ever produced with four full-length passenger doors (along with the Chevrolet Suburban, its GMC and Cadillac counterparts, and the IHC Travelall). Styled similar to the Bronco (with flush-mounted glass), the Excursion is fitted with a third-row seat and rear cargo area behind the second-row door. In place of a liftgate, the cargo door of the Excursion was designed with a 3-way door: an upper liftgate paired with two lower dutch doors (similar to later models of the Chevrolet Astro).
To distinguish the Excursion, the grille was changed to an eggcrate pattern, in line with smaller Ford SUVs. In the rear, the Excursion was fitted with the taillamps of the E-Series van. For 2005, the egg-crate grille was replaced by the three-bar grille used on Super Duty trucks.
Most of the interior was directly sourced from the F-250, with the addition of third-row seating (accommodating up to nine). For 2002, the dashboard was revised with the addition of a digital odometer.
The Excursion adopted the trim nomenclature adopted across Ford light trucks in North America. The base trim was XL (marketed nearly exclusively for fleet sales), XLT (standard trim in retail markets), and Limited (highest trim line). For 2003, the Excursion introduced an Eddie Bauer trim package (seen on other Ford SUVs and the Ford F-Series).
XLT: Included three rows of seating, leather-wrapped steering wheel with speed control, a security system, keyless entry, 16 in (41 cm) chrome steel rims or optional alloy rims, trailer towing, and an AM/FM radio with cassette and single-disc CD player with six premium speakers, and air conditioning.
Limited: Included same features as XLT, but adds a power driver's seat, rear audio controls, illuminated running boards, 16 in (41 cm) alloy rims, front-speed sensitive windshield wipers, five power points, ten cupholders, heated front seats, leather seats, and an optional rear entertainment system with DVD player.
The Excursion was launched on September 30, 1999 as a 2000 model-year. It was described by Popular Science as the "biggest sport utility on the planet." Sales were initially good, peaking in the 2000 model year with over 50,000 sales. As the energy crisis of the 2000s began and fuel prices rose, sales declined. The Excursion's large size and poor fuel economy led to it being dubbed the Ford Valdez by The Sierra Club, in reference to the Exxon Valdez supertanker, and in 2007 TIME Magazine selected it as one of the Fifty Worst Cars of All Time.
From 1998 to 2012, a second-party SUV conversion of the Ford F-250 was sold in Brazil. Similar in design and layout to the Excursion, the F-250 Tropivan differed primarily in its being a second-party conversion (similar to the Centurion Classic). In contrast to the Excursion, two different wheelbases of the model were produced.
As with all Super Duty trucks in Brazil, the Tropivan had a different engine selection throughout its production run that included a 4.2 L Essex gasoline V6 and two diesels: a 3.9 L Cummins B-series and the 4.2 L straight-6 MWM Sprint 6.07TCA.
During and since its production, the Excursion has become a basis for several types of aftermarket vehicles. The Excursion became a basis for stretch limousines; as a result of its truck-derived chassis, many examples were stretched longer than the 120 inches (300 cm) limit imposed by Ford on the Lincoln Town Car sedan.
A 2001 Excursion converted to a stretch limousine was the vehicle carrying 18 of the 20 killed in the Schoharie limousine crash; the limousine also killed two pedestrians.
Alongside stretch limousines, the body commonality of the Excursion with the Super Duty trucks has led to a number of vehicle conversions in the aftermarket. Although the Excursion was discontinued following the 2005 model year, 2006-2016 Super Duty front fascias have been adapted to the Excursion. Other conversions fit the rear "wagon" bodywork of the Excursion to Ford F-650 Super Duty medium-duty truck chassis (in various configurations); the practice is similar to the creation of the Centurion Classic C350. Using the chassis of the first-generation Ford SVT Raptor, the Hennessey VelociRaptor SUV mated the rear upper body panels of the Excursion with the four-door Raptor to create a SUV.
Yearly U.S. sales
|Calendar Year||Total American sales|
- Consumer Guide Editors (2001). Consumer Guide Automobile Book, 2001. Publications International. p. 100. Retrieved 2015-07-27.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- McCosh, Dan, ed. (November 1999). "Big, bigger, biggest". Popular Science. 255 (5): 48. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
- Snitkoff, Edward. "Curbside Classic: Ford Classic 350 – Centurion Vehicles Creates A Frankenstein Suburban Fighter". Retrieved 2019-07-07.
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- Bradsher, Keith (2004). High and mighty: the dangerous rise of the SUV. PublicAffairs. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-58648-203-9. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
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- 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Ford Truck/SUV source books
- "Big, bigger, biggest". Popular Science. 255 (5): 48. November 1999. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- "Ford Excursion Review". Edmunds. Retrieved 2012-09-07.
- The San Diego Earth Times, March 1999: Ford's new gas-guzzling SUV wins the "Exxon Valdez" award from the Sierra Club
- TIME Magazine: The 50 Worst Cars of All Time
- "Avaliação NA – F-250 Tropivan". Notícias Automotivas (in Portuguese). 13 December 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
- Jesse McKinley, Shane Goldmacher, and Luis Ferre-Sadurni, "20 Dead Upstate as Limo Crashes on Way to Party: A Notorious Junction—Speeding Vehicle Barrels Down a Hill 40 Miles West of Albany", The New York Times, October 8, 2018, pp. 1, 20.
- "Ford Motor Company Sets New Full Year U.S. Sales Record". Theautochannel.com. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
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- "Ford's F-Series Truck Caps 22nd Year in a Row as America's Best-Selling Vehicle With a December Sales Record". Theautochannel.com. 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
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