2018 Ford Expedition revealed

Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban rival debuts new aluminium body
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The next-generation Ford Expedition has been revealed ahead of its in-the-flesh debut at the 2017 Chicago motor show.

Based on the latest F-150 pickup truck, the Expedition features a steel frame and an aluminium body, and is said to weigh around 135 kilograms less than the outgoing model.

Under the bonnet is Ford's turbocharged 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6, driving either the rear or all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford has yet to release any power, torque, performance or fuel economy figures for the new Expedition.

2018 Ford Expedition

As with the current car, and unlike its GM competitors, it's expected that no V8 engine will be offered in the new Expedition.

The Expedition will be available in two body lengths, the regular Expedition and the longer Expedition Max. Buyers will be able to choose between four trim levels, although the base model is reserved for fleet buyers.

Although Ford has yet to confirm the new Expedition's dimensions, the regular vehicle should be around 5.2 metres long, with the extended length model around the 5.7m mark.

2018 Ford Expedition

The new Expedition can seat up to eight people across its three rows of seats. In a first, the second row seats can slide and tip forward even without the need to remove any attached child seats.

Top-spec models are available with automated parking, wireless smartphone charging, hands-free tailgate operation, and power points for every row, with a total of four 12V power outlets, six USB ports, and one 110V jack.

High-end variants also feature the latest Sync 3 infotainment system, a 12-speaker B&O Play audio system, Wi-Fi hotspot, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring support, and a dual-headrest rear seat entertainment setup.

2018 Ford Expedition

Available safety technology includes surround view cameras, lane keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control that works in stop/start traffic, blind spot monitoring, and trailer reversing assistance.

When the new Expedition goes on sale, Ford will hope that its new SUV will steal market share from the GM's full-size SUVs, which dominate the US market.

Last year, Ford sold just 59,835 Expeditions and 10,421 Lincoln Navigators.

That's well behind its GM competitors, which totalled 292,981 sales spread across six models: the Chevrolet Tahoe (103,306) and Suburban (60,082), GMC Yukon (53,447) and Yukon XL (37,054), and Cadillac Escalade (23,604) and Escalade EXT (15,488).