Ford’s new EcoBoost engine technology is heralded as the key to finding a balance between power and economy, and having seen the performance in cars like the Lincoln MKS and Ford Flex we can only agree. Now the automaker’s SUV line is about to benefit from the new direct injected and turbocharged engines, with the upcoming 2011 Ford Explorer set to feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

The Blue Oval has revealed today that the 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the 2011 Ford Explorer will deliver class leading fuel economy and be 30 percent more fuel efficient than the current V-6 model. To put that into perspective, the most fuel efficient V-6 model in the current 2010 Ford Explorer lineup delivers about 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway so the new 2011 model should deliver around 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway if Ford’s 30 percent better fuel efficiency claim is to be believed.

Of course, the 2011 Ford Explorer will also benefit from electric power-assisted steering, battery management, fast engine warm-up and a variable-displacement air conditioning compressor that reduces engine drag. It will also be lighter thanks to greater use of aluminum and composite materials in its construction.

The 2011 Ford Explorer is due to hit showrooms towards the end of the year. A V-6 EcoBoost with V-8 rivaling power should be available eventually, while a six-speed automatic transmission and new terrain management system will feature across the range. For more and spy shots check out our previous story by clicking here.