Wheel Chasers

Unveiling the Unstoppable: Exploring the Exhilaration of the Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is one of the most recognizable SUVs on the market, with a history that spans over three decades. First introduced in 1990, the Explorer quickly became popular thanks to its combination of off-road capabilities and family-friendly design.

Today, the Explorer remains a top seller in the SUV segment, offering a range of trim levels to suit a variety of needs.

History of the Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer was first introduced in March 1990 as a 1991 model. The first-generation Explorer was based on the Ford Ranger pickup truck and was available in two or four-door configurations, with two engine options: a 4.0-liter V6 or a 4.9-liter V8.

The first Explorer was praised for its spacious interior and smooth on-road handling, and quickly became a popular choice for families. The second-generation Explorer arrived in 1995, featuring a more aerodynamic design and the introduction of the Eddie Bauer and

Limited trims.

The second-generation Explorer was also available with a new SOHC V6 engine, which offered more power and improved fuel economy. In 2002, the third-generation Explorer was introduced, featuring a redesigned body and chassis, along with an optional independent rear suspension.

The third-generation Explorer was also available with a range of safety features, including side airbags and stability control. The fourth-generation Explorer was launched in 2006, featuring updated styling and a new V8 engine option.

The fourth-generation Explorer was also the first to offer a high-performance version called the Explorer Sport Trac Adrenalin. In 2011, the fifth-generation Explorer was unveiled, featuring a unibody chassis and a new EcoBoost four-cylinder engine option.

The fifth-generation Explorer was also the first to offer a front-wheel-drive configuration.

Design Changes

Over the years, the Ford Explorer has undergone multiple design changes, with each generation sporting a unique look and updated features. Some of the most notable design changes include:

– 1995 The second-generation Explorer featured a more aerodynamic design and the introduction of the Eddie Bauer and

Limited trims.

– 2002 The third-generation Explorer featured a new body and chassis design, along with optional side airbags and stability control. – 2006 The fourth-generation Explorer featured updated styling and a new V8 engine option, along with the introduction of the Explorer Sport Trac Adrenalin.

– 2011 The fifth-generation Explorer featured a unibody chassis and a new EcoBoost engine option, along with a front-wheel-drive configuration.

Ford Explorer Trim Levels and Features

The Ford Explorer is available in seven different trim levels for the 2022 model year: the base model,





ST, and

Platinum. Each trim level comes with a variety of standard and optional features.

Base Model

The base model Explorer comes with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, rated at 300 horsepower, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard features on the base model include:

– Automatic LED headlights

– FordPass Connect wifi hotspot

– Rearview camera with washer

– Sync 4 infotainment system

– 18-inch wheels



XLT takes the standard features of the base model and adds a number of upgrades, including:

– Power liftgate

– Second-row captain’s chairs

– Tri-zone climate control

– Reverse sensing system

– Power adjustable pedals

– Keyless entry



Limited trim adds even more luxury features, including:

– 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster

– Heated and ventilated front seats

– Leather interior

– B&O sound system

– 20-inch wheels

– 360-degree camera system

– Remote start



ST-Line offers a sportier look and feel, with features like:

– Blacked-out exterior styling

– Sport-tuned suspension

– Leather-wrapped steering wheel

– Sport seats

– 20-inch black wheels



Timberline is a new trim level for the 2022 model year, aimed at off-road enthusiasts. Features of the

Timberline include:

– Unique grille and front bumper

– Metal skid plates

– Tow hooks

– 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires

– Hill descent control

– Seven terrain management modes



ST is a performance-oriented trim level, featuring a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine rated at 400 horsepower. Other features of the

ST include:

– Sport-tuned suspension

– Quad exhaust tips

– Unique

ST grille and badging

ST steering wheel with paddle shifters

– 20-inch wheels



Platinum trim is the top-of-the-line model, with features like:

– 10.1-inch touchscreen display

– Premium leather interior

– Panoramic sunroof

– Adaptive headlights

– 21-inch wheels

Overall, the Ford Explorer remains a popular choice for SUV buyers, offering a combination of off-road capability, family-friendly design, and a range of trim levels to suit a variety of needs. Whether you’re looking for a basic and affordable model or a top-of-the-line luxury SUV, there’s a Ford Explorer trim level to fit your lifestyle.

The Ford Explorer has long been a popular choice for SUV buyers thanks to its combination of off-road capability, family-friendly design, and range of trim levels. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the performance and engine options of the Ford Explorer, as well as its interior design and convenience features.

Performance and Engine Options

The Ford Explorer comes with a choice of three different engines, depending on the trim level. The base model and

XLT come with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, rated at 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

The EcoBoost engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder that’s designed to deliver power and efficiency, with an estimated 24 MPG combined fuel economy. For those who want more power, the


ST-Line, and

Platinum come with a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6, rated at 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. With the 3.0-liter EcoBoost, the Explorer can tow up to 5,600 pounds when properly equipped.

The performance-oriented

ST trim level takes things even further, with a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that’s rated at 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. The

ST also features a sport-tuned suspension, performance brakes, and a sound-enhancing Sport mode that delivers a more aggressive exhaust note.

All Explorer models come with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is designed to deliver smooth and efficient shifts. The transmission comes with SelectShift technology, allowing drivers to manually shift gears with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Interior Design and Convenience Features

The interior of the Ford Explorer is designed to be both spacious and comfortable, with plenty of room for passengers and cargo. The Explorer is available in both seven- and eight-passenger configurations, depending on the trim level and options chosen.

The interior is also available in a variety of colors and materials, including leather, vinyl, and cloth. One of the most notable features of the Explorer’s interior is the available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which replaces the traditional gauges with a customizable screen that displays all the relevant information a driver needs.

The digital cluster is available on the

Limited and

Platinum trims, as well as the

ST and

Timberline. Other convenience features available on the Ford Explorer include:

– Power liftgate: Standard on the

XLT and above, the power liftgate can be activated with the click of a button on the key fob or dashboard.

– Heated and ventilated front seats: available on the


Platinum, and

ST trims, the heated and ventilated seats help keep passengers comfortable no matter the weather. – Tri-zone automatic climate control: standard on the

XLT and above, tri-zone climate control lets passengers customize their temperature preferences.

– SYNC 4 infotainment system: standard on all models, SYNC 4 is an intuitive touchscreen system that includes features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and voice-activated navigation. – Wireless charging pad: available on the


Platinum, and

ST trims, the wireless charging pad lets passengers charge their devices without the need for cords.

– Panoramic sunroof: available on the


Platinum, and

ST trims, the panoramic sunroof provides an expansive view of the sky and adds to the feeling of spaciousness in the cabin. – Third-row power reclining seats: available on the


Platinum, and

ST trims, the power reclining seats make it easier for passengers to adjust their seating position for optimal comfort.

In terms of cargo space, the Ford Explorer offers up to 87.8 cubic feet of space with the second- and third-row seats folded down. With the second-row seats up, there’s still 47.9 cubic feet of space available for luggage, groceries, or gear.

Overall, the Ford Explorer offers a range of performance and engine options, as well as a spacious and comfortable interior with a host of convenience features. Whether you’re looking for a basic and affordable SUV or a top-of-the-line luxury model, the Ford Explorer has something for everyone.

Safety Features Offered by the Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer offers a range of safety features aimed at keeping drivers and passengers safe on the road. Here are some of the safety features that the Explorer offers:

Blind Spot Information System (BLIS): The BLIS feature can signal drivers when a vehicle is in their blind spot and is available on all Explorer models.

Rear View Camera: The Explorer comes standard with a rearview camera, which helps drivers see what’s behind them when reversing. Lane-Keeping System: Explorer models are available with a Lane-Keeping System, which provides steering assistance and alerts drivers when they veer out of their lane.

Adaptive Cruise Control: Adaptive Cruise Control is available on higher-level Explorer trims. It uses radar to maintain a safe distance between the Explorer and the vehicle in front of it.

Automatic Emergency Braking: Available on all Explorer trims, the automatic emergency braking system alerts the driver of an impending collision and applies the brakes if necessary. Front and Rear Parking Sensors: Parking sensors are available on higher-level trims and alert drivers when they’re getting too close to an object in front or behind them.

These features are just a few of the many safety features that the Ford Explorer offers. The Explorer has earned high safety ratings from organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Advanced Technology in the Ford Explorer

In addition to its range of safety features, the Ford Explorer also offers a range of technology features designed to make the driving experience as convenient and enjoyable as possible. Here are some of the technology features available on the Explorer:

Ford Co-Pilot360: This suite of driver assistance features is standard on all Explorer models.

It includes features like BLIS with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System, Pre-Collision Assist, and more. SYNC 4 Infotainment System: The SYNC 4 system is available on all models and includes features like a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, wireless device connectivity, and voice-activated navigation.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: The Explorer is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing drivers to connect their smartphones and access their favorite apps, music, and more. FordPass: The available FordPass app lets drivers remotely start their Explorer, lock or unlock the doors, check their fuel level, and more.

B&O Sound System: Available on higher-level trims, the B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen delivers high-quality audio for an exceptional listening experience. Wireless Charging Pad: Available on higher-level trims, the wireless charging pad lets drivers charge their smartphones without the need for cords.

These are just a few examples of the technology features available on the Ford Explorer. With its range of advanced technology features and safety features, the Ford Explorer is a well-rounded SUV that offers a comfortable and convenient driving experience.

Off-Road Capabilities of the Ford Explorer

While the Ford Explorer is primarily known as a family-friendly SUV, it also boasts impressive off-road capabilities. The Explorer offers a range of features and technologies designed to enhance its performance in off-road environments, allowing drivers to confidently explore new terrain.

Here are some of the key features that make the Ford Explorer an off-road capable vehicle:

Terrain Management System: The Terrain Management System, available on select Explorer trims, provides drivers with seven different drive modes to optimize the Explorer’s performance based on the specific off-road conditions. These drive modes include Normal, Trail, Deep Snow/Sand, Slippery, Sport, Tow/Haul, and Eco.

By selecting the appropriate mode, drivers can adjust the vehicle settings to best suit the challenges of different terrains. Hill Descent Control: The Hill Descent Control feature, available on certain Explorer trims, helps maintain a controlled speed while descending steep slopes.

By automatically applying the brakes when necessary, Hill Descent Control allows the driver to focus on steering and maneuvering the vehicle. Intelligent 4WD with Rear-wheel Drive Disconnect: The Intelligent 4WD system, available on select Explorer models, optimizes the vehicle’s traction and stability by continually monitoring road conditions and distributing torque as needed to the wheels with the most grip.

Additionally, the Rear-wheel Drive Disconnect feature disconnects the rear axle when all-wheel drive isn’t required, improving fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. Off-Road Suspension: The Explorer

Timberline trim features a specially tuned off-road suspension system that enhances the vehicle’s off-road capabilities.

The suspension is optimized for tackling uneven terrain, providing improved traction and stability. Skid Plates and Tow Hooks: The Explorer

Timberline trim also includes underbody skid plates that help protect critical components, such as the engine and transmission, from potential damage caused by rocks and debris.

Additionally, front and rear tow hooks come standard on the

Timberline trim, offering increased recovery options when encountering challenging off-road situations. Ground Clearance and Approach/Departure Angles: The Ford Explorer’s ground clearance and approach/departure angles contribute to its ability to navigate rough terrain.

With a ground clearance of 8.2 inches and improved approach and departure angles, the Explorer can handle uneven surfaces and obstacles more effectively. While the Ford Explorer is not specifically designed as a hardcore off-road vehicle like some of its siblings in the Ford lineup, such as the Ford Bronco, it still offers impressive off-road capabilities that make it a versatile choice for those looking to venture off the beaten path.

Fuel Efficiency and Environmental Impact of the Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is a large SUV that delivers a balance of performance and fuel efficiency. While its powerful engines offer ample power for towing and acceleration, Ford has also made efforts to increase fuel efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of the Explorer.

Here are some key factors to consider:

EcoBoost Engine Technology: The Ford Explorer offers EcoBoost engine options, which utilize turbocharging and direct injection to deliver a combination of power and efficiency. The EcoBoost engines maximize fuel economy without compromising on performance by delivering a higher level of combustion efficiency.

Start-Stop Technology: All Explorer models come equipped with start-stop technology, which shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop, such as at traffic lights or in heavy traffic, and restarts it seamlessly when the driver releases the brake pedal. This feature helps conserve fuel and reduce emissions during idle periods.

Hybrid Powertrain: The Explorer lineup includes a hybrid powertrain option, which combines a 3.3-liter V6 engine with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. The hybrid powertrain provides improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions compared to traditional gasoline-powered engines.

Fuel Efficiency Ratings: The exact fuel efficiency of the Explorer varies depending on factors such as engine choice, trim level, and driving conditions. However, the EPA estimates for the 2021 Ford Explorer with the base 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine range from approximately 21 MPG in the city to 28 MPG on the highway.

Environmental Impact: While the Explorer offers improved fuel efficiency compared to previous generations, it is important to note that it is still a larger SUV, and its environmental impact should be considered in comparison to more fuel-efficient vehicles, such as sedans or hybrid/electric models. However, the hybrid powertrain option does provide a greener alternative for those seeking better fuel economy and reduced emissions.

Ford’s Commitment to Sustainability: It’s worth mentioning that Ford has made a commitment to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. The company has set long-term goals, such as achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and investing heavily in electric vehicles and sustainable manufacturing practices.

In conclusion, while the Ford Explorer offers the power and performance expected from an SUV of its size, it also incorporates features and technologies aimed at improving fuel efficiency and reducing its environmental impact. With the availability of hybrid powertrains and the implementation of start-stop technology, the Explorer demonstrates Ford’s commitment to balancing performance with sustainability.

Towing Capacity and Hauling Capabilities of the Ford Explorer

One of the strengths of the Ford Explorer is its towing and hauling capabilities. Whether you need to tow a trailer, boat, or other heavy loads, the Explorer offers the power and features to get the job done.

Here’s a closer look at the towing capacity and hauling capabilities of the Ford Explorer:

Towing Capacity: The towing capacity of the Ford Explorer depends on the engine and drivetrain configuration. With the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, the Explorer has a maximum towing capacity of up to 5,300 pounds.

This allows you to tow small and mid-size trailers, campers, and boats with ease. For even greater towing capacity, the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine available on select trims offers a maximum towing capacity of up to 5,600 pounds.

Trailer Sway Control: To help maintain stability while towing, the Ford Explorer comes with Trailer Sway Control. This feature uses the AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control) system to automatically monitor trailer sway.

If sway is detected, the system applies selective braking to the wheels and reduces engine power to help bring the vehicle and trailer back under control. Trailer Tow Packages: If you plan on towing frequently or need additional towing features, the Ford Explorer offers available Trailer Tow Packages.

These packages include features like a Class III trailer hitch, engine oil cooler, wiring harness, and connectors. The Trailer Tow Packages enable you to tow safely and efficiently by providing the necessary equipment and enhancements.

Hauling Capabilities: In addition to towing, the Ford Explorer also offers a spacious interior for hauling cargo. With all three rows of seats upright, the Explorer provides up to 18.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row.

Folding down the third row expands the cargo capacity to 47.9 cubic feet, while folding both the second and third rows provides a maximum cargo capacity of 87.8 cubic feet. This versatility allows you to transport large items, groceries, and everything in between.

Cargo Management System: To make loading and organizing your cargo easier, the Ford Explorer offers an available Cargo Management System. This system includes an adjustable shelf behind the third row that provides additional storage options.

Additionally, there are storage compartments, cargo hooks, and nets strategically placed throughout the cargo area to secure your belongings.

Reviews and Ratings of the Ford Explorer by Auto Industry Experts

The Ford Explorer has received positive reviews and ratings from auto industry experts, highlighting its performance, interior comfort, safety features, and overall value. Here’s a roundup of some key assessments:

Car and Driver: Car and Driver praised the Explorer for its family-friendly interior space, range of engine choices, and strong towing capacity.

They also commended its comfortable ride and user-friendly infotainment system. Edmunds: Edmunds recognized the Explorer for its refined ride quality, well-designed interior, and impressive towing capacity.

They also appreciated the available advanced safety features and user-friendly technology interface. U.S. News & World Report: The Ford Explorer consistently ranks highly in U.S. News & World Report’s SUV rankings, with praise for its spacious and comfortable interior, versatile cargo space, and user-friendly technology.

It also receives high marks for its towing capacity and available powerful engine options. IIHS Safety Rating: In terms of safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the 2021 Ford Explorer with top marks in most crashworthiness categories, including the highest rating of “Good” in all tested areas.

However, the small overlap front passenger-side test resulted in a “Marginal” rating. NHTSA Safety Rating: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the Ford Explorer an overall five-star safety rating, which is the highest rating possible.

It achieved top scores in frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. Customer Satisfaction: According to owner reviews and surveys, many Ford Explorer owners express satisfaction with their vehicles.

Positive feedback often focuses on the spacious interior, comfortable seating, towing capabilities, and overall reliability. It’s important to note that reviews and ratings can vary, and personal preferences play a role in individual assessments.

Ultimately, it’s recommended to conduct thorough research, read expert reviews, and visit a dealership for a test drive to evaluate the Ford Explorer against your specific needs and preferences.

Customer Reviews and Experiences with the Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer has gained popularity and a loyal customer base over the years. To gain deeper insights into the ownership experience, let’s explore some customer reviews and experiences with the Ford Explorer:

Positive Feedback:

Many customers appreciate the spacious and comfortable interior of the Ford Explorer.

It offers generous legroom and headroom in all three rows, making it an ideal option for families or those who frequently transport passengers. The versatile cargo space also receives praise, allowing owners to easily haul groceries, sporting equipment, or larger items.

Numerous drivers are impressed with the towing capabilities of the Explorer. They highlight its ability to tow trailers, boats, or campers with ease, thanks to the powerful engine options and available towing package.

The Trailer Sway Control feature brings a sense of confidence and stability, preventing trailer sway and ensuring a smooth towing experience. The advanced safety features of the Explorer, such as blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and lane-keeping assist, have garnered positive feedback from owners.

These features provide an added layer of assurance and contribute to a sense of security while driving. Owners appreciate the user-friendly technology interface and connectivity options, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

The infotainment system offers intuitive controls and clear graphics, enhancing the overall driving experience. Negative Feedback:

Some customers express dissatisfaction with fuel economy, particularly with the larger engine options.

While the EcoBoost engines provide power and performance, they may have a slightly higher fuel consumption compared to smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs or sedans. However, it’s important to note that fuel economy can vary based on driving conditions and personal driving habits.

A few customers mention that the interior materials used in certain trim levels may not match their expectations for a vehicle in this price range. While the Ford Explorer offers a comfortable cabin, some feel that the quality of the materials used could be improved to provide a more luxurious feel.

Pricing and Value of the Ford Explorer

The pricing of the Ford Explorer is influenced by factors such as trim level, engine choice, optional features, and regional market variations. As of the time of writing, the base model of the 2022 Ford Explorer starts around $34,000, while the higher-performance

ST and

Platinum trims can reach upwards of $50,000 or more.

When considering the value of the Ford Explorer, it’s important to take into account the range of features and capabilities it offers. The Explorer provides a spacious and comfortable interior, a variety of advanced safety features, towing and hauling capabilities, and advanced technology options.

The availability of multiple trim levels allows customers to choose the features and price point that best fit their needs and budget. In terms of long-term value, the Ford Explorer offers a solid reputation for reliability and durability.

Ford vehicles, including the Explorer, tend to have competitive resale values, which can contribute to overall ownership satisfaction and make it an attractive option for those who plan to trade-in or sell their vehicle in the future. Additionally, Ford offers warranty coverage, which includes a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

These warranties provide added peace of mind for customers, knowing that potential repairs and maintenance are covered for a certain period. The price and value considerations of the Ford Explorer ultimately depend on the individual’s budget, desired features, lifestyle, and intended use of the vehicle.

It’s recommended to explore different trim levels, compare prices from multiple dealerships, and take advantage of test drives to make an informed decision based on personal preferences and priorities.

Comparison of Ford Explorer with Competitors in the SUV Market

The SUV market is highly competitive, with numerous options available to consumers. To better understand where the Ford Explorer stands among its competitors, let’s compare it to some notable alternatives in the SUV segment:

Chevrolet Traverse: The Chevrolet Traverse offers a spacious and comfortable cabin, similar to the Ford Explorer.

It provides seating for up to eight passengers and boasts ample cargo space. The Traverse offers a smooth and comfortable ride, although it may not match the Explorer’s towing capacity.

In terms of technology, both vehicles offer modern features, but the Explorer’s infotainment system and connectivity options have received more praise. The choice between the two may come down to personal preference and brand loyalty.

Jeep Grand Cherokee: The Jeep Grand Cherokee is known for its off-road capabilities and rugged design. It offers a range of powerful engine options, including a high-performance variant with impressive horsepower.

While the Grand Cherokee excels in off-road prowess, the Explorer offers more passenger and cargo space. The Explorer also provides a smoother and more comfortable ride, making it a better fit for families or those seeking a versatile SUV for daily driving.

Toyota Highlander: The Toyota Highlander is a popular choice in the midsize SUV segment. It focuses on reliability, comfortable seating, and a smooth ride.

The Highlander offers a hybrid powertrain option, which provides excellent fuel efficiency. However, the Explorer offers more powerful engine choices and a higher towing capacity.

The Explorer’s advanced safety features and user-friendly technology interface also give it an edge. Consider priorities such as towing capability and technology features when choosing between the two.

Honda Pilot: The Honda Pilot is known for its reliability, spacious interior, and family-friendly features. It offers a comfortable ride and a reputation for safety, similar to the Explorer.

However, the Explorer’s towing capacity exceeds that of the Pilot, making it a better option for those requiring towing capabilities. In terms of technology, the Explorer’s infotainment system and available features, such as smartphone integration, may be more advanced compared to the Pilot.

Ultimately, the choice among SUVs depends on individual preferences, needs, and priorities. It’s recommended to test drive and compare different models to determine which SUV aligns best with personal requirements and desires.

Considering factors such as towing capacity, interior space, technology features, safety ratings, and overall driving experience will assist in making an informed decision.

Customization Options and Accessories for the Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer offers a range of customization options and accessories to tailor the vehicle to individual preferences and needs. Here are some of the ways in which owners can personalize their Ford Explorer:

Trim Levels: The Ford Explorer comes in various trim levels, each offering a unique set of features and amenities.

From the base model to higher-tier trims like the

ST and

Platinum, customers can select a trim that aligns with their desired level of luxury and performance. Appearance Packages: Ford offers several appearance packages to enhance the Explorer’s visual appeal.

These packages may include features like unique grille designs, body-colored accents, and distinctive wheels. Appearance packages enable owners to give their Explorer a more distinguished and personalized look.

Wheel Options: The Ford Explorer offers a variety of wheel styles and sizes to choose from. The selection ranges from standard 18-inch wheels to larger 20- or 21-inch options.

Different wheel designs can enhance the overall aesthetic of the vehicle and help create a desired visual impression. Interior Upgrades: Owners can select from various interior options to enhance comfort, style, and convenience.

Available upgrades may include leather upholstery, heated and v

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