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March 22, 2023

Ford Shrinks The Explorer And Turns It Into An EV

Ford is once again reinventing its Explorer SUV by removing its third-row seating and fitting it with an all-electric powertrain.

Once a truck-based SUV, the Explorer SUV switched to a front-drive unibody platform in 2011 and by 2020, swapped its driven wheels to the rear. Now, as Ford pushes forward with its electrification plans, the nameplate will serve as part of their first wave of EVs, particularly in Europe.

Engineered and built by Volkswagen (it uses the Volkswagen MEB EV platform), the all-new Explorer is still considered a mid-sized crossover, but removes the third-row seats. Now, it has seating for five across two rows.

The all-new Explorer EV brings the American SUV design to the electric era. For example, the traditional grille has been replaced by a “shield” concept. The exterior was also designed with aerodynamics in mind.

No powertrain specs were revealed yet, but it is likely to share the Volkswagen ID.4’s near 20 horsepower output for rear-wheel drive variants, and over 300 horsepower for the high-performance all-wheel drive variants.

Inside, the Explorer EV will have a new SYNC Move infotainment system. The 15-inch portrait style screen slides up and down to suit the driver, and conceals a hidden “locker storage” for valuables. A compartment for two large smartphones with wireless charger, wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, a built-seat seat massager, and dual zone climate control are some of its key comfort features.

Despite being miniaturized from its current form, the all-new Explorer still has 470 liters of trunk space (with the rear seats up), while a 17-liter console between the driver and front-seat passenger can hold a 15-inch laptop.

According to Ford, the all-new Explorer EV will have the ability to fast charge from 10 to 80 percent in just 25 minutes. Battery size wasn’t mentioned, but again, it’s likely to share the Volkswagen ID.4’s 58-kWh and 77-kWh packs.

Advanced driver assistance systems include, for the first time on a Ford in Europe, Assisted Lane Change for smoothly and safely changing lanes at the push of an indicator stalk and Clear Exit Assist that provides warnings of approaching cyclists before opening doors in busy city centers.

Two variants will be made available for Europe—the Explorer and Explorer Premium. Pricing is anticipated at less than €45,000 (P 2.628 million) and it goes on sale later this year.

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