Ford Explorer EV SUV Unveiled
Ford has made the SUV Explorer EV public. The all-electric Ford Explorer recently unveiled is not to be confused with the Ford Explorer SUV sold in North America and some European markets; it is a European-focused, European-designed, and European-built born-EV SUV that shares nothing with the North American Explorer other than the brand name. The ICE-powered Explorer model that is now available in Europe will be replaced by the new Explorer EV.
The new SUV measures 4,460mm in length and is anticipated to begin rolling off the assembly line at Ford’s renovated facility in Cologne, Germany (where it presently manufactures the Ford Fiesta) by mid-2023. As a result, it will compete with vehicles like the Jeep Avenger, Mini Aceman, Hyundai Ioniq 5 (also available in India), and even the Skoda Enyaq iV in the fiercely competitive small and midsized SUV markets abroad (India launch in the works).
It is the most significant new Ford product for the European market in decades in this regard and many others, and it will be instrumental in paving the way for a completely redesigned, downsized range of passenger EVs designed around the concept of “American-ness,” far different from the likes of the Fiesta, Focus, and Mondeo that came before.
The Explorer is the first Ford EV to utilise Volkswagen’s MEB electric vehicle platform, out of the two that have been officially announced. This is part of a relationship in which the US company reciprocates by producing VW-badged commercial cars in Turkey and South Africa. To avoid directly competing with those two vehicles, the proportions were purposefully chosen to be midway between the Volkswagen ID 3 and ID 4. Nevertheless, Ford was not required to utilise the platform in this manner.
The car’s designers claim that some of its distinguishing elements are its bluff front end with the bigger new logo, the beltline that extends around the entire vehicle, the “generous” wheel arches, and the floating roof with contrasting black A-pillars. The Explorer deviates from traditional Ford design rules, but subsequent models won’t adopt the same styling cues and proportions in a “Russian doll” fashion, which the designers are careful to emphasise.
The design team prioritised increasing inside space in comparison to similarly sized ICE offerings, and they credit the MEB platform’s flat floor and flexibility for the Explorer’s ability to provide “big vehicle” characteristics in a very small package.
The Ford Explorer EV has a “hidden” load bay beneath the trunk floor and a 17-litre “Megaconsole” cubby between the two front seats, one of the biggest cubbies ever installed in a production vehicle. There is no storage space under the hood. With the seats up, the boot capacity is estimated to be 450 litres, which is more than the Mustang Mach-E, and 1,400 litres when the seats are folded. Depending on the situation, the load floor can also be raised or lowered.
The new Ford Explorer EV will have two motors on each axle with a combined 340 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque in its most powerful configuration, which is greater than any other MEB-based production EV presently for sale and enough for a sub-6.0-second 0-100 kph time. Ford has not yet said if this range-topper will sport the revered ST (or even RS) badge, but it has stated that one of the five selectable driving modes for all-wheel-drive vehicles will be a Sport mode.
Two choices are rear-driven, one with 170 horsepower and the other with 286 horsepower. Ford is aiming for a maximum range of 422 kilometres from the longest-legged ‘Max’ model, however, battery options have not yet been fully described.
A 52kWh entry-level battery and a 77kWh battery with a claimed range of 328 kilometres per charge, both of which are capable of charging at 170 kW, are anticipated to be available in the Explorer.
In 2022, Ford closed its doors in India because of poor sales. Although completely imported EVs like the Mustang Mach E were evaluated for market releases, there is currently no information on when they will arrive in India.
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