Ford announces all-electric German-made Explorer crossover
While there may indeed be a ton of SUVs on the market, Ford's Explorer is certainly one of the tried-and-true classics. The automaker has now unveiled the German-made electric version of the vehicle ... which is classified as a crossover.
Ford describes its new offering as being "the first in a wave of innovative new electric vehicles from Ford" which will "forge the way for a complete reinvention of the Ford brand in Europe." The electric Explorer definitely fits that bill, as it was engineered and will be manufactured at the automakers's Cologne EV Campus in Germany.
Measuring less than 4.5 m long (14 ft, 9 in), the vehicle seats five people across two rows of seats, and has a combined storage capacity of 450 liters when in five-seat mode.
That storage includes a 17-liter lidded console between the driver and front-seat passenger (which can hold a 15-inch laptop), a private locker behind the SYNC Move2 14.6-inch touchscreen display, and a cargo area in the rear.
The touchscreen, which slides up and down as needed, is part of a digital infotainment package which additionally includes a "sophisticated soundbar" plus wireless compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Passengers can also wirelessly charge two large smartphones in a designated Qi-equipped compartment.
Other interior amenities include heated front seats and steering wheel, a massaging driver’s seat, ambient lighting that can be set to 10 different colors, and a climate control system which allows the driver and front passenger to choose their own temperature. Keyless entry is standard, as is a hands-free power tailgate that can be opened simply by making a kicking motion beneath the rear bumper.
Driver assistance systems include Assisted Lane Change (for the first time in a Ford in Europe) and Clear Exit Assist, the latter of which warns of approaching cyclists before opening the doors in urban environments. The vehicle is equipped with 12 ultrasonic sensors, five cameras and three radar units.
Not much has been provided in the way of performance specs at this point, although Ford has stated that the electric Explorer's battery pack can be charged from 10 to 80% in 25 minutes. More information should be released closer to the vehicle's commercial launch later this year, at which time it will be offered in Select and Premium models. There is no word on pricing, or on availability outside of Europe.
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I'm kinda surprised we haven't gotten an electric Wrangler or Bronco, the performance characteristics of EVs are perfect for small offroaders.