ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS EXPLORES A NEW EV FROM FORD
Ford has launched a bold new all-electric vehicle with German engineering and decided American style. It is the first in a wave of innovative new electric vehicles from Ford and forges the way for a complete reinvention of the brand in Europe.
The Explorer is a mid-size crossover with seating for five across two rows and it comes as no surprise to learn that the new vehicle offers an outstanding digital experience, helping drivers and passengers stay connected and comfortable on the move. Features include a SYNC Move supersized movable touch screen and connected infotainment system with audio tailored to the interior, wireless app integration and advanced driver assistance technology. The SYNC Move infotainment system not only keeps occupants connected but also features a movable 14.6 inch touch screen that can smoothly slide up and down to suit the driver and conceals a private locker storage space for valuables. A compartment for two large smartphones comes with wireless device charger as standard, and SYNC Move provides wireless compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This newcomer from Ford should find favour with families with combined storage of 450 litres in five-seat mode and the 17 litre console between driver and front-seat passenger can hold a 15 inch laptop, combining with a private locker behind the touch screen and hands-free accessible boot space.
The exterior styling is matched by a modern interior with premium materials and features such as sculpted sporty seats and a sophisticated sound bar more typical of revolutionary concept cars than family vehicles. All this comes together with the ability to fast charge from 10 to 80 per cent in just 25 minutes and by 2024 customers will have access to more than 500,000 charging points in 25 countries across Europe. Charging can be quick and easy, whether en route or at home and you can help find the most convenient pit stops on the road. Charging at home can be scheduled to use cheaper electricity and energy tariffs, where available, and to deliver a full battery and pre-warmed cabin for early starts.
Ford sees the new Explorer as a trailblazer for a new breed of exciting electric vehicles. There are a raft of features to ensure driver and passengers are as refreshed and ready to go when they have reached their destination as when they set out. Comfort-boosting standard specification includes heated front seats and steering wheel, a massaging driver’s seat and climate control that allows driver and front passenger to choose their own temperature. Even returning to the crossover is made simple with standard keyless entry and hands-free power tailgate that means owners can access the boot when their arms are filled using a simple kicking motion beneath the rear bumper. There are a number of advanced driver assistance systems including 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 centres.
In order to demonstrate the capabilities of their new vehicle Ford has teamed up with adventure influencer Lexie Alfor, who is known to many as Lexie Limitless and the youngest woman in history to visit every country in the world for a global expedition in Explorer. Inspired by the Ford-sponsored exploits of explorer Aloha Wanderwell 100 years ago, the round-the-world trip begins later this year. Finally the new Explorer will be offered in two highly specified versions and the new all-electric vehicle can be ordered from later this year. Very much steeped in the company’s American roots but built in Cologne for customers in Europe.