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 currently available in Europe will be replaced by the new Explorer EV.
Ford Explorer EV: VW MEB-based models
The Explorer is the first Ford EV to utilize Volkswagen’s MEB electric vehicle platform, out of the two that have been officially confirmed. 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 cars, the dimensions were purposefully chosen to be halfway between the Volkswagen ID 3 and ID 4. However, Ford was not required to use the platform in this manner.
Ford Explorer EV Powertrain
The new 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 currently for sale and enough for a sub-6.0-second 0-100 kph time. Ford has not yet indicated 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 options 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.
Exterior and Interior
The car’s designers claim that some of its distinguishing elements are its bluff front end with the larger 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 established Ford design rules, but subsequent models won’t adopt the same styling cues and proportions in a “Russian doll” fashion, the designers are careful to emphasise.
Inside, the emphasis on usability extends to the cockpit, where the standard-fitment 15-inch portrait touchscreen – which runs the latest version of Ford’s Sync infotainment platform – is mounted on hinges and can be fixed flat upright or reclined up to 30 degrees. According to Ford, the former allows for a “more active” driving style while also freeing up another 1.7-litre storage tray.
Tilting the screen allows for more relaxed use, with an elbow resting on the centre console. Most key functions are controlled by the screen, which also includes a permanently visible and accessible climate control interface.