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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Detroit 2019: 2020 Ford Explorer

      Five days ahead of the official start of the Detroit Auto Show, Ford releases the 2020 Explorer

    The Ford Explorer is the all-time best-selling SUV in the US. So when Ford redesigned it the ground up, they made sure the 2020 Ford Explorer keeps a familiar face.  Now on a new rear-wheel-drive platform that improves interior space and towing capacity, the Explorer broadens the already strong brand Ford has built over the years. 

    Under the hood are one of two turbocharged engines. Offered on the Base, XLT, and Limited is a 2.3 liter Ecoboost 4-cylinder producing 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.  Standard on the Platinum is a 3.0 liter Ecoboost pumping out 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque when fed 93 Octane.  The 2.3 liter comes in either rear-wheel drive or intelligent four-wheel drive with front axle disconnect.  That same four-wheel drive system is standard on the Platinum.  Power is fed to the wheels through the now familiar 10-speed automatic also found in the Ranger and F-150.  3.0 liter equipped models can tow up to 5,600 lbs, a 12% increase over the existing 3.5 Ecoboost. the 2.3 liter powered models gain a massive 2,300 additional pound towing capacity, maxing out at 5,300 lbs when equipped with a class-III hitch.

    Update: Ford says that more information regarding a hybrid and a Ford Explorer ST will be coming on Monday at the North American International Auto Show.

    The interior of the Explorer is also all new and features and available 10.1 in portrait oriented center infotainment screen featuring Ford's Sync3 infotainment system. Wifi service is also available and can support up to 10 devices.  Charging those devices should be no problem with 4 USB ports, including new USB-C ports, available wireless charging pad, three 12-volt power sockets, and a 110-volt household style outlet.

    The overall silhouette of the Explorer doesn't change much and Ford maintained the blacked out  A and D pillars.  However, moving to a rear wheel drive platform allowed Ford to reduce the front overhang and give a more sloping roofline.

    Like on the new Ford Edge, Ford is including its suite of safety technology called Co-Pilot 360.  This suite contains safety items like adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition, pre-collision assist, automatic pedestrian braking, lane keeping system, automatic headlamps with automatic high beams, and more.

    The 2020 Ford Explorer will be built in Ford's Chicago assembly plant and will go on sale this summer. 

    All New Ford Explorer Press Release.pdf

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    Looks good inside and out...familiar yet new.  Interesting to see the portrait mode screen.  Towing numbers seem low.   Side profile similar to current gen, but nicer..current gen looked awkward from some angles, IMO. 

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The effects they used for the intro were amazing

     

     

    I watched part of the reveal, yes that was pretty whack how they created that landscape!

    New Explorer looks like it fits right in fine in the Ford showroom without any ripples.  Looks a bit wagony to me, but that's ok.  Interior is nice and simple.  I don't care for the vertical ipad on the dash, i would be fine with a smaller screen in landscape.  Overall I can't say I would really change anything about this, not often you can say that about new vehicles these days.

    This would be a good choice to be as a base or XLT 4WD with cloth and power seats and not much else.  Well, heated seats and remote start too.  Is the new Blazer priced higher than this Explorer?

    Hybrid and turbo six both appealing to me.

    Edited by regfootball
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    Have to say I am really impressed with this update. I do wonder about the Portrait mode screen that could block vision for shorter people as it seems to sit very high on that dash. I really hope Ford stepped up the quality of the interior materials.

    Wish Ford all the best in sales.

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    Very nice.  Of course I love and prefer a RWD layout.  Dodge Durango.  Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Ford Explorer.  The three American RWD/AWD midsize SUVs.  Explorer XLT in Silver Spruce!

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    36 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

    Very nice.  Of course I love and prefer a RWD layout.  Dodge Durango.  Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Ford Explorer.  The three American RWD/AWD midsize SUVs.  Explorer XLT in Silver Spruce!

    Absolutely...although you can make mine blue!

     

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    Everything looks and sounds great except the glued-in iPad. I think they could have done better integrating it on a brand new design.

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    20 minutes ago, ykX said:

    Everything looks and sounds great except the glued-in iPad. I think they could have done better integrating it on a brand new design.

    Free-standing tablet touch screens seems to be the trend on a lot of new models in the last couple of years.  Personally, I prefer the integrated touchscreens like FCA products usually have. 

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    35 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    Free-standing tablet touch screens seems to be the trend on a lot of new models in the last couple of years.  Personally, I prefer the integrated touchscreens like FCA products usually have. 

    Agree completely.

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    I wish I was able to get up closer, they had me up in the nosebleed section and I wasn't able to look at the vehicles up close.  They do look fantastic rolling around the stage though. I'm impressed enough that I may want to put one in my driveway someday.

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    Now if only GM will take Omega and build a worthy RWD competitor to both this new Explorer and the inevitable Lincoln counterpart.

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    31 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    Now if only GM will take Omega and build a worthy RWD competitor to both this new Explorer and the inevitable Lincoln counterpart.

    "Inevitable" meaning already shown... the simply fantastic new Lincoln Aviator?

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    39 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    Now if only GM will take Omega and build a worthy RWD competitor to both this new Explorer and the inevitable Lincoln counterpart.

    *taps @riviera74 on the shoulder*

     

    I've already renamed the XT6 ....

    Traverscalade

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    So sad for the once mighty GM.  The whole corporation has devolved into a PR disaster.

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    Regarding the video of the reveal.

    Was I the only one that was wanting the Explorer to go into the water? 

    Because, I wanted the Explorer to go in the water and do some splashing around.

     

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    6 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

    Remove the tacky iPad and Ford has a sure fire winner.

    Dude!!!!... welcome back, happy belated new year, hope you had a good holiday!!!!

    How's the Magnum? Is my memory correct?

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    I looks good, though it looks kinda like a good old home that you always walked past while going to school. Yeah over the decade they repainted, maybe changes the porch, but it's the same theme.

    The screen looks like a tablet you can take with you anywhere. Explore America! With a tablet everywhere!

    I wondered why no automaker just bought at wholesale supplier price iPads or like Android tablets and just have a sturdy mount for them in the cabin, and then have an app run the infotainment.... you have a tablet you can take out of the car and use too....🤔

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    This looks like it could be the best vehicle in the segment.  The other guys all have 280ish hp V6’s turning the front wheels while this has a more fuel efficient four making 310 hp going to the rear wheels.  On driving dynamics it should clean up.  Interior looks good, front looks good even though it looks the same as the current model.  Taillights looks odd, I am not a fan of the back end but that is minor.

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      # # #

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    • By Drew Dowdell
      Back in January, during the Detroit Auto Show, we found a sign that Ford was preparing a plug-in hybrid Ford Explorer even though it hadn't been officially announced.   A few days ago, Ford did officially unveil it as a Europe only model.
      The Ford Explorer Plug-in looks to be using the same running gear as the Lincoln Aviator GT, a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 plus electric motor that produces around 444 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque running through its specialized 10-speed transmission. All-wheel drive is standard.  It is able to run for about 25 miles in EV-only mode.
      Under the cargo floor is a 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, slightly smaller than the battery in the now canceled Chevrolet Volt. 
      The plug-in version will only be available on the S-Line and Platinum trim lines. 
      Read more about the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator below.
       
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      The exceptionally spacious, luxurious, comfort-focussed interior offers advanced features including a 10.1‑inch central portrait-mounted touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display. Families can get the most from road trips with versatile load and seating configurations and family-friendly innovations such as easy entrance and exit to the third row seats using just one hand.
      “I am very excited about the iconic Ford Explorer coming to Europe. The all-new Explorer comes with unstoppable design and phenomenal specification. The most versatile SUV we have ever offered for customers in the region is able to carry seven adults in comfort, tow a 2,500 kg trailer with ease, and still deliver 40 km (25 miles) zero-emissions city driving range,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Technologies like our 10.1-inch touchscreen and Reverse Brake Assist debut in Europe to make the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid supremely rewarding and easy to drive.”
      New from the ground-up the all-new sixth generation Ford Explorer was unveiled for customers in the U.S. earlier this year. First introduced in 1991, Explorer kick-started in the U.S. the rapid growth of the SUV segment that has now become immensely successful worldwide.
      Zero-emission driving
      The all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid delivers the energy-efficiency, refinement and performance benefits of an electrified powertrain in many driving scenarios, while maintaining the driving range of a traditional combustion engine. An electric-only urban cycle driving range of 40 km (25 miles) qualifies for tax breaks in some markets.
      Ford’s 350 PS 3.0-litre EcoBoost engine is supported by a 100 PS electric motor. The 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged using a charging port located on the front left-hand side fender between the door and wheel arch. In addition, the battery is automatically replenished on the move using regenerative charging technology that captures kinetic energy normally lost during braking.
      The electric motor enables the Explorer to deliver zero-emission, pure-electric driving capability, and drivers can choose when and how to deploy battery power using EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge modes. When the battery reaches its lowest state-of-charge, the Explorer automatically reverts to EV Auto mode – supplementing petrol engine power with electric motor assistance using recaptured energy for optimised fuel-efficiency. The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid will deliver anticipated 78 g/km CO2 emissions and 3.4 l/100 km fuel efficiency.*
      The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid’s parallel hybrid architecture also enables the full combined power and torque of both petrol engine and electric motor to be deployed simultaneously for enhanced performance on- and off-road, and 2,500 kg towing capability. Ford’s sophisticated 10-speed automatic transmission further optimises fuel-efficiency and refinement.
      “The Explorer is a true SUV – designed for families with a real sense of adventure – so it was essential that the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid featured a powertrain that could haul anything from boats to horseboxes,” said Matthias Tonn, Explorer chief programme engineer for Europe. “We specifically chose a parallel hybrid architecture that lets drivers use all 450 PS and 840 Nm of torque. We’ve even added a more advanced version of our Blind Spot Information System, that covers a 10 metre trailer.”
      Advanced Intelligent All-Wheel Drive technology every 10 milliseconds analyses inputs from dozens of sensors, including vehicle speed and yaw, ambient air temperature, wheel slip and towing status to determine whether additional traction is needed. An all-new single speed transfer case featuring an electro-mechanical torque clutch can seamlessly adjust torque delivery between the front and rear wheels within 100 milliseconds for a more secure footing on the road. Like the 10-speed automatic transmission, the system uses adaptive learning algorithms to continually adjust responses for optimised refinement.
      The Terrain Management System uses selectable Drive Modes to enable customers to tailor their drive experience to road, weather and terrain conditions on demand, including Normal, Sport, Trail, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Eco, and Deep Snow and Sand modes – with each Drive Mode featuring a unique graphical display in the 12.3-inch instrument cluster. Hill Descent Control also helps make light work of off-road terrain.
      Stress-free journeys in town and country
      Sophisticated driver assistance technologies contribute to a refined and intuitive driving experience for Explorer Plug-In Hybrid customers, including features designed to make it easier to drive a large vehicle in urban environments.
      Available Active Park Assist 2 enables fully-automated manoeuvres into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces at the push of a button. The system identifies suitable parking spaces and the driver can control vehicle motion by simply selecting neutral and holding down a single centre console-mounted button. The vehicle then fully controls forward and reverse gear selection, throttle and braking, as well as steering to manoeuvre into spaces before engaging park. The technology can also help drivers exit parallel parking spaces using fully automated Park-out Assist.
      Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them, and can apply the brakes to avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions if drivers do not respond to warnings. In addition, Reverse Brake Assist uses radar and ultrasonic sensors to detect an object in the vehicle’s path, and can apply the brakes automatically to avoid an imminent collision when the vehicle is backing up at a low speed – such as when exiting a driveway. Also helping drivers negotiate awkward scenarios, rear-view and front-view cameras with built-in lens cleaners combine with additional cameras mounted beneath the door mirrors to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle projected on to the central display.
      Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection technology can detect people and cyclists in or near the road ahead, or who may cross the vehicle’s path, and automatically apply the brakes if it detects a potential collision and the driver does not respond to warnings.
      Stop-start traffic, highway driving and long distance road trips are made less stressful using Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring. The technology helps the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid maintain a comfortable driving distance from vehicles ahead and can help keep the vehicle centred in its lane. In addition, the technology can adjust the vehicle speed to within legal limits by monitoring the roadside and overhead gantries for speed signs in addition to using information from the on-board navigation system.
      Stop & Go enables the ACC system to bring the vehicle to a complete halt in stop-start traffic, and automatically pull away if the stopping duration is less than 3 seconds. For stopping durations greater than 3 seconds, the driver can push a steering wheel button or gently apply the accelerator pull away.
      Lane-Centring technology monitors road markings and can apply gentle but discernible torque to the steering system to help drivers stay centred in their lane whenever the ACC system is activated. Designed to support drivers at speeds up to 200 km/h (125 mph), the technology will deliver visual and audible warnings if it detects a lack of steering wheel input from the driver.
      Further technologies to help drivers avoid or mitigate the effects of accidents include Ford’s Lane-Keeping System, and Evasive Steering Assist that provides steering support to help avoid a collision. Post-Impact Braking provides braking after a collision to lessen injury and damage caused by a secondary crash event.
      “It’s not about filling the vehicle with technology for technology’s sake,” said Torsten Wey, manager, Driver Assistance and Safety Technology, Ford of Europe. “It’s about improving the experience, making driving less stressful, and helping the driver to feel more confident behind the wheel.”
      Capable and comfortable
      Standing more than 5 metres long, 2 metres wide and almost 2 metres high, the all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid delivers the luxury of space for up to seven occupants in three rows of seats.
      First and second row passengers benefit from more than 1 metre of headroom and legroom, and more than 1.5 metres of shoulder room. Offering 96 centimetres headroom, more than 1 metre of shoulder room and more than 83 centimetres legroom, the third row of seats can also easily accommodate adults in comfort.
      Standard Easy Fold Seats with Power Raise for the third row and Easy Fold Seats for the second row fold flat to create a cargo area that offers 2,274 litres of load space. The interior offers 123 litres of stowage space throughout the cabin, giving passengers in all three rows no shortage of places to stow personal items – alongside no less than 12 cupholders.
      A rotary gear shift dial for the 10-speed automatic transmission; heated and cooled 10-way power adjustable front seats; heated second row seats; wireless charging pad for compatible devices; heated steering wheel; retractable second row sunshades; and second and third row privacy glass are among the comfort enhancing features delivered as standard. Platinum models also feature a 14-speaker, 1000-watt premium B&O Sound System as standard, with a 12-speaker, 800-watt premium B&O Sound System for ST-Line variants.
      FordPass Connect embedded modem technology turns the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid into a mobile WiFi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. In addition to helping drivers plan faster, less stressful journeys with Live Traffic updates for the navigation system and enabling occupants to stream entertainment on the move, FordPass Connect allows a range of convenient features via the FordPass mobile app, including:
      Vehicle Locator, helping owners find their SUV in sprawling shopping mall car parks Vehicle Status, for checking fuel levels, alarm status, oil life and more Door Lock Unlock, to remotely allow access to your vehicle Remote Start** The 10.1-inch portrait mounted touchscreen – standard for the Platinum variant – enables navigation maps to fill the entire screen for easy viewing, or split the space with audio information. The screen uses capacitive glass comparable to that used in smartphones and tablets, providing a quicker, more responsive interaction with the SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, which also allows drivers to control audio, navigation and climate functions plus connected smartphones using simple voice commands.
      The touch screen shares information with the available 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, configured to support drivers in getting the most from their Explorer Plug-In Hybrid powertrain with dedicated screens including power flow, charging and energy-efficiency coaching. An 8‑inch central touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster are standard for the ST-Line variant.
      Stylish, modern design
      A number of consistent design qualities have helped define Explorer during 29 years of success in the U.S., and the design team strived to hold on to these important pieces of heritage when designing the all-new generation. Longtime traits include Explorer’s blacked-out front and rear window pillars. A sporty, stylish appearance is achieved using a sloping roofline and short front overhang.
      The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid comes standard with bold 20-inch alloy wheels with black machined finish for ST-Line models and tarnished dark machined finish for Platinum models.
      ST-Line models feature a gloss black finish one-piece grille, and high gloss black for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also features red accent stitching for seats, floor mats and sporty flat-bottom steering wheel, as well as carbon fibre-effect appliques for the instrument panel.
      Platinum models feature a satin finish one-piece grille, and satin finish for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior also adds real wood appliques for the instrument panel.
      “Massive charisma and unprecedented road presence come as standard with our all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid,” Matthias Tonn said. “With distinctive ST-Line and Platinum variants available, customers can find the right option to suit their personality.”
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