The all-new Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid – featuring electric driving, first-class comfort and true tough terrain capability – is now being delivered to customers across Europe, following the seven-seater SUV going on sale late last year.
The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid combines Ford’s powerful 3.0-litre EcoBoost V6 petrol engine with an electric motor, generator and 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery that can be charged from an external power source and via regenerative charging on the move – producing a combined 457 PS and 825 Nm of torque, making the Explorer Ford’s most-powerful hybrid vehicle.
Equipped with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission, Intelligent All-Wheel Drive and Terrain Management System with seven Drive Modes, the advanced powertrain delivers the ability to carry seven passengers in refined comfort, tow up to 2,500 kg, and enables 48 km NEDC (42 km WLTP) electric driving range, fuel efficiency from 2.9 l/100 km NEDC (from 3.1 l/100 km WLTP) and CO2 emissions from 66 g/km NEDC (71 g/km WLTP).
A comprehensive suite of driver assistance technologies and premium convenience features mean the all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid delivers a confidence-inspiring and comfortable experience for all occupants, whatever the driving scenario.
Technologies including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane Centring, and new Reverse Brake Assist help make the driving experience more intuitive and less stressful. Both ST-Line and Platinum versions feature a 14-speaker B&O Sound System and 10.1‑inch capacitive touchscreen, plus Tri-Zone Electronic Temperature Control and FordPass Connect modem5 for a relaxing and connected cabin environment.
“The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid is the definition of versatility,” said Matthias Tonn, Explorer chief programme engineer for Europe. “We’ve never before offered a vehicle that can tackle tough terrain, tow a boat with ease and drive in the city using electric power – and all in luxurious comfort.”
The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid is one of 18 new electrified vehicles Ford is introducing for customers in Europe before the end of 2021.
The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid powertrain offers the range and performance of a modern, sophisticated petrol engine alongside the efficiency and refinement of an electric vehicle.
The electric motor enables the SUV to deliver 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 powertrain automatically reverts to EV Auto mode – supplementing petrol engine power with electric motor assistance using recaptured energy for optimised fuel-efficiency.
To fully charge the battery from an external 230-volt electricity supply takes less than 5 hours 50 minutes, and from the optional wall-mounted Ford Connected Wallbox or a compatible FordPass Charging Network public charging station takes less than 4 hours 20 minutes.
A 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 – combining with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive technology to enable comfortable towing of horseboxes, boats or large trailers weighing up to 2,500 kg.
Intelligent All-Wheel Drive optimises traction by every 10 milliseconds analysing inputs from dozens of sensors, including vehicle speed and yaw, ambient air temperature, wheel slip and towing status. 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, which further optimises fuel-efficiency and refinement, the Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system uses adaptive learning algorithms to continually adjust responses for performance and refinement.
The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid’s Terrain Management System uses selectable Drive Modes to enable customers to tailor their drive experience to road, weather and terrain conditions on demand. Available modes include Normal, Sport, Trail, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Eco, and Deep Snow and Sand – 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.
Technology to take the strain
Standard sophisticated driver assistance technologies are designed to make it easier to drive a large vehicle whether in urban environments or on the highway.
Active Park Assist 2 enables fully-automated manoeuvres into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces at the push of a button. 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. In addition, introduced for the first time in Europe, Reverse Brake Assist technology uses radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors to detect an object in the vehicle’s path measuring more than 28 cm tall and 7.5 cm wide, and can apply the brakes automatically to avoid an imminent collision when the vehicle is reversing at speeds between 1.5 km/h and 12 km/h. A 360-Degree Camera is also standard.
Pre-Collision Assist with Active Braking 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, or at the push of a button for stopping durations greater than 3 seconds.
“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.”
Further technologies to help drivers avoid or mitigate the effects of accidents include Ford’s Lane-Keeping System; one of several features that contribute to the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid’s maximum 5-star safety rating by Euro NCAP independent crash test authority.
Euro NCAP awarded high scores for both adult and child occupant protection. The vehicle’s passenger safety cell includes ultra-high-strength martensitic steel tubes in the windscreen pillars and roofline created using an automotive industry-first manufacturing process.
Space for you and your life
The Explorer makes the most of its commanding presence by offering comfortable and spacious seating for up to seven adults. With close to 1 metre of headroom for all three rows and more than 1.5 metres of shoulder and hip room for first and second row occupants, every passenger can enjoy the luxury of the Explorer’s cabin. Practical features include five 12-volt power points, twin USB ports for the first and second rows, 12 cupholders and Tri-Zone Climate Control.
The seven-seat arrangement also means maximum flexibility, with up to 2,274 litres of load space in two-seat mode. Easy Fold Seats with Power Raise for the third row takes the strain out of converting the space to suit any combination of passengers and luggage, while there are 123 litres of stowage space within the cabin itself.
The high standard specification includes heated and cooled 10-way power adjustable front seats with massage function; heated second row seats; a wireless charging pad for compatible devices; heated steering wheel; retractable second row sunshades; second and third row privacy glass and a 14-speaker, 980-watt premium B&O Sound System.
FordPass Connect modem technology also features as standard, enabling customers to remotely control a selection of vehicle features from any location with a mobile data signal using the FordPass mobile app, including Door Lock Unlock, Remote Start, Vehicle Locator, and Vehicle Status for checking fuel levels, alarm status, tyre pressures, oil life and more.
The FordPass app also delivers new features to make the electrified vehicle ownership experience even more rewarding for Explorer customers, including the ability to monitor battery charge levels, charging station finder, trip and charge logs, and features designed to help drivers to get the most out of their charging by pre-setting charge times for their vehicle to best utilise electricity tariffs, set their desired charge levels and be notified of any charge levels reached.
The 10.1-inch portrait mounted central touchscreen – standard on both Platinum and ST-Line variants – 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.
The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid Platinum and ST-Line variants deliver distinctive takes on the SUV’s assertive exterior and contemporary interior design.
Standard 20-inch alloy wheels feature a black machined finish for ST-Line models and tarnished dark machined finish for Platinum models.
ST-Line models also feature a gloss black finish one-piece grille, and high gloss black for the roof rails tailgate applique and door claddings. The interior 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 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.”