beijing, China — Ford’s iconic Explorer – the vehicle that redefined a segment – is coming to China for the first time at 2012 Auto China, raising consumer expectations of SUV fuel efficiency, safety, technology, capability and quality.
Equipped with twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) technology, the Explorer’s versatile 3.5-litre V6 engine serves up abundant power that complements the SUV’s formidable presence while using impressively less fuel.
To be imported from the U.S., the Ford Explorer is one of the 15 global vehicles that Ford has promised to bring to China by mid-decade. With its potent combination of brute power and the finesse of a luxury suite on wheels, the Explorer will undoubtedly expand Ford’s SUV offerings in China.
“The Ford Explorer delivers exactly what today’s SUV buyers are looking for, combining the capability, convenience, performance and technologies they want with the fuel economy these times require,” said Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China. “Explorer adds refinement to redefine what a modern SUV can be.”
Quality everywhere you look
On top of its clean, modern exterior design, the Ford Explorer aims to please SUV shoppers with a thoughtful, flexible interior package that abounds with clever storage solutions and generous head and shoulder room, three rows of flexible seating, and room for all the gear families invariably take along on their adventures.
Ford Explorer’s design – inside and out – is executed with world-class craftsmanship. Tight margin gaps are indications of the painstaking attention to detail applied across the spectrum, from design through engineering and manufacturing.
Quietness also signals quality to customers, and the Explorer delivers superior overall quietness and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) control.
The Explorer redefines customer expectations for driving dynamics and comfort – on any road, anytime, anywhere – while stretching the breadth of SUV capability with an intelligent 4WD system.
The key to Explorer 4WD capability is Ford’s new Terrain Management System. Replacing the traditional SUV transfer case configuration, the new system takes the guesswork out of maximizing 4WD. Rather than having four-high, four-low and auto settings, the Explorer’s Terrain Management System is selectable by situation. The four settings – available by shift-on-the-fly – include normal, mud, sand and snow.
Each setting provides unique engine behaviour, throttle tip-in, transmission shift scheduling and calibrations for traction and stability control systems. The Terrain Management System also includes Hill Descent Control™, which provides engine braking to increase driver confidence and control when descending a steep incline.
More power at less fuel
Driven by the commitment to give customers unsurpassed fuel efficiency, Ford has made special efforts to increase the Explorer’s fuel economy while ensuring the powertrain has the grunt to get the job done.
Delivering 216 kW of power and 345 Nm of torque, the Explorer’s 3.5-litre V6 engine uses Ti-VCT technology that allows individually optimized camshaft timing of valve opening and closing events to improve fuel efficiency while delivering increased power and reducing part-throttle emissions.
Mated to Ford’s six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, this powerful, flexible and efficient engine delivers superior fuel economy.
To further enhance fuel efficiency, Ford engineers fitted out the Explorer with an electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system to eliminate power drag and a variable-displacement air-conditioning compressor to reduce drag. They also endowed the SUV with slippery aerodynamic details including a harmonised front air dam and rear liftgate spoiler.
Advanced safety innovations
The Ford Explorer offers a stiff unibody structure and a class-leading suite of active and passive safety features and technologies, plus another Ford safety innovation – the world’s first second-row inflatable rear belts.
Rear seat passengers – often children or mature passengers – can be more vulnerable to head, chest and neck injuries. Ford’s unique inflatable rear belts spread impact forces across more than five times the area of conventional seat belts, reducing pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion.
From the boron front bumper beam through high-strength steel side-impact tubes, the Explorer’s rigid body structure is designed to provide robust protection for occupants. In the instance of a crash, these elements come together to protect Explorer driver and passengers inside a safety cage of strength.
The array of airbags includes first-row airbags, side seat airbags and side curtain airbags. In the event of an accident, the SOS Post-Crash Alert System™ flashes signal lights and sounds the horn. To help the driver be firmly in control of the Explorer at all times, the SUV also comes with the Electronic Stability Program which comes with a Curve Control functionality to provide optimised braking by each individual wheel.
Loaded with features, convenience and connectivity
From technologies that make driving easier to innovations that make the in-car experience more intuitive, the Ford Explorer just makes life simpler and better for the driver and the passengers. Key features include:
· SYNC® with MyFord Touch®: MyFord Touch combines the connectivity of SYNC with more than 10,000 first-level voice commands, a full-colour 8-inch touch screen in the centre stack, and two 4.2-inch LCD screens in the instrument cluster. All these elements create an interactive, rich interface that makes vehicle functions, settings and information easily accessible to the driver through voice, by using steering wheel controls or with a simple tap of the centre stack touch screen.
- Active Park Assist: The Explorer’s EPAS-enabled Active Park Assist technology gives drivers peace of mind when parallel parking. Once activated, the system scans for a suitable spot, calculates the trajectory and steers the vehicle. The driver continues to control brake and throttle inputs, while the system steers the vehicle throughout the parking manoeuvre.
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®): This sensor-based system displays an orange alert in the side mirror when a vehicle is detected entering a blind spot. Cross-traffic alert gives a warning if traffic is detected approaching from the sides, such as when the Explorer is reversing out of a parking space.
- Adaptive Cruise Control: This feature helps the Explorer maintain a safe distance to other vehicles. If the system detects that the SUV is moving too close to the vehicle in front, it decelerates automatically to maintain the pre-set distance. Once the road is clear again, it will then accelerate back to the chosen cruising speed. It has an additional Collision Mitigation by Brakingfunction that automatically supplies additional brake pressure if a potential collision is detected.
Additionally, the Ford Explorer has a long list of convenience features such as rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone electronic air-conditioning, and automatic headlamps that set it a cut above the rest.
“The Ford Explorer simply does everything well,” said Schoch. “Certain to change market perceptions about SUV style, fuel efficiency, technology and user-friendliness, the Explorer will give today’s SUV buyers the attributes they really want and value.”