New Ford Explorer for Europe: VW ID.4 siblings with a cooler design
Ford has declassified an electric compact crossover developed on Volkswagen's modular MEB platform, its production will begin this year at Ford's main European plant in Cologne (Germany). The base electric Ford Explorer will cost less than 45,000 euros.
In 2020, Ford and Volkswagen entered into an alliance that saw the light of day on several jointly developed models, including the newly introduced Ford Explorer for Europe. Ford has not given the new product any additional designation like Explorer EV or e-Explorer, and therefore there is some confusion with the hybrid American plug-in hybrid Ford Explorer, which is also sold in Europe. The old-world electric Explorer, in turn, will not be delivered to the United States - for the home market, the “blue oval” is developing another, larger battery crossover.
The European Explorer is noticeably smaller than the American and smaller than the Mustang Mach-E sports crossover. The dimensions of the novelty are not indicated in the Ford press release, but they are kindly reported by the German magazine auto motor und sport : length - 4460 mm, width - 1870 mm, height - 1600 mm, wheelbase - 2770 mm. Salon - strictly five-seater, trunk volume - 470 liters, with the rear seats folded - about 1400 liters, you can open the tailgate with a wave of your foot under the rear bumper. Under the hood there is a small stowage niche - a repair kit with sealant is stored there in case of a wheel puncture.
The design of the European Explorer is quite American and much more harmonious than that of the related Volkswagen ID.4 - a classic two-volume profile and a straight window sill line. Behind the painted grilles on the rear pillars of the body, the side luggage windows are hidden. The Explorer inscription is both on the front and rear. For the operation of electronic driver assistants, 12 ultrasonic sensors, 5 cameras and 3 radars are organically implanted into the body. Wheels - 19-, 20- or 21-inch.
The interior of the new Ford crossover is completely original, but Volkswagen infected it with a sensory disease: there are touch panels on the steering wheel spokes, on the panel to the left of the steering wheel, and even the volume control of the audio system is made in the form of a touch strip. There is no separate microclimate unit, it is "sewn" into the central touch screen with a diagonal of 15 inches, this screen also acts as a hiding place cover with two USB ports, and while driving, the screen can be raised higher for convenience. In front of the central screen there is a vertical slot with wireless charging for two smartphones. The role of the visor above the 5.3-inch instrument screen is performed by a wide sound column. Between the front seats there is a storage niche with a volume of 17 liters (it fits a 15-inch laptop). The basic equipment includes a heated steering wheel and front seats, massagers in the driver's seat and dual-zone climate control.
Ford does not provide almost any technical details about the European Explorer, but here again the German colleagues help us: according to them, the crossover will be offered with three power plants to choose from. Two versions are mono-drive, with a single electric motor on the rear axle, which produces 125 kW (170 hp) or 210 kW (286 hp). The twin-engine all-wheel drive version has a total output of 250 kW (340 hp).
The battery capacity has not yet been officially disclosed, as well as the power reserve on a single charge, but the British magazine Auto Express has this data : the basic version with a 125-kilowatt motor is equipped with 55 kWh batteries (of which 52 kWh are available to the consumer) , versions with a capacity of 210 and 250 kW - with a battery of 82 kWh (of which 77 kWh are available to the consumer). The power reserve on one charge is 350, 540 and 490 km, respectively. Ford says it can charge the battery from 10% to 80% in just 25 minutes, but doesn't specify a maximum charging power, despite the fact that the MEB platform has long been known to be rated for a maximum of 170kW. The permissible mass of the towed trailer is 1200-1400 kg, depending on the modification.
European Ford dealers are already accepting pre-orders for the electric Explorer, with a full launch expected in the fall, with deliveries starting later in the year. The battery crossover will be produced at the Ford plant in Cologne, in the modernization of which the American company has invested 2 billion euros , here in 2024 the assembly of batteries for electric vehicles and the production of the second Ford sports electric crossover for Europe will begin. By 2026, Ford wants to sell more than 600,000 electric vehicles a year in Europe, and by 2030 completely switch to electric trains in this region.