The Ford Explorer has been on the market for a couple of years now. However, Ford decided to enrich its lineup with a brand new hybrid version of its 7-seats off-road SUV. The Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid combines Ford’s EcoBoost V6 3.0 petrol engine with an electric motor and a 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery.
Both the engines combined generate up to 457 HP and an impressive 825 Nm (608 lb-ft) of torque. This is the most powerful hybrid vehicle in the Ford range.
The Explorer is equipped with an All-Wheel Drive traction paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The off-road skills are guaranteed by the Terrain Management System, which offers seven different driving modes depending on the environment conditions. The batteries won’t reduce the cargo space by that much: you can carry up to 2,274 l of luggages if you sacrifice the second and the third row of seats, thanks to the Easy Fold seats.
The efficiency is pretty good as well; you should be able to maintain a fuel consumption 3-3,5 l/100km (75-70 mpg) while keeping emissions under control (66 g/km).
Furthermore, the new Ford Explorer features many driving assistant technologies, such as the adaptive Cruise Control, Speed Sign Recognition, Lane-Centering and Reverse Brake Assist. The infotainment system is composed by a 10.1’’ display, a three-zone air conditioning system and a Bang&Olufsen Hi-Fi system with 14 speakers.
To recharge completely the battery of the Ford Explorer – which can travel for about 40-45 kms/25 miles in full-electric mode – at home with a standard electrical outlet, you will need about 6 hours. Enough to recharge completely while you sleep. But if you use the Ford Connected Wallbox, you will only need about 4 hours. You can recharge it while you’re at work.
The car is also designed to tow caravans, boats, horses etc. for a maximum weight of 2,500 kg (5,500 lbs).
If you want to ease the use of this large car in your city, Ford offers a couple of optional packages that will let you use an automatic park assist (both park-in and park-out) system.
“It’s not a question of filling the vehicle with technology for the sheer pleasure of doing it,” said Torsten Wey, Manager, Driver Assistance and Safety Technology, Ford Europe. “The goal is to improve the driving experience, making it less stressful, helping drivers to feel more confident and serene when they are behind the wheel.”
The standard equipment is quite rich and includes 20’’ wheels and a large amount of tech equipment, so you won’t need to pay a single buck for a nice configuration.
The Ford Explorer is, of course, made to be comfortable for all of the seven passengers. With almost 1 meter of headroom for all three rows, and more than 1.5 meters for the shoulders of the occupants of the first and second rows, each passenger can stay inside the Explorer for a long time without suffering from claustrophobia.
The Ford Explorer Hybrid won’t be cheap. The prices in all Europe are around €80,000 which puts in the same class with other premium offerings.