The new generation of Ford’s full-size Explorer SUV will be crossing the Atlantic later this year, as it will go on sale across Europe exclusively as a plug-in hybrid.
Based on the sixth-gen Explorer, it was unveiled at the company’s event in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and is powered by a 350 PS (345 hp / 257 kW) 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 petrol engine and a 100 PS (99 hp / 74 kW) electric motor. It has a combined output of 450 PS (444 hp / 331 kW) and 840 Nm (620 lb-ft) of torque, and comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Providing the required juice for the claimed 40 km (25 miles) of city driving is a 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. It can be charged on the move through regenerative braking technology or using the port located on the left front fender. In this mode, Ford estimates the new Explorer PHEV has a 3.4 lt/100 km (83.1 mpg UK / 69.2 mpg US) fuel efficiency and 78 g/km of carbon dioxide emissions. It also has a 2,500 kg (5,512 lbs) towing capability.
The SUV features the brand’s Advanced Intelligent All-Wheel Drive technology and a new single-speed transfer case, with an electro-mechanical torque clutch that adjusts the torque delivery between the two axles as needed. Users can choose between several driving modes such as the Normal, Sport, Trail, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Eco, Deep Snow and Sand.
Hill Descent Control is also present, alongside an available array of safety assist features such as Active Park Assist and Park-out Assist, Blind Spot Information with Cross Traffic Alert, Reverse Brake Assist, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control and others.
The 2020 Explorer PHEV will be offered in two distinctive, left-hand drive variants called the ST-Line and Platinum.
At more than 5 meters (197 in) long, 2 meters (79 in) wide and almost 2 meters (79 in) tall, the Explorer PHEV has space for up to seven adult occupants inside. With the two rear rows folded down, it offers 2,274 liters (80.3 cu-ft) of boot space, in addition to the 123 liters (4.3 cu-ft) of stowage space throughout the cabin.
The 10.1-inch infotainment system is standard in the Platinum. The touchscreen display shares information with the new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster to give drivers the required information, including the charging, energy-efficiency coaching and power flow. The lesser ST-Line uses an 8-inch infotainment and identical digital gauges.
The ST-Line differentiates itself by the glossy black trim on the grille, roof rails, tailgate applique and door cladding, as well as the black machined finished 20-inch wheels. The interior features a sportier flat-bottom steering wheel, carbon fiber-like trim and red stitching. The heated and cooled 10-way power-adjustable front seats, heated second-row, heated steering wheel, wireless charging pad, 800-watt B&O sound system and others are all standard.
The Platinum, on the other hand, comes with satin finish for the grille, roof rails, tailgate applique and door cladding, and real wood trim inside. It adds a 1,000-watt B&O sound system and other items.
Pricing is expected to be announced closer to its launch date.