The new Ford Explorer electric SUV/Crossover arrives with American looks and Volkswagen MEB underpinnings.
Ford has historically done very well out of the UK market, selling affordable family cars to generations of UK drivers. But the world is changing and Ford is on a mission to change our perception of what owning a Ford means.
So out are going those best-selling family cars with a proper UK identity, and incoming is a raft of electric cars as well as a new design direction emphasising all things ‘Merican.
We’ve already seen Ford’s first serious EV effort with the Mustang Mach-E, and now we get another – the new electric Ford Explorer.
Looking like a shrunken big ol’ US SUV with a splash of modern EV design cues, the new Ford Explorer is actually a Volkswagen ID.4 under the skin, although tweaked and fettled – so we’re told – to drive like a Ford.
Initial specs for the Explorer, unsurprisingly, are not a million miles away from the ID4., with an entry-level RWD version with 55kWh battery, 168bhp and 218-mile range, a 282bhp version with 82kWh battery and 335-mile range and a dual-motor version with 335bhp and 305-mile range.
Inside, the Explorer goes in a new direction for Ford, with an appealing-looking cabin with what appear to be quality materials, two-tone dashboard, faux leather, 15″ portrait infotainment which can be angled and hides a cubbyhole, a plethora of other storage for bits and bobs (and even laptops and big water bottles), a squared-off steering wheel, and a lump of a speaker atop the dash.
Ford is promising a raft of safety tech (chip shortage permitting) including hands-free lane changes and overtakes (hmm), door opening warnings, five cameras and a trio of radar sensors as well as the usual stuff you now get as standard.
The new Explorer looks a decent offering, but at a starting price likely to be the wrong side of £40k, Ford’s traditional customer shopping in the £20-30k bracket for a Fiesta or Focus is going to be a bit perturbed when the Explorer arrives in Ford’s showrooms at the end of the year and there are no Fiestas ar Focus on sale.
Hopefully, Ford’s brave new direction will see conquest buyers from other marques queueing up for an Explorer.