Ford is launching a large 7-seater SUV in France, with a 457 hp rechargeable hybrid engine. The price seems high but is well placed compared to equivalent models.

At Ford, 2020 is the year of the SUV. Three new products will arrive in dealerships: the "small" Puma, the third-generation Kuga compact and the big Explorer. It is the first time that this model, which has been very successful in the United States since the early 1990s, has been offered in Europe.

2020 Ford Explorer will be available with a single plug-in hybrid engine. The mechanics combine a petrol V6 of 357 hp and an electric block of 100 hp, for a maximum cumulative power of 457 hp. The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 13.6 kWh. Ford announces the electric range with the WLTP standard of 42 km.

The range will be limited to two models. The ST Line already has a very complete equipment: LED headlights and lights, 20-inch rims, lane-keeping aid, automatic high beam, adaptive cruise control, 360 ° vision, heated breeze, panoramic sunroof, digital instrumentation, multimedia system on 10.1-inch touch screen, hands-free access, massaging and heated front seats, heated rear seat…

The price of the ST Line is € 77,000. The Ford Explorer Platinum is € 79,000. Seems expensive? Look at these prices: a 404 hp Range Rover Sport plug-in hybrid starts at € 91,700, the 394 hp BMW X5 45e starts at € 82,900 but with less equipment and the 456 hp Audi Q7 60 TFSI e starts at € 94,400.

“I am very excited about the iconic Ford Explorer coming to Europe. The all-new Explorer comes with unstoppable design and phenomenal specification. The most versatile SUV we have ever offered for customers in the region is able to carry seven adults in comfort, tow a 2,500 kg trailer with ease, and still deliver 40 km (25 miles) zero-emissions city driving range,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Technologies like our 10.1-inch touchscreen and Reverse Brake Assist debut in Europe to make the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid supremely rewarding and easy to drive.”

“The Explorer is a true SUV – designed for families with a real sense of adventure – so it was essential that the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid featured a powertrain that could haul anything from boats to horseboxes,” said Matthias Tonn, Explorer chief programme engineer for Europe. “We specifically chose a parallel hybrid architecture that lets drivers use all 450 PS and 840 Nm of torque. We’ve even added a more advanced version of our Blind Spot Information System, that covers a 10 metre trailer.”

“It’s not about filling the vehicle with technology for technology’s sake,” said Torsten Wey, manager, Driver Assistance and Safety Technology, Ford of Europe. “It’s about improving the experience, making driving less stressful, and helping the driver to feel more confident behind the wheel.”

Update 2023: See here the new Ford Explorer electric SUV!

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