But you wouldn't tell by looking at it.
We've known for a while now that Ford and Volkswagen were partnering to build a new electric SUV, and now Ford of Europe has revealed what that car will be; say a familiar hello to the Ford Explorer.
The first all-electric Explorer rides on VW's MEB electric architecture, not the Global Electrified 1 (GE1) Ford platform used by the Mustang Mach-E. It may have German underpinnings, but that's not immediately apparent when looking at the new Explorer.
Up front, a new shield design replaces the traditional grille. We like how the word "Explorer" is subtly incorporated into the upper fascia, and the overall design doesn't feel like too much of a departure from the gas-powered model. The side profile has some cool elements, including unique aero wheels (19 to 21 inches) and an attractive C-Pillar design.
At the rear, the taillights are reminiscent of the current Explorer, but there are no exhaust pipes.
Ford didn't share any battery or performance specifications but says the electric Explorer will be available in rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations.
This will be the first electric Ford built at the company's Ford Cologne EV Center in Germany, where the Fiesta ST was produced before its demise. Ford only plans to sell it in Europe, so American customers will only have access to the gas-powered Explorer. It may be called an Explorer, but it is over 20 inches shorter than the US-spec ICE model. It follows the now-familiar Ford pattern of using an existing name for a new EV, and it was most likely designed smaller to make it more appealing to European customers. It's one of seven new EVs the brand will launch globally before 2024.
"Explorer is a trailblazer for a new breed of exciting Ford electric vehicles. Steeped in our American roots but built in Cologne for our customers in Europe, it is road trip-ready for the big adventures and fully loaded with everything our customers will need for their daily drives," said Martin Sander, general manager Ford Model e, Europe.
Despite using a VW platform, the interior is all Ford regarding technology and switchgear (though that passthrough in the trunk is pure VW).
A 15-inch Sync 4 infotainment system is mounted on the dashboard, which hides a My Private Locker storage area. The electric Explorer offers seating for five passengers with 16.6 cubic feet of storage in the trunk. Though Ford didn't get into the details about the battery size or the available charging options, we know the Explorer can go from 10 to 80 percent charge in just 25 minutes using fast charging. The press images suggest that home charging solutions will also be offered.
Pricing starts at under €45,000 ($48,500), with orders opening later this year.
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