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Ford Explorer does lap of the planet, celebrates by going on sale

New Ford Explorer becomes first EV to circumnavigate the globe, now yours for £46k

Published: 26 Mar 2024

Someone in Ford’s marketing department didn’t hold back with the ‘Explorer’ PR, did they? And lo the new, very big, very electric SUV has become the first EV to do an entire lap of the world.

Piloted by adventurer Lexie Alford - who at 21 became the youngest person to visit every country on earth, no less - a pre-prod version of the Explorer has covered more than 30,000km across six continents, crossing the finish line today in Nice.

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The French city was chosen as it's where Aloha Wanderwell began her journey when she became the first woman to drive around the planet between 1922 and 1927, doing so in a Model T.

“This journey came with a unique set of challenges,” said Alford, who at times had to make do with topping up at 2.2kW to make it through regions like the Atacama desert, which unsurprisingly aren’t awash with rapid chargers just yet.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to be trusted by Ford to circumnavigate the globe in the electric Explorer, which has been like home for the last six months,” added Alford. “I had the goal of pushing the limits of what’s possible in an EV and I’m proud to say I have!”

Ford has wasted no time in putting the new Explorer straight on sale: priced from £45,875 in the UK, rear- and all-wheel-drive versions of the SUV with an extended-range battery are available to order now, with a single-motor, standard-range version coming at a later date. Ford expects that one to cost a smidge under £40k.

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For now though, the RWD and AWD versions get a 77 or 79kWh battery respectively, with the former capable of 374 miles of range (on WLTP-grade paper) and the latter 329. Naturally the dual motor car has the most poke with 335bhp trumping the single motor’s 282bhp, and thus it has enough shove to outpace a Focus ST: 0-62mph takes 5.3 seconds, says Ford. Crumbs.

Meanwhile both editions harness 402lb ft of torque, and the AWD Explorer can tow up to 1,200kg.

It’s also quicker to charge, with a 10-80 per cent zap-and-dash taking some 26 minutes peaking at 185kW; the RWD model tops out at 135kW, FYI.

Inside a heated steering wheel and front seats are standard, as is a massaging driver’s seat (handy if you’re circumnavigating the globe, no doubt), sports seats, 14.6-inch central touchscreen and wireless phone charging. You can count on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay too, of course.

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Upgrade to Premium spec and you’ll add a 10-speaker B&O sound system, ambient lighting and dynamic matrix LEDs, among other things. Optional extras include a panoramic roof, a hands-free tailgate, head-up display, 360-degree camera and more.

Finally, the boot measures 450 litres and is supplemented by a 17-litre MegaConsole and what Ford calls My Private Locker. Yes, this is just a fancy name for the tray behind the (tilting) screen.

“Ford wants to bring passion and emotion to electric vehicles in Europe,” said CEO Jim Farley. “There are enough boring cars and SUVs out there. The new Explorer represents Ford’s unique character, which is stamped on every car in this fantastic convoy.

“We’re proud to launch this new all-electric passenger car designed specifically for Europe’s roads and customers, and obviously capable of taking you anywhere in the world.”

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