Ford Explorer Goes Platinum; New Model Gives Iconic SUV Ultimate Combination of Comfort and Performance

  •  Featuring amenities such as an upscale leather-wrapped interior, industry-exclusive 500-watt Sony® Audio System and 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine, 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum series adds a new chapter to the iconic sport utility’s legacy
  •  Platinum edition combines the performance of the popular Explorer Sport with new levels of comfort and craftsmanship inside, offering customers the most well-appointed Ford SUV yet
  • Explorer Platinum will arrive in Ford showrooms in September, aiming to build on the nameplate’s success and strengthen its position as the best-selling SUV for the last 25 years in the United States

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 28, 2015 – The vehicle that gave us room to roam reminds us that there is always room to grow and #ExploreMore.

Ford Explorer – the best-selling SUV in the United States for 25 years – reaches new heights with the Platinum edition, a well-appointed combination of the performance-minded Explorer Sport and comfort-designed Limited trim level. Ford Explorer Platinum will hit showrooms in September.

“For 25 years, Explorer has shaped what people expect from an SUV,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development. “With this new Explorer Platinum, we’re raising expectations.”

The new Explorer Platinum further elevates the three-row SUV in look and feel, with standard upgrades both inside and out. New multi-adjustable front seats wrapped in Nirvana leather with micro-perforation, industry-first 500-watt premium Sony® Audio System, smart driver-assist technologies and powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine advance Explorer in ways customers can see and feel.

“Platinum is the ultimate expression of refinement,” said Mike Arbaugh, Ford Explorer chief designer. “This is the most upscale, high-quality interior we’ve ever offered on a Ford vehicle in North America.”

Unbelievable comfort in an ‘unstoppable’ SUV
The interior employs the finest materials, including real aluminum and real ash wood multi-piece appliqués on door panels and instrument panel. A wood and leather-wrapped heated steering wheel showcases unique stitching that matches the stitching used throughout the interior.

Interior color options include Soft Ceramic or a new Ebony with Anthracite headliner combination. Nirvana leather wraps the instrument panel, console armrests, quilted door bolsters and upper door trim. The instrument cluster features a large 10-inch digital display supported with analog displays – a first for a Ford-brand vehicle.

For the first time in a Ford production vehicle, a brushed-aluminum Ford oval is centered on the steering wheel. Even the A-pillars are fabric-wrapped; every detail has been considered for the Platinum customer.

The new Explorer Platinum is the first Ford vehicle to get all-new 500-watt Sony Audio with Live Acousticsand Clear Phase technology. Live Acoustics re-creates the sound dynamics of some of the world’s greatest concert halls for more enveloping, more realistic sound. Clear Phase technology eliminates sound dispersion throughout the vehicle, so the music passengers hear is precisely pinpointed – just as the artist intended.

Explorer Platinum also gets standard smart technology features including enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping system and rain-sensing wipers. Along with popular parallel park assist, enhanced active park assist can now help drivers back the vehicle into a perpendicular spot.

For the exterior, signature lighting surrounds LED headlamps – giving the vehicle a continuous glow. Other features include a standard dual-panel moonroof, premium silver-painted front and rear skid plate elements, and 20-inch wheels with bright machined face and tarnished dark painted pockets.

“The Explorer name has long been synonymous with off-road capability,” said Craig Patterson, Ford utilities marketing manager. “Explorer Platinum continues that reputation and adds so much more.”

Building on the Explorer legacy
Since the 2016 Ford Explorer reached showrooms earlier this year, robust sales indicate the nameplate remains one of the strongest in the SUV segment. Through June 2015, sales of Explorer base, XLT, Limited and Sport models were at 20,377 units – a 30 percent year-over-year increase.

Platinum arrives hoping to build upon those numbers and continue Explorer’s 25-year run as America’s best-selling SUV. Introduced in 1990 as a 1991 model, Explorer featured generous interior space customers were looking for, and was engineered specifically for people seeking adventure for their families and a way to express their individuality.

Ford Explorer is sold in markets across the globe – built in North America at Chicago Assembly Plant, as well as in Venezuela and Russia. Ford exported more than 56,000 Explorers from the United States last year, and plans to export even more in 2015.

“Customers love Explorer, and they expect it to continue to lead the way in innovation, performance and fun,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for the new Explorer. “That’s the challenge we embraced when we set out to build the best SUV in the world.”

More innovation equals great performance, more fun
For the 2016 model year, Explorer customers enjoy driver-assist innovations that have long made the vehicle an off-road favorite. The 2016 Explorer offers more drive-enhancing smart technology than previous models, including:

  • Front and rear cameras with washers: Both have wide-angle lenses and come equipped with a washer – a class-exclusive, segment-first feature
  • Enhanced active park assist with perpendicular park assist, park-out assist and semi-automatic parallel parking: The system uses ultrasonic sensors and electric power-assisted steering to help drivers with parallel parking and perpendicular parking maneuvers. Enhanced active park assist includes park-out assist to help a driver pull out of parallel parking spots. The system controls the steering wheel, while the driver operates the accelerator and brake pedals, and shifts the vehicle into gear
  • Smart-charging USB ports: Located in the front and rear of the vehicle are USB ports able to charge smart devices up to two times faster than conventional ports
  • Hands-free liftgate: A customer need only kick his or her foot below the center of the rear bumper to open or close the liftgate
  • Industry-exclusive 500-watt Sony Audio System
  • Active Grille Shutters: Upper and lower fascia openings close at highway speeds to reduce drag. At low speeds, the shutters open to deliver airflow to cool the powertrain
  • Air curtains: Standard air curtains create a high-pressure region of air that impacts the outer surface of the wheels and tires. The result is airflow held close to the vehicle body, minimizing drag

Delivering EcoBoost performance
Explorer Platinum and Explorer Sport are equipped with a standard 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 that produces 365 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 350 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,500 rpm. All Explorer engines are mated with a six-speed SelectShift® Automatic transmission.

Base, XLT and Limited models are equipped with a standard 3.5-liter V6, and drivers can upgrade to the available 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that produces 280 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 310 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm.

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost has a notable improvement in horsepower and torque over the outgoing 2.0-liter. The front-wheel-drive Explorer retains its EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 28 mpg on the highway, which is best-in-class. For the first time, customers choosing a four-cylinder Explorer can also opt for four-wheel drive and trailer towing capability.

“The new Explorer isn’t giving up its reputation as a leader in highway fuel efficiency, which is especially key for customers who want a vehicle that is also a capable trail warrior,” said Groeneveld.

Intelligent four-wheel drive: Ready for any adventure
Explorer Platinum comes standard with the intelligent four-wheel-drive with Terrain Management Systemthat reassesses conditions about 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – providing precise handling and traction.

Intelligent four-wheel drive continuously monitors wheel speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle to determine vehicle conditions and driver intent. The system then determines the optimal amount of front and rear torque for the given conditions to prevent slip from even occurring, which helps keep the vehicle sure-footed on virtually any terrain. In sand, grass or gravel mode, the antilock braking system changes its pulse rate, which allows material to build up in front of the wheels – acting as a doorstop of sorts to help slow momentum.

To help maintain efficiency, in most steady-state cruising conditions the new Explorer equipped with intelligent four-wheel drive seamlessly and quickly transfers torque between the front and rear wheels.

A newly refined, intelligent four-wheel-drive gauge display shows power being distributed to front and rear wheels under all conditions – from heavy four-wheel-drive usage to when the system is not transmitting power at all.

For added convenience, the Terrain Management System automatically defaults to normal mode whenever the vehicle is started to ensure it’s ready for normal driving conditions.

Using a dial located on the center console, the customer can shift on the fly, selecting from four terrain management modes – normal, snow, sand or mud – to set how the engine, transmission, brakes and four-wheel-drive system will operate. A fifth setting helps navigate steep terrain.

Ford and Sony Introduce Premium Home Audio Technology on 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum

  • Ford Explorer Platinum series introduces an industry-first audio experience with a 500-watt Sony® Audio System
  • System includes two industry-first features previously offered only in high-end home audio systems – Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technologies
  • Algorithm in Explorer Platinum audio system tuned to authentically reproduce the sound quality and signature ambience of concert halls in Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 28, 2015 – Because every great adventure is made perfect by the ideal soundtrack, the new 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum edition features an exclusive Sony® Audio System with two industry-first technologies – Live Acoustics and Clear Phase.

As a standard feature on Platinum edition Ford Explorer, the audio system represents the first time high-end Sony home audio technology has been used in a vehicle. Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technologies bring realistic concert-quality sound to the new Explorer Platinum.

“Explorer is about pushing boundaries, and authentic high-end home theater sound isn’t just for the living room anymore,” said Craig Patterson, Ford utilities marketing manager. “The new Platinum series gives customers everything – including a sound system that will knock your socks off.”

To develop the proprietary Live Acoustics algorithm, Sony engineers, led by Goro Shiraishi, also a concertmaster with the Sony Philharmonic Orchestra, visited great halls in Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna, and installed microphones to measure their precise acoustic qualities. Shiraishi-san wanted to re-create the concert hall experience for Sony’s high-end home audio products.

Sony engineers spent more than 100 hours tuning the audio system in the new Explorer, intent on providing Platinum driver and passengers with the finest audio experience on the road. At the core of the system are 12 high-power speakers in 10 carefully selected locations, plus an all-new Class D amplifier to deliver a loss-less power source that drives speaker output without straining.

Combined, the 12 speakers are capable of a maximum 500 watts. The speakers are optimized for sensitivity, including the center and surround speakers, a subwoofer with an 8-inch driver and a 12-liter enclosure for tight and full base tones, and door woofers and chrome tweeters with translucent grilles to preserve sound integrity and complement the upscale Platinum interior.

Even the system’s speaker coils are unique – square coils instead of the more traditional round ones – resulting in greater efficiency and heat dispersion.

“This technology was previously available only in our high-end home audio systems,” Shiraishi-san said. “We’ve now applied the algorithm of Live Acoustics to Ford Explorer Platinum’s audio system to transform the listening experience to be among the finest in the world.”

Every sound in its place: Clear Phase
When music is recorded, is live or in a studio, the best sound engineers always take care to establish a full sound stage. In other words, they make sure each instrument occupies specific areas in the “space” in front of the listener.

In the context of a vehicle, imagine occupants are listening to a live concert with instruments strategically placed in distinctive and acoustically correct zones on the vehicle’s dashboard.

Clear Phase technology optimizes the sound stage inside Explorer Platinum to make the music sound as though it’s coming from a stage larger than the vehicle itself. Every instrument is located in its proper place, and vocals are clarified instead of lost behind distorted sound.

The technology also eliminates sound dispersion, which allows music to be properly focused in specific areas of the sound stage. By flattening amplitude and correcting phase characteristics to attain linearity, music will open up for a crystal-clear listening experience.

SONY PREMIUM AUDIO SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS

Core technologies
Clear Phase For crystal-clear music as the artist intended
Live Acoustics For a true concert hall experience
Key features
Electronic control panel
styled by Sony
Chrome accents, “water droplet” buttons and silky black finish for elegance and ease of use
Dedicated sound tuning 15 years’ experience working with Ford enabled Sony engineers to bring Clear Phase and Live Acoustics to the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum
System components
12 speakers in 10 locations Two 1-inch dome tweeters
Two 6×9-inch door woofers
One 80-millimeter center speaker
Two coaxial (1-inch tweeter and 6.5-inch woofer) speakers
Two 80-millimeter surround speakers
One subwoofer system (12-liter enclosure with 8-inch driver)
Amplifier 500-watt high-power amplifier with high-performance DSP
System attributes
Domed tweeters Translucent speaker grilles preserve sound integrity
Square coil wire speakers Square coils for greater efficiency and heat dissipation
Subwoofer system (12-liter enclosure with 8-inch driver) For tight, full bass and minimal vibration

New Explorer Platinum – the best of Explorer Sport and Limited
The high-end Sony Audio System is a perfect fit for the new Platinum edition, which takes the attributes of Explorer Sport and the Limited series for the most refined and upscale offering in the Explorer lineup. Home audio sound quality meets material and craftsmanship standards that rival the most premium home furnishings.

The interior incorporates real aluminum and real ash wood multi-piece appliqués on door panels and instrument panel. A wood and leather-wrapped heated steering wheel showcases unique stitching that matches the stitching used throughout the interior.

Nirvana leather wraps the instrument panel, armrests, quilted door bolsters and upper door trim. The instrument cluster features a large 10-inch digital display supported with analog displays.

Explorer Platinum also gets smart technology features including enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping system and rain-sensing wipers as standard equipment.

For the exterior, signature lighting surrounds the LED headlamps, giving Explorer Platinum a continuous glow. Other standard features include a dual-panel moonroof, premium silver-painted front and rear skid plate elements, and 20-inch wheels with bright machine face and tarnished dark painted pockets.

Continuing the Explorer legacy
Introduced as a 1991 model, Ford Explorer debuted with generous interior space customers were looking for, and was engineered specifically for people seeking adventure for their families and a way to express their individuality.

Explorer has reigned as America’s top-selling SUV for 25 years – marking a quarter century for the vehicle as a leader both in the segment and in its technology offerings.

Since the 2016 Ford Explorer reached showrooms earlier this year, robust sales indicate the nameplate remains one of the strongest in the SUV segment. Through June 2015, sales of Explorer base, XLT, Limited and Sport models were at 20,377 units – a 30 percent year-over-year increase.

Ford Explorer is built at Chicago Assembly Plant, as well as in Venezuela and Russia. It is sold in more than 100 markets across the globe. Ford expects to export 56,000 Explorers from the United States this year alone.

CHICAGO ASSEMBLY PLANT WELCOMES NEW 2016 FORD EXPLORER

06.09.2015 – Ford employees at Chicago Assembly Plant officially welcomed the new 2016 Ford Explorer today, with Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas, and Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director, National Ford Department, also on hand. Since launch in 1990, more than 7 million Explorers have been sold, making it the best-selling SUV in America over the last 25 years.

Now, building on decades of performance and innovation, the 2016 Explorer represents a significant update to the iconic SUV. It sports a new look, new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine, a new Platinum series and the industry’s most cutting-edge technology. 2016 Explorer base, XLT, Limited and Sport models went on sale in May, with retail sales for the month increasing 24 percent versus the same period last year – the nameplate’s best May retail sales since 2004. The new Platinum series launches later this summer.

Explorer is one of Ford’s top U.S. exports. Approximately 54,000 Explorers were exported from Chicago Assembly Plant in 2014; the vehicle is now available in more than 100 markets outside Canada and Mexico.