Ford kickstarted its electric car journey back in 2021 with the excellent Mustang Mach-E, but with this model having a distinctly American flavour, we’re yet to see a truly European Ford EV. 

Until now, as Ford has unveiled its important new Explorer – a model that the firm aims to kickstart a ‘complete reinvention’ for Ford in Europe. Based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB electric car platform, Ford has still been able to make this new electric SUV its own. Here’s what you need to know about it. 

Important European connections

Ford Explorer

While Ford might be headquartered in the USA, its European division is hugely important, and that’s why the Explorer is such a milestone product as it introduces Europe-built EVs to the brand.

While the Mustang Mach-E is made in Mexico and China, the new Explorer will instead be produced in Cologne, with the model set to be produced in the same factory where the soon-to-be-discontinued Fiesta is made. It’s also been specifically designed and engineered for Europe. 

American-inspired styling

Ford Explorer

While a truly ‘European’ model, Ford is keen to unlock the potential of its bolder US models, hence why the Explorer aims to offer the design of an ‘iconic American SUV’. 

That’s shown with its assertive and muscular styling, with no ‘grille’ as such, but rather a distinctive shield. You can expect this design cue to be used on future electric Ford models, too. Large wheels and chunky bumpers and wheelarch surrounds ensure the Explorer won’t go unnoticed. 

High-tech interior

Ford Explorer

It was the Mustang Mach-E that really helped to introduce a new element of digitalisation to the Ford line-up, and the Explorer really develops that. 

Equipped with the brand’s latest ‘SYNC’ infotainment system, it uses a giant 15-inch touchscreen that’s able to slide up and down for added convenience. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is also included as standard. 

Choice of powertrains

Ford Explorer

Ford is yet to confirm full powertrain details for the new Explorer as the model is still subject to full homologation before production can begin. However, we expect it to be offered with a similar choice of motors and batteries as Volkswagen’s ID.4 – given its shared platform. 

That means the Explorer is likely to boast close to 300bhp in its flagship configuration, while a claimed range of more than 300 miles is highly likely. Ford has also said it will be available as rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive, while a 10 to 80 per cent rapid charge is said to be possible in just 25 minutes. 

Impressive levels of practicality

Ford Explorer

Volkswagen’s MEB platform brought key advantages when it comes to packaging, with these underpinnings allow for greater freedom than regular underpinnings from a petrol or diesel model.

Despite relatively compact dimensions, the Explorer offers an excellent 470 litres of boot space. At the same time, the 17-litre console between the two front seats is able to fit in larger items like laptops for easier use. 

Ford is yet to confirm powertrain and pricing details for the new Explorer, but these are expected before it goes on sale later in 2023