GLADSTONE, N. J., September 2, 1999 – Some of the country’s finest equestrian athletes demonstrated their skill and the power of their equine partners as dealers from three states gathered to take delivery of their first 2000 Ford Excursions, built to carry more people, cargo – and the biggest horse trailers – of any sport utility vehicle.
"The United States Equestrian Team Headquarters and Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, N. J., is the ideal venue to launch the Excursion because equestrians are just the kind of people we had in mind when Ford began planning the Excursion," said Robert Lusko, Ford Division New York Regional Sales Manager. "They are active people who need to carry a great deal of equipment, tow heavy trailers, and travel long distances in comfort.
The Excursion can carry up to nine adults while accommodating 48 cubic feet of cargo with all three rows of seats in place. By removing the last row bench – which is mounted on rollers for easy removal – and folding the second-row seats, a flat cargo area can accommodate a sheet of plywood – 146.4 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s about eight times the trunk volume of a full-size passenger car.
Excursion offers a payload capacity of up to 1,906 pounds, and it can tow up to 10,000 pounds, depending on engine and drive configuration.
Engine choices are three: a 5.4-liter V-8, a 6.8-liter V-10, and a 7.3-liter diesel engine that produces a stump-pulling 500 pounds-feet of torque. Certified as a low-emission (or better) vehicle in all states, Excursion produces up to 43 percent fewer smog-forming exhaust emissions than permitted by law.
Excursion also shines in its level of recyclability. About 85 percent of each Excursion can be recycled after the SUV’s useful life, and about 20 percent of the vehicle has been made from recycled material.
A unique new BlockerBeamO system and enhanced rear underride protection are designed to reduce the likelihood of lower-riding cars sliding beneath Excursion during front and rear collisions. This reduces the amount of intrusion into the passenger compartment, further reducing the car occupants’ risk of injury.
"We’re honored to be launching this vehicle in the company of such fine athletes as those of the U.S. Equestrian Team," said Ford’s Lusko. "For almost fifty years, the USET has been successfully enabling the dreams of athletes representing the United States throughout the world, and has established a record of which all Americans can be proud by earning 98 medals in the Olympics, the Pan-American Games, and the World Championships."
Among those demonstrating their competitive skills for the 200 dealers who attended the Excursion introduction were
The United States Equestrian Team is a nonprofit organization which selects, trains, equips, finances and promotes equestrians of the highest possible standard for major international competition, including the Olympics. In doing so, USET seeks out and nurtures the growth of talented athletes-horses, riders and drivers-providing support and guidance to enable them to achieve their dreams. This past summer the United States Equestrian Team completed its most successful Pan American Games performance since 1975 winning three Team and four Individual medals. Visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org and follow the USET to Sydney, Australia for the 2000 Olympic Games.