Expedition gets more driver-friendly for 2000 making power adjustable pedals standard and offering a new sonar Reverse Sensing System (available later in the model year) to detect objects in the rear while the truck is backing up.
The Reverse Sensing System uses a sonar to detect certain objects in the vehicle's path while backing up slowly. The system alerts drivers to objects behind the vehicle within 5.9 feet. Warning beeps are audible within the cabin and, as the vehicle approaches the object, the beeps sound more frequently, becoming a continuous tone when the object is within 10 inches.
Four ultrasonic sensors are mounted in the rear bumper of the vehicle. When it is placed in reverse, the sensors send out signals that bounce off objects and return. A computer measures the distance from the object, based on signal transmission and reception, and transmits the information to the driver through a speaker in the cabin. The tone is not audible outside the vehicle.
Both driver and passengers will appreciate the detailed changes to the interior. Power adjustable pedals are standard for 2000. The new model adds an integrated 2-position memory feature that combines drivers seat, exterior door mirrors and pedals. A new, wider front center console gives occupants more storage space, larger more functional cup holders and a wider cover incorporating padded armrest inserts. Access to the interior is helped with the addition of a driver's side A-pillar mounted grab handle.
"The Ford Expedition has quickly established itself as the leading full-size SUV in the market. The changes made for 2000 are designed to give our customers even more comfort, convenience and functionality in their vehicle", says Connie Gutowski, chief program engineer for the 2000 Expedition program. "New features, such as the reverse sensing system, are going to add even more appeal to a leading product".
An electrochromic rear view mirror has been added to the interior options featuring an automatic dim/dip sensor that reduces headlamp glare from following vehicles.
Interior passenger comfort and convenience is improved with the option of 2nd row Captain's chairs. Replacing the standard 60/40 split rear bench seat, Expedition buyers can now order the vehicle with two single seats instead. Like the 2nd row bench seating, the two individual seats can be folded down if extra cargo carrying capacity is required. This feature is available only on the Eddie Bauer model.
In addition to the new comfort and convenience features on the 2000 Expedition, safety has also been addressed. Optional side airbags, available later in the model year, deploy out of the sides of the driver and front passenger seats. Side airbags are designed to protect against both head and chest injuries, inflating when a side impact collision is detected.
"Expedition has always represented great value and customer appeal in the full-size SUV market and its been important to us to be able to continually provide a product that exceeds expectations", said J.C. Collins, MPV group brand manager. "The 2000 Expedition has concentrated on making an already strong product even more desirable with features that match our customers needs in this segment of the market".
On the exterior, the 2000 Expedition is distinguished by restyled 16 and 17" wheels and tires. New power heated side-mirrors now feature an integrated turn signal indicator and the radio antenna, previously mounted on the top surface of the passenger-side front fender, has now been replaced with a hidden unit located in the right rear quarter glass.
Sales and Manufacturing
Expedition was first introduced in late 1996 as a 1997 model year product. It quickly established itself as the market leader in the full-size SUV sector and in 1998, sold over 220,000 units. Powered by the choice of two TritonÔ
V8 engines - a 215hp 4.6 and 260hp 5.4 - both mated to advanced four-speed automatic transmissions. The Expedition can be ordered in XLT or Eddie Bauer trim packages with the choice of 4x2 or 4x4 driveline systems.
Expedition is manufactured at the Michigan Truck Plant, Wayne, Michigan, and like all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury SUVs, is rated as a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV). The 2000 Expedition will go on sale in September, 1999.