The 2000 Ford Explorer continues building on the strengths that have made it the best-selling compact sport utility on the market - versatility; attractive styling; a comfortable, well-planned interior; and safety and security features that give drivers extra peace-of-mind.
Reverse Sensing System
Explorer now offers a Reverse Sensing System to alert drivers to certain objects near the rear of the vehicle when backing up. The 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.
The system allows a one-second reaction time when backing up at 4 mph. Detection range and sensitivity depend on the physical makeup of the obstacle - solid steel or concrete is easier to detect at a greater distance than a plastic garbage bag or a bush.
Four ultrasonic sensors are mounted in the rear bumper of the Explorer. 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.
"The Explorer is packed with features that customers appreciate," says J.C. Collins, Ford Multi-purpose vehicle group brand manager. "From the roominess and thoughtful design of the interior, to convenience features like the Reverse Sensing System and safety features like side air bags, to the environmental achievement of meeting low-emission vehicle standards, the Explorer has it all."
New for 2000 are two new exterior colors on the Limited series - Chestnut Clearcoat Metallic and Black Clearcoat Metallic. The Eddie Bauer model now features a color-keyed, two-spoke leather wrapped steering wheel with auxiliary audio, climate and speed control as a standard item. A trailer towing package also is standard on 5.0-liter equipped XLT Sport, Eddie Bauer and Limited models.
The attractive XLT Sport Group is continued for the 2000 model Explorer. Key features of this Group include 16-inch, 5-spoke machined aluminum wheels and P255/70R16 tires, fog lamps, color-keyed front grille and bodyside moldings, and platinum painted exterior trim including a four-door Step Bar. The XLT sport requires the 4.0L SOHC V-6 engine (4.10 rear axle) or the 5.0L V-8 (3.73 rear axle).
Explorer offers optional side impact air bags to provide enhanced head and chest protection during certain side-impact crashes. Housed in the side bolster of the driver and front passenger seats, the side impact air-bag system is designed to provide occupants with enhanced head and chest protection during certain side-impact crashes. The combination air bag inflates a bag for both the head and chest within 30 milliseconds of a side impact. Sensors near the front-seat cross members or B-pillars trigger independent deployment of the air bags, which inflate from the bolster of the seat.
In 1999, Ford Motor Company began selling all SUVs _ including the Ford Explorer _ as low-emission vehicles (LEVs).
Sales and Manufacturing
Explorer is the No.1-selling compact sport utility vehicle in the world. In 1998, Ford sold 431,488 Explorers in the United States making it the No.4-selling vehicle of any kind in the U.S.
Explorer is built at Ford's St. Louis, Missouri and Louisville, Kentucky assembly plants.