2002 Ford Explorer Overview

     Product Information 
     Driving Dynamics
     Powertrain
     Design
     Safety
     Special Features
     Specifications
     Photos

    2002 FORD EXPLORER: A NEW LEVEL OF SAFETY,
    COMFORT, ROOMINESS AND VERSATILITY

    Overview

    “The Ford Explorer redefined the sport utility segment and
    pioneered the way for the entire industry when it was introduced in
    1990. For more than 10 years running, Explorer has been the
    best-selling SUV in the world. But we’re not resting on our
    laurels. The all-new Explorer for the 2002-model year continues to
    innovate – with technological improvements in safety, roominess,
    ride and comfort, all intended to lead the industry into the
    future.”

             – Jim O’Connor,
    Ford Division President

    • All-new vehicle with improved package, ride, comfort, safety
      and design
    • 2.5-inch wider stance and 2-inch longer wheelbase than prior
      model for improved appearance, handling and roominess – while
      maintaining the same vehicle length and height
    • New independent rear suspension, allowing for an additional
      third-row seat, seven-passenger seating capability, and improved
      ride and handling
    • Larger door openings and lower step-in height for better ingress
      and egress
    • Optional adjustable pedals, a tilting and telescoping steering
      wheel and Reverse Sensing System offer better driver comfort and
      convenience
    • Improved Control Trac™ four-wheel-drive system
    • Better off-road capability with increased ground clearance and
      better approach and departure angles
    • New all-aluminum 4.6-liter SOHC V-8 engine joins the improved
      4.0-liter SOHC V-6
    • New automatic and manual transmissions
    • New side-impact curtain air bag system (available from launch),
      as well as rollover protection sensors (available later in 2001)
    • New AdvanceTrac™ interactive vehicle dynamics system
      combines the benefits of traction control and electronic stability
      (yaw) control (available later in 2001)
    • Ford Personal Safety System, including driver and passenger
      dual-stage air bags and deployment characteristics (available later
      in 2001)
    • Lower front bumper helps ensure better SUV compatibility with
      other vehicles on the road
    • Substantially stiffer bodyshell and thousands of noise control
      measures for better NVH
    • 15-percent reduction in annual operating costs thanks to easier
      serviceability and longer intervals between scheduled
      maintenance

    The 2002-model Ford Explorer is the next generation of the
    best-selling sport utility vehicle in the world. The new Explorer
    is redesigned from the ground up – with major improvements in
    package, suspension, powertrains and safety.

    With a new independent rear suspension (IRS)_system and unique
    “porthole-in-frame” design – allowing for a lower step-in height and
    a third-row seat – Explorer is designed to offer an improved ride
    and a more comfortable, user-friendly package. The Control Trac™
    four-wheel-drive system provides exceptional performance on and off
    the pavement. New AdvanceTrac™ interactive vehicle dynamics,
    available later in 2001, combines sophisticated electronic braking
    and traction control with electronic stability control, to help the
    driver maintain confidence and control in many driving
    situations.

    A sophisticated new all-aluminum V-8 engine brings 240 horsepower,
    an increase of 25 horsepower over the previous V-8.

    Inside, Explorer’s passengers have more room to spread out. The
    passenger compartment is two inches wider compared with the previous
    model and, for the first time, has an optional third row of seating
    - enough overall room to accommodate seven adults.

    These benefits were made possible by Explorer’s 2.5-inch wider
    track and efficient packaging of the new independent rear
    suspension. The second- and third-row seats also fold down to
    create a flat-surfaced cargo area. Additional storage is located
    beneath the rear cargo floor.

    Explorer offers one of the most comprehensive safety and security
    packages available. This includes Ford’s new industry-leading
    Safety Canopy, which includes side-curtain air bags (available at
    launch) and rollover protection (available later in 2001).

    Package and Ergonomics

    Access to Explorer’s new third-row seat is made easier with
    one-handed controls that fold the second-row seat completely out of
    the way for entering or exiting the third row.

    In seven-passenger models, the second-row seat is split 40/20/40.
    This configuration offers ease of access to the third row and the
    ability to customize the cargo area for long or odd-sized items.

    In addition, small items easily can be loaded through a new rear
    liftglass, which has been designed to allow a liftover height that
    is virtually identical to that of a shopping cart for easier loading
    of groceries and cargo. The liftglass section no longer needs a
    handle to open. It opens with a touch of a dedicated button on the
    key fob, while leaving the passenger doors locked.

    Ergonomics and functionality are at the heart of many of the
    vehicle’s design features. For example, full-grip exterior door
    handles replace the former fingertip paddles – to aid ease of use
    for all passengers. Optional running boards are wider to provide a
    confident step-in point.

    Inside, the most frequently used controls, such as radio buttons,
    are in the driver’s line of sight. Likewise, the optional
    electronic message center is mounted high, for ease of use. Even
    the coat hooks have been redesigned to accommodate wider, plastic
    clothes hangers.

    Driving Dynamics

    Explorer’s new fully independent suspension and exceptionally
    stiff frame – 350-percent stiffer than the previous model without
    compromising safety – give it firm, responsive road manners.

    In abrupt maneuvers, such as dodging a pothole or making a sudden
    lane change, Explorer is designed to track precisely, without
    excessive body roll. The independent rear suspension soaks up road
    imperfections better than traditional solid axle designs, to provide
    a comfortable, more car-like ride.

    The rear-end differential in Explorer’s independent rear
    suspension is mounted high in the frame rather than bolted below it.
    The suspension’s upper and lower control arms also are mounted above
    and below the frame. The right and left rear half-shafts pass
    through a porthole in the frame rails – giving Explorer its
    “porthole-in-frame” design. Together, these solutions allowed
    engineers to add the new suspension system without raising the ride
    height while improving the vehicle’s 4×4 ground clearance.

    All four wheels are controlled by coil-over-shock assemblies that
    are isolated from side loads, and are engineered to reduce unsprung
    weight – for best response to steering input and road surface
    irregularities.

    Off pavement, Explorer’s optional Control Trac™
    four-wheel-drive system has been refined with stand-alone electronic
    controls and enhanced software strategy that improve its ability to
    handle rough or loose surfaces, such as back trails, deep snow or
    sand. The system gives drivers the option of automatic four-wheel
    drive or push-button, switchable, four-wheel “high” and four-wheel
    “low” settings.

    Explorer comes with a choice of two engines. The standard engine
    is an improved 4.0-liter SOHC V-6, which generates 210 horsepower
    and 250 foot-pounds of peak torque.

    A more powerful 4.6-liter V-8, with all-aluminum construction and
    overhead-cam design, is optional. The sophisticated engine, with
    coil-on-plug design, offers 240 horsepower and 280 foot-pounds of
    torque – and is designed to go 100,000 miles before its first
    scheduled tune-up under normal driving conditions with routine fluid
    and filter changes.

    Both engines meet Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standards. Fuel
    economy has been held constant – even with a larger vehicle and one
    that can seat two more passengers than the prior model – thanks to
    several weight-saving innovations. An all-aluminum hood and V-8
    engine block as well as a magnesium cross beam contributed to a
    90-pound weight savings.

    Later in 2001, Explorer will offer flexible fuel capability with
    the standard 4.0-liter V-6 engine and automatic transmission. The
    Explorer flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) can operate on gasoline or a
    blend of gasoline and ethanol. The use of E85 fuel reduces carbon
    dioxide emissions by as much as 20 percent, compared with
    gasoline.

    Towing capability comes built-in. The standard receiver hitch,
    which is part of the rear frame, offers Class II towing capacity of
    up to 3,500 pounds, depending on engine and drivetrain.

    A built-in hitch receiver offers towing capability right from the
    factory and can accept many accessories, such as a bicycle rack. An
    upgraded towing package, which includes a limited slip rear
    differential, provides Class III/IV towing capability of up to 7,300
    pounds.

    Safety, Security and Convenience

    Explorer is Ford’s first SUV with new side-curtain air bags.
    They deploy from the headliner across approximately 75 percent of
    the side glass area to help protect first- and second-row occupants
    in the outboard seating positions during a side-impact collision.

    Electronic rollover sensors will be available later in 2001.
    They measure whether the vehicle is tilting, how fast the lean angle
    is changing, and whether the combination means the vehicle might
    roll over. If a rollover situation is determined by the system, it
    deploys the side-curtain air bags to help prevent passengers from
    being ejected from the side of the vehicle. The air bags remain
    inflated for up to 6 seconds – far longer than conventional air bags
    - to provide additional protection.

    Explorer also is Ford’s first SUV with AdvanceTrac™
    interactive vehicle dynamics (available later in 2001).
    AdvanceTrac™ is a computer driven system that uses a series of
    sensors to measure whether the vehicle has begun to slide, then
    applies braking selectively to whichever wheel will bring it back
    under control. The idea is to prevent accidents before they happen.

    AdvanceTrac™ is completely integrated into the vehicle’s
    antilock braking system (ABS) and electronic brake force
    distribution (EBD). This means that Explorer’s control system will
    be just as effective off-road as it is on the pavement.

    Explorer will have ABS and EBD from the start of production. The
    fully integrated AdvanceTrac™ system will be available later in
    2001.

    Second-generation front air bags also are standard for the driver
    and passenger, and Ford’s Personal Safety System will be available
    later in 2001. The Personal Safety System uses dual-stage driver
    and front passenger air bags that deploy differently based on
    several factors, including the severity of the crash, front seat
    occupant safety belt usage and the driver’s seat position.

    Front row occupants also benefit from safety belts with
    pretensioners that tighten the safety belts in the first moments of
    a crash and an energy management system that slowly pays out safety
    belt webbing during an incident – to help prevent injuries. Anchors
    in all second- and third-row passenger positions offer secure
    attachments for child safety seat tethers.

    These active protection systems augment Explorer’s robust fully
    boxed frame, which was designed with energy-absorbing crush zones in
    the front rails. Steel bars inside the doors enhance protection in
    side impacts. Head restraints in all seating positions help reduce
    the risk of neck injuries.

    At the same time, the design team made Explorer more friendly to
    other vehicles on the road by lowering its bumper beam height 65
    millimeters – more than 2 inches – to be on par with most passenger
    cars.

    Security features include Ford’s SecuriLock™ passive
    antitheft system. Only users with the vehicle’s authentic key -
    which contains a computer chip embedded in it – can start the
    vehicle.

    A battery saver feature automatically turns off interior,
    courtesy and cargo lights approximately 10 minutes after the
    ignition key is turned off and the last door is closed.

    For better driver comfort – particularly for very tall or shorter
    stature drivers – power adjustable accelerator and brake pedals are
    available, while the Reverse Sensing System is available as a
    parking aid. Explorer’s steering wheel tilts and telescopes, using
    a single control lever.

    New dual-zone climate controls are available, as is an auxiliary
    climate control system for the rear seating area.

    Vehicle serviceability also has been improved. Explorer’s annual
    estimated service costs improve nearly $100 compared with the
    previous model.

    To help reduce its impact on the environment, Explorer is an
    estimated 90-percent recyclable by weight. More than 10 percent of
    its plastic parts contain post-consumer recycled material. Explorer
    production will use an estimated 6.3 million pounds of recycled
    non-metallic parts inside the vehicles every year.

    Design

    Explorer is designed to be rugged and contemporary to complement
    the Ford “Outfitters” SUV family. The SUV family includes the Ford
    Escape, Explorer Sport, Explorer Sport Trac, Expedition and
    Excursion. The new four-door Explorer has a clear, powerful vehicle
    stance and proportions enhanced by simple, rounded forms that build
    on the vehicle’s classically popular design theme.

    In many areas, form meets function. The exterior door handles
    are not only easier to use, they’re rugged, big and strong. The
    available running boards are wide and substantial. The jewel-like
    complex reflector headlamps provide better lighting.

    In the back, the rear bumper does not appear to be “bolted on”
    but is fully integrated into the body and has a full-width shelf for
    easier loading and unloading.

    The exterior is designed to accentuate the vehicle’s independent
    rear suspension and under-the-skin capabilities. The wider track is
    designed to give Explorer a more aggressive stance. The shorter
    front overhang helps make the vehicle look more nimble, while
    improving its approach angle in rough or steep terrain.

    Explorer is available in four trim levels, including the popular
    Eddie Bauer, Limited, XLT and XLS.

    Noise, Vibration and Harshness

    Explorer’s revised body shape, coupled with improved sealing and
    literally thousands of noise-control measures, result in a
    substantially quieter cabin for passengers. Key to the improved
    sound quality is Explorer’s new, fully boxed frame, which improves
    rigidity, vehicle responsiveness and, in turn, noise, vibration and
    harshness (NVH) levels.

    Explorer’s frame is 350 percent torsionally stiffer and 26 percent
    improved in vertical and lateral bending – which contribute to the
    vehicle’s improved NVH levels. In addition, Explorer has new
    micro-cellular body mounts, new door and hidden liftgate edges, new
    engine, transmission and exhaust mounts, a revised engine intake
    system, added insulation throughout the vehicle, a laminated steel
    dash with magnesium cross bar and a 50-percent reduction in air
    leakage – all of which add up to luxury-vehicle-like quietness and
    NVH levels.


    The Market

    The SUV market has shown the most significant growth of the
    decade in the automotive industry. In fact, since 1991, annual
    sales of sport utility vehicles in the U.S. have grown from 900,000
    to 3.2 million units through the end of calendar year 1999. It is
    the only market segment that has experienced double-digit sales
    growth every year during this period.

    The Ford Explorer has led that growth. The Explorer is the
    best-selling sport utility vehicle on the market and has been since
    its introduction in 1990 as a 1991 model. It also has been among
    the top-10 best-selling vehicles – car or truck – since it was
    introduced. In 1998 and 1999, the Explorer nameplate enjoyed record
    sales of more than 431,000 and 428,000 units respectively. It is
    well on its way to another record-setting sales year in 2000.

    More than 3.6 million Ford Explorers have been sold since its
    introduction, so it is no surprise that there are more Explorers on
    the road today than any other sport utility vehicle. Explorer also
    ranks very high in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

    As the sales leader, it attracts a broad range of consumers with
    varying demographics and interests – from single, young
    professionals to active retirees and empty nesters. They choose
    Explorer because it offers rugged, functional capabilities and
    sporty up-to-date styling and comfort.

    Explorer often is considered the “pioneer” of the SUV market. While
    it was not the first SUV, it marked the transition of the utility
    vehicle from a specialized functional truck to a comfortable,
    versatile activity vehicle.

    Available in dealerships beginning in early 2001, the 2002-model
    Explorer will be built at Ford Motor Company’s Louisville, Ky., and
    St. Louis, Mo., assembly plants. Production begins in late 2000.