Fasano (Brindisi) The navigator indicates the right turn on the Strada Statale dei Trulli, even if at the wheel of the new Ford Explorer Plug-in Hybrid you feel more in Montana, on the Beartooth Highway, than in Puglia. Whether it’s ranch or masseria, the American big SUV par excellence, sold in over eight million units in thirty years of career, is perfectly at ease, especially now that it has taken the European passport with the hybrid version, unique to arrive in the Old Continent.
Of course, you have to get used to the size, which for the American public are absolutely negligible, five meters and six in length and two meters and twenty eight in width, but once on board they take a back seat, thanks to the most advanced technology and connectivity and to a portfolio of assistance systems guides that facilitate any type of maneuver.
The Ford Explorer is an invitation to travel, and not because it reminds us of the most gripping detective series or unforgettable sequences of American Beauty is Jurassik Park, but because it molds itself to every need, whether it is the most cumbersome holiday but in maximum comfort – seven seats, towing capacity of 2500 kg, B&O audio system with 14 speakers, 10.1-inch touchscreen – or the most hectic journey. And here it is second to none, indeed, with a total of 457 horsepower and 825 nm of torque, the most powerful hybrid vehicle in the Blue Oval range, with supercar performance.
The petrol engine EcoBoost V6 3.0 and combined with an electrical system with generator and 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery that can be recharged both on the move, through regenerative braking, or by connecting the supplied cable to a column. Equipped with Ford Intelligent All-Wheel Drive with 10-speed automatic transmission and Terrain Management System with seven driving modes.
The drive select, with driving programs for the dirt, snowy or sandy surfaces (in addition to eco, sport, and normal), for an invitation to leave the paved road to go along the winding dirt road among the centuries-old olive trees, which make Salento unique. Here, the hybrid Explorer surprises with its steering precision, an immediacy in cornering that is not expected from an SUV of this size, the excellent load distribution, and overall smoothness of driving.
If necessary, the electric motor allows the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid to move around forty kilometers with zero emissions. The system operates in four modes: EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge. When the charge level drops to a minimum, the car automatically sets itself in EV Auto mode, combining the power of the petrol engine with that of the electric motor, using the recovered energy and thus optimizing consumption.
12 October 2020 (change October 13, 2020 | 10:45 am)
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