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2020 Ford Explorer spied close to production

 
Old 01-10-19, 05:04 PM
  #61  
LexsCTJill
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This an excellent design by Ford 👏. The RWD design really makes it look great. I like the interior as well. The portrait more dash is interesting.
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Old 01-10-19, 05:51 PM
  #62  
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The design has a lot more shape to the sides which differentiate it from the outgoing vehicle in a way we couldn't see with the camo on...
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Old 01-11-19, 10:07 AM
  #63  
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I thought this was an interesting article from Motor Trend:

How the 2020 Ford Explorer Gained Interior Space by Switching to RWD

Ever since Sir Alec Issigonis launched his miraculous Mini, popular wisdom holds that a sideways engine and front drive is the surest-fire way to maximize interior volume in a given footprint. But Bill Gubing, chief project engineer for the 2020 Ford Explorer, claims that switching away from transverse front-drive architecture to a longitudinal rear-drive setup allowed his team to unlock additional interior space in the new Explorer.

It turns out the real problem with the old Explorer's architecture, which traces its roots all the way back to the 1998 Volvo S80, was that it started out as a low-ground-clearance sedan. That means the entire drivetrain went up as the body was raised to provide the SUV ride height. Then, as the vehicle size and mass increased on the journey from flagship sedan to three-row crossover (and to meet evolving crash standards like small-overlap frontal), providing sufficient structure and crumple space kept adding to the front overhang.

By starting from scratch to design a three-row SUV architecture employing the latest and greatest techniques and materials, like the high-pressure die-cast aluminum front strut towers and hydroformed, curved front crash rails, helped shave 200 pounds from the vehicle. Eliminating the requirement for the front-wheel driveshafts to be positioned behind the engine allowed the entire powertrain to be positioned lower in the vehicle (and in a frontal crash, it can ride down and back under the occupants). All of this allowed the front wheels to move forward by much of the 6-inch wheelbase stretch, getting the wheelwells out of the interior. It also reduced the amount of crush space required in front of the engine, further enhancing the popular "wheels-to-the-corners" look and allowing the hood to come down to improve forward visibility. This configuration also opened up some space beside the engine for the HVAC equipment to move into, freeing up even more interior space.

The old Explorer's sedan roots positioned the front seat occupants too far inboard so that the driver could sit behind the sedan-optimized steering wheel position—too close to the center console and too far away from the door armrests. The new one places the people, steering wheel, and console where they belong.

Ford hasn't released full specs yet, but we're told to expect best-in-class levels of cargo space and rear head- and hiproom. We are also promised that 4-foot-wide sheet goods will fit through the hatch and on the cargo floor. Eureka!
It all makes sense to me and would seem to correct the issues I had with the outgoing model - the feeling of sitting too far away from the door and that the front wheel wells intruded on foot space.

Full article here.
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Old 01-11-19, 10:12 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by JDR76
I thought this was an interesting article from Motor Trend:

How the 2020 Ford Explorer Gained Interior Space by Switching to RWD

It all makes sense to me and would seem to correct the issues I had with the outgoing model - the feeling of sitting too far away from the door and that the front wheel wells intruded on foot space.

Full article here.
Pretty cool details. I'd like to see some detailed comparison shots between the previous model and this one.
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Old 01-11-19, 05:25 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by JDR76 View Post
I thought this was an interesting article from Motor Trend:

How the 2020 Ford Explorer Gained Interior Space by Switching to RWD

Full article here.
I find Motor Trend's use of that particular title for the article somewhat misleading. I believe that they deliberately used it to appeal to their base of "enthusiasts" who they believe favour RWD over FWD.

I don't doubt what was said in the article, the technical and engineering details (it all seems logical to me and I agree with the technical arguments) having come, no doubt, from Ford itself; I just found it somewhat biased.

Many (if not most or all) of the shortcomings of a 20-year old car platform that was used to underpin a higher-riding, wider crossover sport utility vehicle, such as the high mounting of the engine, the crashworthiness shortcomings, the mounting of seats closer to centreline rather than the doors, which all resulted in heavier weight, could have been overcome by using a brand new platform that was designed from the start for its crossover vehicle purpose, regardless of its drive-axle bias (FWD or RWD).
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Old 01-12-19, 10:42 AM
  #66  
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there's no question the current explorer is one of the least efficient packages i've ever seen... when i test drove one i felt i was captain of a ship, not driving a vehicle.

it was a pretty low bar to beat, no matter the driven wheels on the new one.
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Old 01-12-19, 11:37 AM
  #67  
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Agreed, the current one was very poorly packaged...
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