The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2002 Ford Explorer Advances to New Level

4 August 2000

2002 Ford Explorer: A New Level Of Safety, Comfort, Roominess and Versatility
    DETROIT - "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."  
Says, Jim O'Connor, Ford Division President, in introducing the new model.

    The new model features:

    *  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

    *  Optional adjustable pedals, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel
and Reverse Sensing System offer better driver comfort and convenience

    *  Improved Control Trac(TM) 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

    *  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(TM) 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

    With a new independent rear suspension (IRS) system and unique "porthole-
inframe" 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(TM) four-wheel-drive system provides
exceptional performance on and off the pavement.  New AdvanceTrac(TM)
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.