Ford has revealed the new Explorer, an all-electric crossover that marks the latest step in a larger global alliance between the OEM and Volkswagen. Here, the vehicle is one of two from Ford built on MEB, Volkswagen’s EV architecture. For Ford itself, the new Explorer represents the first in a series of new EVs intended to reinvent its brand in the European auto market.

The Europe-exclusive Explorer has been designed for families, offering a wide set of standard equipment and a five-seat configuration spread across two rows. At the core of this offering is a digital-first connected infotainment system spearheaded by SYNC Move – a portrait-oriented 14.6-inch movable touchscreen. Hosting the controls for many of the crossover’s functions, the screen can be moved up and down to suit the driver’s comfort needs.

Lowering through an arc of more than 30 degrees, the screen conceals a private storage locker for valuable items when it is at its lowest. In addition to Ford’s own IVI software, SYNC Move provides wireless integration support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Accompanying the screen is a 5.0-inch floating digital instrument display, which shows key vehicle information including driving data, battery charge levels, and the status of the EV’s ADAS features.

Underneath the screen, between the front-row driver and passenger seats, a 17-liter console offers storage for large electronics devices, such as a 15-inch laptop. A separate compartment for two large smartphones, and a wireless device charger for smaller electronics devices, and keyless entry are all provided as standard equipment. Similarly standard is a suite of ADAS features, including a new Assisted Lane Change system and a Clear Exit Assist.

While offering these comfort and convenience features, the new Explorer’s infotainment system can also support the EV charging experience. Here, the vehicle helps the user find and plot convenient stops at public charging stations along their journey. At these stations, Ford confirmed that charging the battery from 10% to 80% is expected to take 25 minutes. Likewise, for users who favor home charging, the new Explorer’s scheduling capabilities allow it to be charged using more cost-effective electricity and energy tariffs where available.

Ford is looking to launch its new MEB-based Explorer in Europe later in 2023 in two trims – Select and Premium – and offer it at a starting price below €45,000 ($48,250). Ahead of this launch, the EV will enter production at the OEM’s new Ford Cologne EV Campus in Germany – a facility that will play a key role in its goal to offer an all-electric portfolio of passenger vehicles for its European customers by 2030.