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Ford relaunched an icon: how is the new Explorer, the SUV that was born from a project that failed in Argentina

2023-03-23T09:53:10.892Z


The frustrated alliance at the local level between Ford and Volkswagen continues in the world: the classic SUV of the Oval is the first electric model of the collaboration between both brands.


Those were other times when

Ford

and

Volkswagen

aspired to work together in Argentina with the Cyclone Project

, which sought to join forces in the development of pickups, vans, global electric cars and autonomous driving technology.

Disagreements between the local subsidiaries ended up moving the initiative to other destinations, where it was able to grow and finally bear fruit: this is how

the new Ford Explorer was born, a reversal of the SUV in a futuristic and electric key that would see the light of day at the end of the year.

The new bet of the North American brand bears an undoubtedly iconic name, but in this case it has German roots, where it was matured and will be produced.

There it had the push of the Volkswagen Group, which

provided the same platforms and batteries that it uses in the models of the ID and E-Tron ranges

.

2023 Ford Explorer

To present it, Ford resorted to a video that relies on part of his own story to

give an epic setting to this new bet

: it is a one-minute piece in which he recalls the story of Aloha Wanderwell, the explorer, filmmaker and writer who about 100 years ago traveled more than 600 thousand kilometers and 80 countries aboard a 1918 Ford T.

2023 Ford Explorer

“Aloha Wanderwell, the first woman to circumnavigate the world behind the wheel, drove a Ford,” the ad begins, combined with archival footage.

And then, already in the present and by the hand of the traveling influencer Lexie Alford –who at 21 years old was the youngest person in history to visit all the countries on the planet–, the brand celebrates the arrival of the Explorer as a tribute

to that feat

: "This year, a new driver revives the Aloha trip and reinvents it by traveling the world in a reinvented Ford that is all electric."

Although it did not reveal more mechanical details, Ford did anticipate that the new Explorer will be available with all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, and that it will have a fast battery charging system that will allow it to complete them from 10 to 80% in 25 minutes, and that it

will

include for the first time for the brand in Europe the Assisted Lane Change systems and the Clear Exit Assistant, which warns, for example, of the proximity of cyclists before opening the door.

2023 Ford Explorer

But comfort will also be a priority in this launch, and it is confirmed that the Ford Explorer will use a 15-inch screen to display its SYNC Move 2 infotainment system, compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and that it will include standard front seats and heated steering wheel, driver's seat with massager, dual-zone climate control, keyless access and hands-free trunk opening, among other benefits.

2023 Ford Explorer

"The Explorer is the forerunner of Ford's new generation of exciting electric vehicles. Steeped in our American roots and built in Cologne for our European customers, it's ready for big adventures and fully equipped with everything our drivers need to get around. newspapers," said Ford Model e General Manager Europe, Martin Sander.

2023 Ford Explorer

With a base price that is expected to not exceed 45,000 euros in Europe, the SUV will be available in two versions: Explorer and Explorer Premium, which can already be reserved through Ford's official websites in the Old Continent.

Cyclone project in Argentina, a missed opportunity

The global alliance known as Project Cyclone was envisioned by Ford and Volkswagen as

a way to lower costs and improve the efficiency of both companies

as they work towards the future of the automotive industry.

And he had deposited a good part of his energies in Argentina, but it all ended in failure.

Volkswagen Amarok II: It is manufactured in Australia.

The Cyclone Project was announced with great fanfare in January 2019, and by then the country would play a key role: for example, the Ford factory in General Pacheco was the place targeted to jointly produce the future Ranger and Amarok.

Ford Ranger 2023, the new generation that will come out of Pacheco.

It would be the first step in this synergy between two of the largest general brands in the market, which would start with utility and commercial vehicles with common platforms for both but also planned large investments in technology for electric cars and autonomous driving, perhaps the great race today in the industry.

VW Pointer, an Autolatina model.

As planned, the VW Amarok II ended up being manufactured at facilities of the Oval brand, but not in Argentina but in South Africa: there was no agreement between local executives of both automakers, so the plan had to be moved to the Silverton plant , on the outskirts of Pretoria, the administrative capital of that country.

Ford Galaxy, from Autolatina.

The decision to do without the Argentine work did not stop the project, but it did change many of its plans, even at a commercial level.

To the point that the pickup of the German house, which in addition to being manufactured in these lands was going to have an important focus of presence and development in the region,

today is so far away that its arrival in the country is not even in the immediate plans.

The Ranger, for its part, is already manufactured in Pacheco.

At the local level, then, the Cyclone Project suffered the same fate as the remembered merger of both brands under the

“Autolatina”

label .

That failed alliance between Volkswagen and Ford, which operated between 1987 and 1995, was

a pioneer in the development of cars for Mercosur

, but its abrupt end (which still reverberates and generates resentment in General Pacheco today) left several truncated projects.

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Source: clarin

All tech articles on 2023-03-23

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