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Ford Introduces 5-Star Safety to its Electrified Vehicles as Explorer Plug-In Hybrid Gets Maximum Euro NCAP Rating

  • All-new Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid seven-seat SUV awarded maximum 5-star safety rating by Euro NCAP independent crash test authority
  • Innovative, patented processes create components stronger than suspension bridge cables to protect occupants and battery. Collision-mitigation tech also commended by Euro NCAP
  • Explorer Plug-In Hybrid delivers 48 km pure-electric city driving range and 457 PS EcoBoost petrol engine; one of 14 Ford electrified vehicles coming before the end of 2020

COLOGNE, Germany, Nov. 13, 2019 – Ford is now delivering 5-star safety to electrified vehicles as the all-new Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid is today awarded the maximum safety rating by independent crash test authority Euro NCAP.

The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid enhances safety for drivers, passengers and other road users with ultra-high-strength steel components developed using industry-first and Ford-patented processes, and front- and rear-facing sensor-based technologies designed to prevent or mitigate the effects of collisions.*

The seven-seat SUV is powered by a combination of Ford’s 3.0-litre V6 EcoBoost petrol engine, electric motor and generator to deliver 457 PS and 825 Nm of torque, alongside 48 km pure-electric city driving range.**

“With 14 new electrified vehicles coming before the end of next year, and more than half of our passenger vehicle sales in Europe expected to be electrified by the end of 2022, Ford customers can be confident that we’ll continue to deliver first-rate safety whatever powertrain they choose,” said Joerg Beyer, executive director, Engineering, Ford of Europe.

The Explorer Plug-In Hybrid is Ford’s first electrified vehicle to receive a Euro NCAP 5-star safety rating under the new, more stringent protocols introduced last year. The Ford Focus – which will from next year be offered with EcoBoost Hybrid 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain technology – was among the first vehicles to be awarded the latest 5-star rating following its introduction in 2018.

Stronger and smarter

Euro NCAP awarded high scores to the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid for both adult and child occupant protection.

An automotive industry-first manufacturing process called 3D Roll and Sweep enabled Ford to incorporate ultra-high-strength martensitic steel tubes into the vehicle’s windscreen pillars and roofline – creating an even stronger passenger safety cell.

The steel – which is so hardened that fixture holes must be cut using lasers – is roll-formed into tubes. The 3D Roll and Sweep process then bends each tube into a hockey stick shape to form a single-piece window pillar and roof rail tube with a tensile strength of 1,700 megapascals – stronger than the main cables in San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Bridge.***

Manufactured using a Ford-patented process, ultra-high-strength steel side members also extend along the vehicle floor line to deliver additional protection for occupants and the 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. Each member is created from a patented single piece of roll-formed steel, which is folded back on itself before being welded. The process creates internal cells for enhanced strength and rigidity and helps Explorer Plug-In Hybrid score maximum points in the Euro NCAP side barrier impact crash test.

Sophisticated standard driver assistance technologies contributing to a 5-star safety rating include Pre‑Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Intelligent Speed Limiter, and Lane‑Keeping System.

“The standard-fit autonomous emergency braking system (Pre‑Collision Assist) performed well in tests of its functionality at the low speeds, typical of city driving, at which many whiplash injuries occur, with collisions avoided or mitigated in every test scenario," said the Euro NCAP report.

In addition, introduced for the first time in Europe, Reverse Brake Assist technology uses radar and ultrasonic sensors to detect an object in the vehicle’s path measuring more than 28 cm tall and 7.5 cm wide, and can apply the brakes automatically to avoid an imminent collision when the vehicle is reversing at speeds between 1.5 km/h and 12 km/h.

Reverse Brake Assist holds the vehicle for 1.5 seconds before returning full control to the driver, enabling them to assess the situation before continuing their manoeuvre. A rear-view camera is also standard.

Featuring an exceptionally spacious, luxurious, comfort-focussed interior with advanced features including a 10.1‑inch central portrait-mounted touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display, the all-new Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid is available to order in two distinctive, high-specification, left-hand drive variants – the sporty, Ford Performance-inspired Explorer ST-Line and the luxurious Explorer Platinum.

The electric motor enables the Explorer to deliver zero-emission, pure-electric driving capability, and drivers can choose when and how to deploy battery power using EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge modes. The vehicle’s battery can be charged using a charging port integrated into the front left-hand side fender and is automatically replenished on the move using regenerative charging technology that captures kinetic energy normally lost during braking.

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*Driver-assist features are supplemental to and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgement and need to control the vehicle

**Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid CO2 emissions from 66 g/km, fuel efficiency from 2.9 l/100 km (NEDC)

The declared fuel/energy consumptions, CO2 emissions and electric range are measured according to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Regulations (EC) 715/2007 and (EC) 692/2008 as last amended. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are specified for a vehicle variant and not for a single car. The applied standard test procedure enables comparison between different vehicle types and different manufacturers. In addition to the fuel efficiency of a car, driving behaviour as well as other non-technical factors play a role in determining a car's fuel/energy consumption, CO2 emissions and electric range. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming.

Since 1 September 2017, certain new vehicles are being type-approved using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) according to (EU) 2017/1151 as last amended, which is a new, more realistic test procedure for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Since 1 September 2018 the WLTP has begun replacing the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), which is the outgoing test procedure. During NEDC Phase-out, WLTP fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are being correlated back to NEDC. There will be some variance to the previous fuel economy and emissions as some elements of the tests have altered i.e., the same car might have different fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.


About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 191,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit


Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and consolidated joint ventures and approximately 62,000 people when unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 19 manufacturing facilities (12 wholly owned facilities and seven unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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