Dearborn, Michigan – When the all-new Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle goes in to production later this year, it will offer a new 4WD system that takes the mystery out of four-wheel drive by optimizing powertrain behaviour for specific situations and road conditions.

“Talking with customers told us that flexibility and freedom to tackle any road, anytime is important to them,” said Explorer Chief Nameplate Engineer Jim Holland. “We saw the opportunity to eliminate a compromise by adding an intuitive and efficient terrain management system that can demystify four-wheel-drive control and enable the driver to properly match 4WD traction to the situations and road conditions they encounter.” 

Anecdotal customer feedback indicated the potential for driver confusion with previous systems as to the best use of 4×4 high- and low-range engagement. Ford Explorer with intelligent 4WD and terrain management uses simple icons to help drivers choose the correct setting at the simple turn of a dial for the climate or surface situation they may be driving.

The icons depict the various settings to best suit driving conditions:

Snow: For snow and slippery conditions. Limits torque to wheels to prevent spinning.
Sand: For deep sand and rutted conditions. Optimizes torque for increased traction.
Mud: For slippery, muddy conditions. Allows wheelspin for momentum build.

Hill Descent: For Creeping down steep inclines, without using the brake pedal.
Normal: For all regular driving under normal road conditions.

The re-engineered Ford Explorer goes in to production later this year.

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