The goal for the all-new Explorer interior design was simple: modernize it, making soft-touch surfaces and occupant comfort key priorities. Getting there wasn’t quite as easy.
Mike Arbaugh is the Interior Studio Manager, and was the lead for the new Explorer interior. In the video above, Mike shares what it was like to design an interior from a clean pieces of paper, as well as some of his favorite parts new interior.
The new Explorer interior is a best-of-both-worlds approach, combining premium European design cues with a sophisticated and uniquely American familiarity. The graceful, seamless flow from instrument panel into the doors and the forward-leaning center stack reflect the sporty, European theme while the command seating position bestows the sense of security so important to SUV buyers.
The Explorer interior also reflects the latest iteration of Ford DNA storage thoughtfully arranged throughout the cabin, including clever spaces for everything active families like to take along.
The instrument panel and door panels reflect soft-touch surfaces, making the Explorer interior environment more pleasing from both aesthetic and tactile perspectives. Cloth interior surfaces – including the black headliner – are comprised of 25 percent recycled content. Seating foam from environmentally friendly soy-based content helps Explorer keep it green.
Throughout development of the all-new Ford Explorer, Arbaugh would sit in the interior mockup – and, later in the process, in prototype vehicles – imagining himself as driver and his family as passengers.