Private Tour of the 2011 Explorer Interior by the Lead Designer

By Ford Social Member

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.

For the latest information about the all-new Explorer, click here to visit the Ford Explorer Facebook page.
Sean 12/31/2010
Also people are looking to more fuel efficient cars, hybrids and in the next few years more will be looking to plug-in hybrids and electric cars. Sorry folks but big tough and mean looking vehicles are going the way as the dinosaur. Give it five to ten years and you\\'ll see what I mean by unless they make plug-in hybrid trucks and electric trucks in the future as well only time will tell?
Joe 11/04/2010
When will the 2011 esplorer be rated by fuel on the gas ???
Steve Freshwater 10/16/2010
Things I don't like about the 2011: No longer a SUV, it's just a crossover. 18" wheels are not practical for any off-paved road use, too easy to bend a rim & then the tire goes flat. AWD is a $4400 premium over a 4x4. Where is the water temp gauge - ever so important when towing. SIRIUS delete not an option. Can't tell from available specs, rear storage capacity may be the same / larger than the previus SUV's but the opening is definitely smaller top-to-bottom. Land Rover styling cues are too obvious, why masquerade as a Rover when you should be proud to be a Ford? Bottom line, I'll stay with my current Explorer.
Austindavec 10/11/2010
I'm at least going to give this thing a serious look. I've owned 2 Jeep Grand Cherokees and been satisfied with them from a reliability standpoint, but the styling has gone stagnant, and my current Jeep's gas mileage stinks. I like the styling queues from Range Rover that Ford has "borrowed" and at half the price of a BMW X5, why not look?
RYAN 10/11/2010
I think they can, although it does depend if they are hure infant seats or boosters. And if you need the space behind the 2nd. row, you could move 1 seat to either side of the third row, easily access it and the others, and behind the 3rd. row there is a well like in a mini-van. So you get a lot of room. I hope I answered your question well. :-) Oh! And by the way, I am a 10 year old! I am obsessed and know almost EVERYTHING about people-haulers .
setan bakkar 10/06/2010
i am using ford explorer since 2002, i am using now the ford explorer 2009, like it very much. Many friends asked me to change for another type of vehicles and i said NO i will keep on using the FORD EXPLORER and next year I will change to FOPRD EXPLORER 2011.

Many thanks for FORD Company for this great car.
Eric 09/29/2010
Jack -- I really don't know what you're thinking. This interior is gorgeous. Go ahead and buy another brand. To each his own. I can't wait to get my 2011 Explorer. :)
Jack 09/18/2010
I've owned Explorers for 15+ years & I'm sad to hear that it's going to be more van/car like. It was the ruggedness & sport utility characteristics that have always drawn me to this vehicle. I've always bought my cars from my brother who is a Ford dealer. I'm sad to say I'll have to look to another brand for my next SUV.
Jim 09/11/2010
When will they be in the dealerships?
frank 09/07/2010
how much cargo room is there? what size tires?
Janet Mac 09/01/2010
Can 3 carseats fit in the 2nd row?
David Suerte 08/28/2010
Because, for years on end, European interiors have been far nicer than American interiors. Kudos to Ford for making me proud once again to buy and drive an American car.
Rob Ward 08/19/2010
European, what is wrong with American? Why is it nothing can have a manly down to earth feel to it anymore, all the cars built feel like my mom's mini vans, or my grandfathers toytoa avalon. I get some people are into that, but why is it that ford feels the need to make the SUV feel like a car, the reason people like SUV's is because they feel tough like trucks.
Rob Ward 08/19/2010
Well the interior proves this car was designed as a crossover for soccer moms not an suv, why bother offering 4x4 on a car like that? I guess 99% of soccer moms will be happy with it, I guess I am going Jeep or sticking with my Bronco.
Kendal 08/12/2010
M is for Manual. You are able to switch through the gears at a push of a button.
Al Meeker 08/05/2010
Interior shot of dash clearly shows gear selection as P R N D M. Other shots lI have seen show P R N D L. What is the M selection?