Torture-testing the new Ford Explorer in Dubai

By Ford Social Member

You might say that the engineering team went to extremes when testing the new Ford Explorer. Extremes as far away as Dubai. While the atmospheric conditions of eastern Iowa can be closely replicated in Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan, facilities, there’s no substitute for the arid and rugged terrain around Dubai.

Ford Explorer Chief Engineer, Don Ufford, and his team make the trek to Dubai for more than the opportunities that are inherent in the extreme-condition testing the humid desert climate provides. They are here to listen to customers, too.

“We regularly sell close to 10,000 Explorers per year in the Middle East market,” Ufford says. “SUV drivers in this part of the world regularly use the broad range of capabilities these vehicles offer. Our rationale for testing in Dubai is simple: If we can perform well here, we can do well anywhere.”

A recent Dubai trip for Ufford and the team offered the opportunity to test interior air conditioning effectiveness and occupant comfort in the combined desert heat and high humidity of the adjacent Gulf of Oman. With a 50 percent humidity factor, the equivalent temperature can exceed 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Engineers fitted an Explorer test vehicle with interior temperature sensors in the very places where occupants would be sensitive. A majority of the adjustments the team makes to improve air conditioning performance will find their way into all Explorers.

Dubai also offers unique terrain characteristics to validate Explorer 4WD capabilities. Terrain management sand mode allows for some wheel spin at initial throttle tip-in to gather momentum, while limiting slip as vehicle speed increases. Once in motion, the sand setting on Explorer’s terrain management system constantly monitors traction to send the right amount of torque to the wheels for optimal performance in the soft and hilly conditions, without the need for customer intervention.

Intelligent 4WD with terrain management – including the sand setting – will be an added convenience to experienced SUV drivers and a confidence-builder for those new to the segment. Click here for more information on the Terrain Management System.

The all-new Ford Explorer will be available in North American Ford dealerships later this year with exportation to more than 90 markets globally.

For the latest information about the all-new Explorer, click here to visit the Ford Explorer Facebook page.
Robert Thomas 02/07/2011
This thing doesn't have potential to do anything off road, to low to the ground, no four low, I test drove the v6 model and it had very low torque so don't try putting any decent size tire on it. Its a great soccer mom car, the rapters nice but I want to see Ford answer Jeep. Where is the off road SUV? Something we can lift, plenty of power and OK mileage with all the great mytouch features.
patrick gatbonton 10/10/2010
hi! i'am from the philippines, i want you to know that my ford escape is a fantastic car compare to other cars.two thumbs up!
John 10/01/2010
Looks good next Time I Decide to go up a higher Mountain that 14,000Ft Mt. Evans in the Mercury Mountaineer I will look to do so in either the great new Ford Explorer or the Ford Raptor. I am thinking Mt. Blackburn, Elias, or McKinley, and then its on to Everest!
Rajan 09/28/2010
Hi i am from South Africa and i want to know when the Explorer will land on our shores ? The Explorer looks lovely and makes one want to buy it
R T Bailey 09/25/2010
My 1996 Explorer with 258,000 mileage was just totaled in an accident with deers. No fault per the officer. My daugther and friends had no injuries. My "96" Explorer was very safet In looking at the new explorer, it appears to be a strong and safe vehicle. Safety of vehicles is the most important item I consider in purchasing any vehicle. I would love to have the explorer but I am in unemployment right now.
Agnel 09/25/2010
It looks great, but pricing for the fully loaded models seems pretty steep!!

I am from the Middle East, can anybody tell me when this is expected to hit the roads here? Need to buy a car and definitely have this in mind, but provided Ford starts shipping the 2011 model to Dubai by the end of this year.
Kevin Murphy 09/10/2010
The New design for Explore is really nice and sort of the same shape as the Nz Ford terriory we hv here. but is the 4wd systerm the same as the design from Land rover..
Dennis 09/09/2010
Kinda neat... change that sand environment to snow and looks like it might be half decent getting around on the roads here in the winter.
I know the new explorer is based on a car... but could we see some actual off-road testing for Canadian terrain (mud, rock, pot holes, etc... that make up the majority of our travels when not in the city)? Nothing special... just typical "back roads" type terrain...
Torture-testing the new Ford Explorer in Dubai
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