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Car reviews - Ford - Explorer - XLT V8 5-dr wagon

Suspension

Ford logo21 Mar 2002

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

THE Explorer uses a fully independent suspension system with short and long arm design used front and rear. The system was locally tested and tuned for the Australian environment. The ride and handling, particularly on dirt roads, benefit from unique bushes, spring settings and dampers. The wheelbase is substantially longer, helping improve the ride, while manoeuvrability has been improved via a reduced (11.2 metres) turning circle. Ford says the chassis is 350 per cent stiffer, with a 26 per cent improvement in vertical and lateral bending. This has helped engineers to fine tune the ride and handling package and has also lead to substantial reductions in noise, vibration and harshness levels. A mechanical prototype with the new chassis and suspension was first shipped to Australia for testing in April, 1999. Preliminary suspension calibration of the vehicle, including springs, shock absorbers, bushes, tyres and suspension geometry, was undertaken at Ford's You Yangs Proving Ground. Ford says the new independent rear suspension system helped drive the vehicle's design. The wider track makes Explorer look more stable while the shorter front overhang makes the vehicle look more nimble and improves its approach angle in rough or steep terrain. Overall ground clearance was improved by 2.5cm.

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Solar tinted windows are standard in the Explorer

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