Ford has teamed up with BraunAbility to work on a wheelbase-accessible Explorer.
Known as the MXV, the vehicle is based on the 2016 Explorer and has received numerous modifications including a sliding door and removable driver & passenger seat while the powered in-floor ramp has a 28-inch width and is also lighted. The middle row seats were removed to enable a roomier cabin with easier wheelchair access also helped by the space-saving front seat base design and the sliding shifter.
It comes with a 54-inch tall door and offers transfer seat capabilities inside the cabin which has a 56-inch height and benefits from an integrated key fob that provides access to both the door and ramp. Because of the lowered floor necessary in a mobility vehicle, the MXV won't be available with an all-wheel drive system, but nevertheless it seems to be a very good package for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.
It will be offered exclusively with the 290 bhp & 255 lb-ft V6 3.5-liter engine enabling an estimated maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs and returning an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city / 24 mpg highway / 20 mpg combined.
Production is programmed to commence next month at the company's manufacturing facility in Winamac, Indiana and sales will start sometime this fall through BraunAbility's 200 authorized dealers in United States. The first production MXV is going to be donated to wounded veteran Mike Delancey who served in Iraq and was paralyzed by a sniper's bullet back in 2006, managing to survive 42 days in intensive care. He is now preparing to open the Wounded Warrior's Abilities Ranch which aims to be a place where veterans will be able to exercise and recreate as a method to strengthen body and mind.