eMOTION! REPORTS.com
NAVIGATION BAR
  frontpage e-mail listabout us

2002 Ford Explorer: Testing the Limits
MYRON STOKES



It was late as we headed to Sedona from Phoenix, Arizona for a mountain test drive in Ford's new 2002 Explorer, well before the vehicle's spring debut. Service Route 89, a state road that paralleled the freeway, was undeniably a scenic drive during the day.

The road no doubt would be a Mecca for bikers and Pike's Peak aspirants because of its multitude of switchbacks, twists, 20- and 15-mph curves of rapidly decreasing radius and - falling rocks. Add darkness to this, and the demand on the vehicle and the driver behind the wheel would be exaggerated.

The setting was to provide us with an abrupt and unexpected taste of what Ford's redesigned sport utility was capable of handling.

It was pitch dark when we drove around a 20-mph blind curve with a 7 percent grade on the inside lane, then came face to face with a boulder squarely in our path. It was taller than the hood of the vehicle.

A Matter of Choice

We had two instantaneous choices: Attempt to go around, which would have had to be a precision maneuver considering a 500- to 1,000- foot drop on the other side of the guard rail. Or stop.

John Hillery, a Reuters photographer and my driving partner for the event, was at the wheel. Instinct made him choose the latter. John braked aggressively, engaging ABS as the boulder loomed larger in our headlights and we both were convinced we were going to hit. I had visions of airbags going off, or worse. But to our complete surprise -- maybe shock -- we just stopped.

When we both got out to look, it was no exaggeration to say there was slightly more than the thickness of a sheet of paper between the rock and bumper. It was the kind of stop that a lesser vehicle never could have managed, a prospect neither of us wanted to think about.

Real World Test | Next

 

Back to Front Page Now or return to Top or visit the Archives


e MOTION! REPORTS 2006

http://www.emotionreports.com

eMOTION! REPORTS.com
74 W. Long Lake Rd. Suite 103 Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304






Site Search



Crisis on Asimov
Special Report
Crisis on Asimov

Focus on China
Special Report
Full Coverage




2002 Ford Explorer
Special Report
Full Coverage

Hyperdrive for a
New Millennium

Full Story

Engines: Power for
the Future
Automotive

Feature Story

Condit Addresses
Economic Club of Detroit
Notable Happenings

Full Text

The Critic
Automotive

Comprehensive vehicle
reviews and
analysis

Pdf Downloads
Vision 2050: Integrated
National Transport


Air Traffic Management:
Revolutionary Concepts

Site Map ... Go

 
site map THE BRIEFING ROOM THE CRITIC