Ford Offers World First Wheelchair-Accessible SUV
OREANDA-NEWS. February 10, 2016. The world’s best-selling SUV for 25 years is now the world’s only volume-production wheelchair-accessible SUV.
Ford Motor Company and BraunAbility have joined forces to create BraunAbility MXV™ – a wheelchair-accessible SUV that gives wheelchair users the quality and dependability of a BraunAbility mobility vehicle, and the adventurous, “unstoppable” spirit of an Explorer.
“We’re thrilled the Explorer name is connected to such a highly respected brand like BraunAbility,” said Omar Odeh, Ford marketing manager. “Explorer has always been associated with helping people go places they otherwise could not, and BraunAbility MXV furthers that reputation.”
BraunAbility MXV – available with Explorer base, XLT and Limited models – features patented sliding-door technology, removable driver and passenger seats, and a powered, lighted in-floor ramp. A sliding shifter and front seat base design provide for increased space, while an integrated key fob operates both door and ramp. There’s also an available tow package.
Interior space is maximized to create ample room for wheelchair navigation and comfort. Wheelchair users can drive the vehicle from a wheelchair or ride as a passenger. Notable dimensions include:
• 55-inch usable side door opening height
• 28 1/2-inch usable ramp width
• 58-inch interior height (vehicle center)
• 59-inch interior height (for driver and passenger)
• 55-inch interior floor length behind front seats
• 59 1/2-inch interior width at B-pillar
“Our customers are very excited to have a mobility option that reflects their individuality,” said Nick Gutwein, BraunAbility president and CEO. “For us, Ford Explorer was the obvious choice. It’s an iconic American vehicle that reflects the ultimate in independence and freedom.”
Featuring a 3.5-liter V6 engine, BraunAbility MXV delivers the performance and capability Explorer drivers have embraced for years, including an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined rating. Actual mileage will vary. MXV also delivers an estimated 5,000-pound maximum tow capacity.
BraunAbility MXV is produced at BraunAbility’s 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Winamac, Indiana. It is sold at more than 200 authorized dealers throughout the United States.
BraunAbility is the world’s leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts in the mobility industry. Founded nearly 50 years ago by Ralph Braun, the corporation was built on the age-old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
Ralph Braun was a young man who used a wheelchair and had no reliable transportation to and from his place of work. He built his first wheelchair-accessible vehicle in 1972, and since then the company has grown into the most well-known and experienced name in the mobility industry, bringing independence to millions of individuals across the world.