DETROIT: Ford's new 2020 Explorer will feature the quietest cabin in the brand's portfolio thanks to a dual-wall dashboard, acoustic glass, and Active Noise Control technology.
The newest version of Ford's classic Explorer is powered by a 400hp engine capable of towing 2,268kg. An engine that powerful is sure to roar pretty loudly; however, thanks to three layers of sound-reducing features and technology, the brand claims this cabin is the "quietest interior ever."
Installing a dual-wall dashboard between the engine compartment and passenger cabin is just one of three methods Ford used to keep the "vroom out of the room."
Two walls of sheet-metal with an air gap in between work to keep vibration noises out, mimicking a semi-anechoic chamber. Basically, this is similar to the insulation technique used to keep drinks hot or cold in a thermos.
To keep the wind and road noise from entering the cabin, the glass used for the windshield and front side was doubled up and buffered with a sheet of clear plastic in between.
Lastly, Ford integrated Active Noise Control technology - only into the Explorer Limited Hybrid, though - to neutralise low and mid-frequency noise. This is a method of placing microphones throughout the cabin to pick up noises and cancel them out by "producing opposing sound waves that come through the audio system speakers."
While the dual-wall dashboard and acoustic glass windows work together to keep noise from entering the cabin, the Active Noise Control system combats those leftover sounds that manage to get inside.
Though Ford is certainly not the first to use these noise-reducing features - Mercedes and Lexus have several models sporting acoustic glass and Active Noise Control tech, while Bose developed an in-car Active Noise Control system that can be integrated into any vehicle during development - its cabin is likely one of the most quiet out there considering that it features all three at once.
The 2020 Ford Explorer will arrive in US dealerships this summer with a starting price of under US$33,000 (RM135,000).