LS Plastic Model Trucks and SUV Collection

Sunday, October 23, 2005

AMT ERTL 1996 Ford Explorer Limited 1/24 Scale

The 1995 Explorer was significantly redesigned. Improving the vehicle that dominated the SUV market was a challenge. Since its introduction, Explorer had been a showroom sellout - without sales incentives. Not only was the vehicle already recognized as a leader in overall versatility, but it also topped all international competitors by being the only major SUV to offer dual air bags, four-wheel disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering and a four-wheel, anti-lock braking system (ABS).

Said Benintende: "The 1995 Explorer was an expression of how Ford listened to its customers and responded directly to their needs. J.D. Power and Associates, a leading independent automotive research and survey firm, named it the best compact sport utility vehicle in initial quality." The redesigned SUV again maintained its best-selling status with sales of 395,227 during that calendar year. Major changes to the 1995 model included all-new front-end sheet metal offering a more rounded aerodynamic look, and all-new Short and Long Arm (SLA) front suspension. A Control Trac four-wheel drive system added safety and stability to the Explorer by automatically increasing torque to the front wheels upon rear wheel slippage.

Consumer safety was at the forefront of the redesign, with rear seat head restraints and a Crush Management System that incorporated accordion-like pleats in key areas of the frames and body structure. It was designed to absorb energy in a controlled manner and better protect occupants in the event of frontal impact. The 1995 model also added interior comfort amenities including a message center, 6-disc CD player and an integrated child safety seat.

In 1996, an optional 5.0L V8 all-wheel drive system was added to Explorer. The introduction of the optional V8 engine pleased buyers who were looking for more trailer-towing power to go along with the SUVs other capabilities. The optional new engine helped drive sales for the 1996 calendar year to 402,663 units.

A new 4.0L SOHC V-6 engine was offered on the 1997 Explorer with the XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited series. This engine was optional, as the 4.0-liter OHV V-6 was standard. For the sixth consecutive year, customers recognized its superiority and their preference enabled the Explorer to maintain its best-selling SUV status by selling 383,852 units in the 1997 calendar year.


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