The Ford Explorer’s new Platinum trim level was announced recently, and America’s best-selling midsize SUV has never looked better. The overall level of luxury was discussed in a previous post, but thanks to a recent exposition by Ford and Sony we have had an intimate look into the Explorer Platinum’s state-of-the-art sound system. Featuring technology that is completely exclusive to Ford, including Live Acoustics and Clear Phase, the 2016 Explorer will be without equal when it comes to pure auditory bliss.
The brand manager for the Explorer, Matt Zuehlk, said that the “Explorer is about pushing boundaries, and authentic high-end home theater sound isn’t just for the living room anymore. The new Platinum series gives customers everything – including a sound system that will knock your socks off.” Correct on all counts – the audio technology featured in the 2016 Explorer Platinum has previously been exclusive to high-end home sound systems, but the Explorer is all about pushing boundaries, after all.
The Live Acoustics algorithm is purposed with producing a precise acoustic signature, developed by Sony engineers after measuring the acoustic qualities of some of the world’s finest concert halls. After over 100 hours of tweaking and tuning, the engineers perfected the Explorer’s ability to reproduce the exact sound quality of those concert halls within its cabin.
Clear Phase technology optimizes the Explorer’s audio output to minimize or eliminate wave interference and sound dispersion within the cabin, with the end result being razor-sharp sound quality. It follows the same principles as sound engineers use when setting up a sound stage for recording: each instrument occupies a specific place among the others to minimize distortion of each unique sound. Within a vehicle, this translates to the perception that sound is being generated on a stage that is larger than the vehicle itself.
Zuehlk sees the Explorer Platinum as filling a ready-made niche in the SUV marketplace: according to him, “90 percent of today’s Explorer Sport buyers purchase the most expensive package available. That’s a strong signal [that] customers are ready for Platinum.” Prior to the Platinum’s announcement, the Sport was the Explorer’s highest trim level. Even with the boosted price tag, Platinum buyers will get all that they paid for and more. Look for the Explorer Platinum at Randall Reed’s Planet Ford this summer, and get ready for a new level of luxury.