Chicago Auto Show: World's First Wheelchair-Accessible SUV Ford Explorer MXV Debuts

Posted: Feb 15 2016, 10:22am CST | by , Updated: Feb 15 2016, 10:24pm CST, in News | Cars & Vehicles


Chicago Auto Show: World's First Wheelchair-Accessible SUV Ford Explorer MXV Debuts
Credit: Ford
  • Ford debuts first wheelchair-accessible SUV called Ford Explorer MXV!

The SUV is a special project between Ford & BraunAbility and will be endorsed by disability spokesperson Jesse Billauer.

The Chicago Auto Show has proved that it is a platform with offerings for everyone on display. BraunAbility is a northwest Indiana-based company that specializes in wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Ford along with BraunAbility presented their new accessible SUV at the Chicago Auto Show. The SUV is designed for people with disabilities. The SUV is the first ever wheelchair-accessible SUV and is called the Ford Explorer MXV.

Ford Explorer MXV is also the first wheelchair-accessible SUV on the market. The Ford SUV is special since the doors of the Ford SUV slide open with the press of a button.

The SUV then lowers or lifts a wheelchair ramp. Similarly for easy access there is a moveable driver's seat which allows transfer to the seat. The seat also allows a person to drive from their wheelchair. 

“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.”

According to the collaborators just because you use a wheelchair doesn't mean you can't have ‘swag’.  Both companies are hyping up the ‘cool’ factor in the new SUV.

The SUV by Ford and BraunAbility will be promoted by Jesse Billauer, 37. Billauer was becoming a professional surfer when at 17-years-old; a large wave knocked him onto a sandbar. The accident left him paralyzed but didn't stop his adventures. 

According to Billauer, personally he’s not a minivan kind of guy but the Ford Explorer MXV talks to him. The Ford Exploere MXV will change the way people look at people with disabilities. Some people might be disable but they will still drive and going out in the world.  

“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.”

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