Ford Explorer PHEV sits atop world's tallest free-standing climbing tower
Ford has placed an Explorer plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at the top of the world's tallest free-standing climbing tower in Norway and the vehicle will remain there for nearly the entire month of August. The activity is a part of a sport climbing challenge conducted by Ford for which the carmaker collaborated with champion climber Martin Mobråten.
Ford recently invited climbers from Norway to ascend the 47-metre OVER climbing tower and set the fastest time to reach the top. The 21-year-old winner, Ketil Bøe, has won a free, two-year lease for the seven-seat Explorer SUV along with a 1/100 scale, 3D-printed replica, OVER tower trophy. He completed the climbing activity in three minutes and 33 seconds.
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The Ford Explorer PHEV sources power from an EcoBoost petrol engine combined with a 13.6 kWh battery and electric motor. It produces 457 PS and 825 Nm of torque, resulting in an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in six seconds. It has the ability to tow up to 2,500 kg and has a WLTP-rated driving range of 42 km on pure electric power.
Ford and Mobråten together had created a challenging route throughout the tower for climbers who started from the ground to reach the vehicle atop the tower.
To place the Explorer PHEV at the top of the tower, Ford created a special platform to support the the vehicle at the top of the tower's hair-raising overhang. It took six months of planning to conduct the activity, including detailed investigation by engineers and architects to ensure the climbing tower could safely support the additional weight of the platform as well as the SUV.
Apart from the climbers, Ford has also planned rewards for tower visitors who manage to reach the top where the SUV is kept, even though they use the stairs. The visitors have been promised a free limited-edition t-shirt and a photo opportunity with the vehicle.