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BraunAbility Uses Ford Explorer to Build Wheelchair-Accessible SUV

BraunAbility is launching its first wheelchair-accessible SUV, the MXV. Based on a production Ford Explorer, the MXV has a sliding door on the passenger side and an extending ramp for access into the cabin. Traditionally, BraunAbility has converted minivans like the Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna.

The BraunAbility MXV has features like removable front seats, so an owner can drive the car from a wheelchair, and a keyfob that automatically opens the sliding door and extends the access ramp. The automatic transmission shifter has also been redesigned to take up less space. The Explorer’s middle row of seats has been removed, creating an open load space that the company says can accommodate most modern power wheelchairs. Under the hood, the van has a standard Ford Explorer 3.5-liter V-6 engine, rated for 290 hp and 17/24 mpg (city/highway) with front-wheel drive.

BraunAbility examined several different crossovers and SUVs before deciding the Ford Explorer was the right vehicle for the company’s next conversion model.

“We wanted to create a vehicle that personifies freedom and independence, and the Ford Explorer provides the ultimate base to achieve that,” BraunAbility president and CEO Nick Gutwein said in a statement.

The new vehicle goes on sale this fall at BraunAbility’s 200 U.S. dealer locations.

Source: Ford