The 2011 Explorer, which will go into production later this year, is the latest model in Ford's lineup to receive eco-friendly seats. Soy foam, a.k.a. bio-based polyurethane foam, will be featured in seat cushions and seatbacks.
This foam is 24% more renewable than the petroleum-based variety. Amy Marentic, group marketing manager, Ford cars and CUVs, said that the new Explorer will improve fuel economy by at least 25% when compared to the current model.
The new Explorer will also have other eco-friendly features. Before the 2011 Explorer, there were 22 other models that had featured soy foam.
The 2011 Explorer is the company's 23rd model to feature soy foam. The list of models that will get soy foam by the end of 2010 include: Ford Taurus, Mustang, F-150, Focus, Flex, Crown Victoria, Escape, Edge, Expedition and Econoline, as well as Mercury Mariner and Grand Marquis, Lincoln MKS, MKX, MKT and Navigator use the sustainable material.
In addition to Explorer, the Fusion, Fiesta, F-250/F-350 Super Duty, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ. Debbie Mielewski, Ford polymer technical leader, said that the company won't stop with the soy foam and that it will continue to develop vehicle materials from natural resources.
She said that in the future, she hopes to see the automotive industry go totally compostable, removing the use of petroleum-based parts 100%.