The world’s best-selling SUV for 25 years is now the world’s only volume-production wheelchair accessible SUV, the BraunAbilty MXV. I recently attended a Ford press conference at the DFW Auto Show where I got to hear Jesse Billauer with Life Rolls on Foundation share his story.
BraunAblity MXV is impacting his life and many others in a positive way. I am thrilled to see Ford offering a wheelchair accessible SUV that is attractive and efficient.
This press conference had a different feel and tone to it than many others I have attended. It wasn’t a sales pitch or anything high pressured, but rather an opportunity for Ford to share how they are celebrating everyday heroes such as Jesse through their industry and the products they offer.
I left the event completely inspired and asked myself some tough questions:
Could I maintain such a positive and upbeat attitude if life threw a dramatic change at my way?
Would I still find humor in everyday moments or would I simply complain all day?
Would I simply give up and stay at home like a hermit or would I continue to live my life in an active way that gives back?
When I try to answer those questions, I hope that I would be positive and stay inspired to live my life to the fullest like Jessie does.
Jessie Billauer’s words put a lot of things into perspective.
We are human and we do take things for granted. Things like driving a car on our own without the assistance or any modifications.
Now, thanks to innovative and willing companies like Ford Motor Company, driving a SUV that is sporty, stylish, comfortable and wheelchair accessible is now possible. SUVs are a hot item right now according to Ford sales figures.2016 has already proven to be the best calendar year start for Ford SUVs in history. #FordTXClick To Tweet
What Jesse thinks about the world’s first
wheelchair accessible SUV
Jessie participates in sports to improve quality of life for people living with disabilities. His positive attitude and strong sense of humor is definitely contagious.'Everyone deserves to have a nice looking vehicle.' @JesseBillauerClick To Tweet
More about BraunAbility
Ford Motor Company and BraunAbility joined forces to create BraunAbility MXV™ – a wheelchair-accessible SUV that gives wheelchair users the quality and dependability of a BraunAbility mobility vehicle, and the adventurous, “unstoppable” spirit of an Explorer.
“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.”
BraunAbility MXV – available with Explorer base, XLT and Limited models – features patented sliding-door technology, removable driver and passenger seats, and a powered, lighted in-floor ramp. A sliding shifter and front seat base design provide for increased space, while an integrated key fob operates both door and ramp. There’s also an available tow package.
Interior space is maximized to create ample room for wheelchair navigation and comfort. Wheelchair users can drive the vehicle from a wheelchair or ride as a passenger. Notable dimensions include:
- 55-inch usable side door opening height
- 28 1/2-inch usable ramp width
- 58-inch interior height (vehicle center)
- 59-inch interior height (for driver and passenger)
- 55-inch interior floor length behind front seats
- 59 1/2-inch interior width at B-pillar
“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.”
Featuring a 3.5-liter V6 engine, BraunAbility MXV delivers the performance and capability Explorer drivers have embraced for years, including an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined rating. Actual mileage will vary. MXV also delivers an estimated 5,000-pound maximum tow capacity.
BraunAbility MXV is produced at BraunAbility’s 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Winamac, Indiana. It is sold at more than 200 authorized dealers throughout the United States.
ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 199,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.
What do you think about Ford’s wheelchair accessible SUV? I love the sporty and sleek look of the vehicle.