Ford revealed their 2020 Explorer earlier this month but in keeping with tradition; they have left two of the more interesting variants for Detroit. The Explore ST and Explorer Hybrid are unique additions to the SUV’s 6th generation. The former banks on its superior visual and technical upgrades, while the latter (almost indistinguishable from its base model) will attract MPG conscious ‘3-row’ crossover buyers.
Ford Explorer ST
While we had our reservations about the base model’s design, the Explorer ST goes extra miles to address them. It will replace the current ‘Sport’ model- as was the case with all of Ford’s newer vehicles.
This top-of-the-line model gets features like black mesh grille, roof-rails and taillight applique, unique lower elements, and the signature blue colour scheme. Inside, there is a flat-bottom steering wheel and other variant-specific features.
Drive dynamics have been improved by tweaking the power-steering system for stiffer hold. Transmission mapping is different and throttle response is much better . People can channel additional engine noise to the cabin- useless as it might be.
Engine is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 producing 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 10-speed Auto. AWD is standard and top speed is claimed at 143-mph.
Ford Explorer Hybrid
Available exclusive on the top ‘Limited trim’ is a new hybrid variant. It is practically indistinguishable from the gasoline model, save for the hybrid badge on its tailgate. Ford claims that the battery pack, nestled below the second row seat, doesn’t do anything against the car’s passenger volume, which is good. What it does, however, is return 500 miles in a single gas-electric charge! We will have to wait for the EPA to confirm if and how that’s achieved.
The Explorer Hybrid’s 3.3-liter V6 is mated to 10-speed automatic gearbox, producing combined 318 horsepower. This is channeled to the rear wheels as standard but AWD is available.
2020 Ford Explorer ST & Explorer Hybrid- Price and release date
Ford has not revealed the prices yet but both models are likely to reach dealerships in second half of this year.
|Ford Explorer Hybrid expected price||$45,000|
|Ford Explorer ST expected price||$55,000|
Ford did claim that the “Explorer ST is the most capable three row SUV under $60,000”. As expected, this means that replacing the ‘Sport’ model is just symbolic and that it will not be place even close to its price segment.
Stay tuned for more news and update!