2020 Ford Explorer to have rear-wheel-drive platform, ST variant delivers over 400 hp

Article by Christian A., on January 31, 2018

After all the talks about the Ford Ranger’s return to the United States, as well as the revival of the Bronco (finally!), it is so easy to forget other things like the Explorer. Since 2016, the automaker has been testing the next generation Explorer out in the open, and it has been a while since the first time we saw spy shots of it. But recently, sources have come out to disclose major modifications done on the 2020 model year Ford Explorer. Its production is slated to begin in 2019.

Ford insiders have told The Truth About Cars that the sixth generation Explorer will be given a significant makeover, one of which is its use of a new rear wheel drive platform, specifically the new modular CD6 architecture.

Its body panels will likely be built mostly out of steel, and it will be assembled at an assembly plant in Chicago. Similarly, its Lincoln-badged counterpart will share the same platform as the Explorer and will be built in the Windy city. It will also have a body made out of steel too.

As for the powertrain, the same sources shared that the 2020 Ford Explorer will be having four engine options. The first is the same 2.3 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine (same as its predecessor) that can produce as much as 280 horsepower and 310 pound feet of torque.

The second would be the same engine found in the F-150 model which is the new 3.3 liter V6 engine. This is supposed to replace the existing 3.5 liter V6 that has an output of 290 horsepower and 255 pound feet. We do not have definite information as to how much power it will produce in the new Explorer.

Up next, the Explorer will also be offered in a hybrid powertrain. And instead of a Sport trim, it will have an Explorer ST trim instead. It’s comparable to how the Edge Sport turned into an Edge ST. The ST variant will now have a 3.0 liter V6 that replaces the 3.5 liter one. Overall, it can carry out 400 horsepower and 400 pound feet of torque - the same specs you could find in the Lincoln Continental. These numbers may not be final, but we are sure know that there will be an improvement over the outgoing Explorer Sport and its 365 horsepower and 350 pound feet.

Moving on to the plush Lincoln equivalent, it will be offered in a standard 3.0 liter biturbo V6, or a plug-in optional hybrid based around the same gasoline engine. In any case, it will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission that will bring power to the rear wheels.

Since it will be a while before this model hits the production line, we are not sure whether the automaker plans to pull the wraps off of this model. Perhaps we will see it later this year at the Los Angeles Motor Show. What we are certain of is that it will not be heading to Chicago in February.

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