Ford livens up its 2020 Explorer SUV lineup with new Hybrid and ST models

Article by Christian A., on January 30, 2019

Ford Motor Co.’s Explorer family of sports utility vehicles has just been expanded with the arrival of two new models. The base, XLT, Limited and Platinum models of the Explorer are welcoming their newest family members – the Explorer ST and the Explorer Hybrid. All of these models are built at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant.

The new Ford Explorer Hybrid is the first dedicated hybrid model in the Explorer family. It is powered by a 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain that is expected to deliver 318 hp of total system output, which is sent to the rear wheels of the Explorer Hybrid. Ford is aiming to make the Explorer Hybrid capable of returning more than 500 miles of range before having to refuel.

Furthering the capability of the hybrid powertrain of the new Ford Explorer Hybrid is an all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission as well as a liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery. Since the battery is built into the chassis just below the second-row seats, the cargo and passenger room of the Explorer Hybrid remains the same as it conventionally powered siblings.

To make the new Ford Explorer Hybrid more appealing, it comes with a number of standard equipment derived from the Ford Explorer Limited trim. These equipment includes Active Noise Cancellation, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ driver-assist technologies, a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system as well as wireless phone charging pad. It also features leather seats with micro-perforations and accent stitching, 10-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats, as well as second-row heated seats.

On the other hand, the new Ford Explorer ST continues the expansion of the ST brand, making it the most powerful Ford SUV so far. In fact, the Explorer ST is engineered by the Ford Performance team. This is evidenced by mill under its hood -- a specially tuned 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that is targeted to deliver 400 hp of max output and 415 lb.-ft. of peak torque. This should allow the Explorer ST to reach a targeted top speed of 143 mph on the track.

This 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine is mated to a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels, with selectable traction control. The Explorer ST offers a Sport mode that can be engaged through the Selectable Drive Mode dial in the center console.

On the exterior, the new Ford Explorer ST is distinguished by a black mesh grille insert, lower body side details, roof-rack side rails, liftgate applique and skid plate elements. The front edge of the hood features a stretched “EXPLORER” badging.

Inside, the new Ford Explorer ST comes with a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster, a flat-bottomed heated steering wheel embossed with an ST logo, leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforations, City Silver accent stitching as well as ST logo.

As standard, the Explorer ST is installed with Class III Trailer Tow Package with Cargo Management System and Active Park Assist 2.0. It can be upgraded with an ST Street Pack and an ST Track Pack, both adding 21-inch aluminum wheels and red-painted brake calipers.

Press Release

ALL-NEW FORD EXPLORER GOES FASTER AND FURTHER WITH PERFORMANCE-TUNED ST AND NO-COMPROMISE HYBRID

Capping its broadest-ever lineup of Explorer SUVs, Ford revealed today two all-new models that will take Explorer drivers faster and further than ever before.

The all-new Explorer ST and the all-new Explorer hybrid complete a lineup that includes a wide range of driver and passenger comforts, an assortment of technologies that improve every drive, and new powertrain options that deliver a range of power and uncompromising efficiency.

The full Explorer family, which follows on the heels of the hot-selling new Expedition, goes on sale this summer. As Ford’s SUV sales leader, Explorer will set the pace for the rest of Ford’s utility lineup, which continues growing this year with an all-new Escape – and more.

“This new generation of Explorer recognizes that every family – and every driver – is unique,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president of product development and purchasing. “With an all-new ST and an all-new hybrid, there truly is an Explorer for every adventure.”

The newest additions to the all-new Explorer family – built at Ford Chicago Assembly Plant – will join base, XLT, Limited and Platinum models in showrooms.

ST thrills continue with all-new Explorer ST

Continuing the expansion of the ST brand that began with Edge ST, the all-new Explorer ST is the most powerful and fun-to-drive Ford SUV ever.

Engineered by the Ford Performance team, Explorer ST uses a specially tuned 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine projected to achieve 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque. A top speed target for track drivers stands at 143 mph.

“We designed it to be an ST from the beginning,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief functional engineer. “There’s no mistaking its ST DNA. It has a performance feel with sustained performance capability, and wears an unmistakably ST appearance. More than anything, it's just a hell of a lot of fun to drive.”

Explorer ST delivers an engaging driving experience with a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive with selectable traction control. Available upgrades include an ST Street Pack and an ST Track Pack. Both feature 21-inch aluminum wheels and red-painted brake calipers, with differing levels of performance brakes.

As with Edge ST, Explorer ST offers a Sport mode that lets drivers select an even more exhilarating ride. When engaged via the Selectable Drive Mode dial in the center console, the steering system tightens for sportier reaction, the gas pedal responds more aggressively, gears hold longer and shift quicker, and an enhanced engine note plays through the cabin.

Visually, Explorer ST stands apart from the rest of the lineup courtesy of a black mesh grille insert, liftgate applique, lower bodyside details, roof-rack side rails and skid plate elements. “EXPLORER” badging stretches across the front edge of the hood.

Inside, a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster is standard. A flat-bottomed heated steering wheel embossed with an ST logo, as well as unique floor mats, are subtle ST-exclusive cues. Leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforations, City Silver accent stitching and ST logo complete the sporty feel.

Explorer ST also comes standard with a Class III Trailer Tow Package with Cargo Management System and Active Park Assist 2.0, Ford’s new driver-assist parking system that takes control of the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal and gear shifter during parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers with a simple touch of a button.

Explorer hybrid offers no-compromise efficiency

Ford is reinventing the standard for what a hybrid can be, and this year is introducing an entirely new generation of hybrids that bring out the best in hybrid vehicles with great performance and the freedom to go further.

The all-new Explorer hybrid – available as features a 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain is projected to produce 318 horsepower combined and is targeting a range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups in the rear-wheel-drive model*.

An all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission provides SUV capability. A specially designed liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery is built into the Explorer chassis below the second-row seats to preserve cargo and passenger space, unlike previous hybrid vehicles.

“Lost cargo space in hybrids is a thing of the past for Ford customers,” said Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer.

Other standard Limited trim level equipment includes Active Noise Cancellation to reduce unwanted noise in the cabin, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+™ driver-assist technologies, leather seats with micro-perforations and accent stitching, second-row heated seats, a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system, wireless phone charging pad and 10-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.

*Actual range will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available in the 2019 calendar year.

Source: Ford

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