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.