2020 Ford Explorer Gets ST, Hybrid Variants

At last week’s Detroit auto show, Ford showed off two new versions of its 2020 Ford Explorer that caused a lot of excitement. The first one is a more powerful, sporty version of the soccer mom SUV called the ST that’s with a twin turbo 3.0 liter EcoBoost engine good for 400 HP. The other version is probably more exciting to Gas 2 readers, though: it’s a hybrid!

Surprisingly, this isn’t a boring, half-hearted, cynical PR-grab attempt at a hybrid, either. The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid seems to be pretty well-sorted, and is projected to produce a combined three-hundred and eighteen horsepower and have a more than 500 mile range between fill-ups. That’s– that’s a lot of horsepower AND serious cruising range!

Check out the press release from Ford below, and let us know how you feel about a 300+ horsepower hybrid with a 500 mile range in the comments section at the bottom of the page. #whatatimetobealive

 

All-New Ford Explorer Goes Faster and Further with Performance-Tuned ST and No-Compromise Hybrid

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN — Completing its broadest-ever lineup of Explorer SUVs, Ford today revealed 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 variety of driver and passenger comforts, an array of technologies that improve every drive, and new powertrain options that deliver power and efficiency.

    The new Explorer family, which follows on the heels of Ford’s hot-selling new Expedition, goes on sale this summer. As America’s favorite SUV, Explorer will set the pace for the rest of the 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, product development and purchasing. “With an all-new ST and an all-new hybrid, there truly is an Explorer for every adventure.”

    These latest additions to the all-new Explorer family – built at the 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, 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 have 21-inch aluminum wheels with differing levels of performance brakes and feature larger vented rotors, red-painted brake calipers with stainless steel pistons, and larger brake pads for even better stopping power.

    As with Edge ST, Explorer ST offers a Sport mode for an 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 out courtesy of a black mesh grille insert, liftgate appliqué, 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 and unique floor mats are subtle cues exclusive to Explorer ST. Leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforation, City Silver accent stitching and ST logo complete the sporty feel.

    Explorer ST 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 hybrids – introducing an entirely new generation of vehicles this year that bring out the best in hybrid capability with great performance and the freedom to go further. The all-new Explorer Hybrid, which features a 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain, is projected to produce a combined system 318 horsepower. An EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups is targeted for the rear-wheel-drive model*.

    An all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission provides SUV capability. Unlike previous hybrid vehicles, 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.

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

    Available in Limited edition trim, Explorer Hybrid comes with Active Noise Cancellation, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+™ driver-assist technologies, leather seats with micro-perforation 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.

 

Source | Images: Ford.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.