Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Ford Explorer hybrid and ST revealed

Thrifty or rambunctious: 2020 Ford Explorer hybrid and ST revealed All-New 2020 Ford Explorer ST Is Ford's Most Powerful SUV Ever
Sandy Mccarthy | 14 January, 2019, 17:58

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the new Explorer Hybrid pairs a 3.3-liter engine with a 1o-speed modular hybrid transmission. On Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford introduced the 2020 Explorer hybrid and ST models to give Americans more options in the showroom. 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.

Ford's re-engineered Explorer is officially the automaker's most powerful SUV ever thanks to a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine, projected to put down 400 HP and 415 lb-ft (562 Nm) of torque.

Ford boldly calls the Explorer ST "the fastest three-row SUV under $60,000", and it packs upgraded brakes, springs, and dampers. 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. It has unique leather upholstery with ST logos stitched in the seatbacks and a heated flat-bottom steering wheel.

"We designed it to be an ST from the beginning", said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief functional engineer. The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and towing package are standard, too.

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Ford claims the Explorer Sport has a top speed of 143 miles per hour, is faster than the Range Rover Sport with its supercharged V-6 engine, and is the fastest three-row SUV under $60,000. While we don't have the full download on either ST Pack yet, we do know that they both include 21-inch aluminum wheels and upgraded brakes with red-painted calipers.

The ST includes some other nice standard features.

The small lithium-ion battery pack is mounted under the rear passenger seat in the second row, which means none of the Explorer's 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space is lost by opting for the most-efficient Explorer. There's no word yet on pricing, but it should come in a fair bit higher than the current Explorer Sport's $47,720 starting price. Ford said the hybrid can tug up to 5,000 pounds (down just 600 pounds from the Explorer's max tow rating of 5,600 pounds), which is 1,500 pounds more than a Highlander Hybrid can haul. Final EPA-estimated ratings available in the 2019 calendar year.

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