The 2020 Ford Explorer ST and Hybrid add two new flavors to the three-row model’s lineup.
Last week, we brought you news of the 2020 Ford Explorer — the model’s first major redesign in nearly a decade. With a fresh new face, a rear-wheel drive platform and massive 12.3-inch touchscreen, there are quite a few changes from the previous fifth-generation model. However, Ford decided to hold onto two more big changes until new: the 2020 Ford Explorer ST and Hybrid models. Here’s what you need to know about Ford’s most powerful and most efficient Explorer models.
Power to the crossovers: Explorer ST
The standard 2020 Ford Explorer now comes with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine with 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. That may be fine for some, but the 2020 Ford Explorer ST comes packing a much bigger punch. This model sports a larger 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine with 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. It’s still mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission (all new Explorers are), but that does help give this Explorer more shove. In fact, Ford made this three-row crossover capable of hitting 143 mph.
According to Ford Performance chief functional engineer Ed Krenz, “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.” While it sounds like the 2020 Ford Explorer ST has enough punch to scare the living daylights out of the family, we’ll have to see what it’s like when we get our hands on one in the near future. As with the 2019 Edge ST, the new Explorer ST also has a Sport mode to make it just that little bit edgier.
The 2020 Ford Explorer ST stands out from the rest of the pack with its black mesh grille and available ST Street and Track Packs. Both have 21-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, for a start. You also get red-painted brake calipers with stainless steel pistons and larger, vented rotors. The Track Pack offers more aggressive brakes than the Street Pack.
On the tech front, Ford offers the Explorer ST with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a Class III Trailer Tow Package and Active Park Assist 2.0, among a series of other technology and driver assistance features. For more on those, check out our reveal video of the 2020 Ford Explorer lineup.
Greater efficiency: Explorer Hybrid
Moving from pure performance, the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid promises more in the way of efficiency. Here, you get a 3.3-liter naturally-aspirated V6 engine mated to an electric motor. 318 horsepower is the Explorer Hybrid’s combined output, which is more than the standard model. However, Ford is also estimating the Explorer Hybrid will manage 500 miles on a tank.
EPA figures aren’t available for the model yet, but we do know it has a 19.3 gallon fuel tank. On that basis, the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid may end up getting somewhere between 24 and 26 mpg combined. However, that is just an estimate based on what range Ford claims this Explorer can manage. Unlike other hybrid models, the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid still uses a 10-speed “modular hybrid” automatic transmission.
Available features here include Ford Co-Pilot Assist 360+, Active Noise Cancellation, micro-perforated leather seats and a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system. Cargo space also remains the same for the Hybrid model, at 87.8 cubic feet.
All Explorer models, including the 2020 Ford Explorer ST and Hybrid, will be available this summer. Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for reviews coming soon and more news from the 2019 Detroit Auto Show!