2020 Ford Explorer Adds Hybrid, ST Performance Trims

Updated with additional photography by Dan Heyman

Ford today followed up last week's reveal of its redesigned Explorer with the announcement of two new versions of the mid-size utility: a gas-electric hybrid variant and an ST performance model. Ford says the latter is its "most powerful and fun-to-drive" utility ever.

Explorer ST uses a 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine shared with lesser Explorer trims but tuned for 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque, a bonus of 35 hp and 35 lb-ft. Ford says its top-speed target for the ST is 230 km/h.

A 10-speed transmission puts that power to all four wheels. Options will include ST Track and Street packages, both of which will wrap 21-inch wheels around larger brakes with red painted calipers. Explorer ST takes advantage of the new model's improved towing capacity with a standard Class III tow package.

Inside, all Explorer ST models will come standard with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a heated, flat-bottom steering wheel and perforated leather seating with silver accent stitching and ST logos.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Explorer Hybrid, which matches a 3.3L V6 and 10-speed transmission with electric power for a total of 318 hp. Ford says a "specially-designed" lithium-ion battery lives under the second-row seat and doesn't intrude on interior space.

Explorer Hybrid will come in a single Limited trim level that will be standard with Ford's Co-Pilot Assist+ driver assist suite, perforated leather seating, heated second-row seats, 14-speaker sound system, wireless smartphone charging and 10-way electric front seats.

The 2020 Ford Explorer is set to go on sale this fall.

Exploring faster, farther 1/14/2019 5:00:00 PM