It's been less than a week since the 2020 Ford Explorer made its formal debut, and the Blue Oval's already expanding the crossover SUV's lineup. Both the Explorer ST and hybrid will come with the same 10-speed automatic as in the standard members of the Explorer lineup.
The General Motors Co. luxury brand will start building the vehicle after its current parade of new models hits the market by 2021, Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said during a press event on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Replacing the Explorer Sport, the new ST is the most powerful Explorer ever to leave the factory. That's up from the 365 horses and 380 pound-feet in the Platinum. The company says it's estimating a 143-mph top speed. That same testing showed the Explorer Hybrid to weigh 455 pounds more than a comparable (3.0-liter EcoBoost AWD) non-hybrid model-so the battery pack could be quite large (a plug-in hybrid version of the closely related Lincoln Aviator is due as well).
A first-for-Explorer hybrid model also joins the ranks for 2020, and the gasoline-electric crossover brings a combined 318 horsepower to the table courtesy of its 3.3-liter V6 and single electric motor.
Explorer ST models feature a Sport mode with remapped throttle and transmission programs, recalibrated electronic power steering, and synthetic engine sounds in the cabin. Ford will offer both ST Street Pack and ST Track Pack upgrades, with 21-inch aluminum wheels and red-painted brake calipers, and differing levels of performance brakes.
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. Interior tweaks include a flat-bottom heated steering wheel, unique floor mats, leather sport buckets with micro-perforations, City Silver accent stitching and ST logos. Like other versions of the 2020 Ford Explorer, all-wheel-drive is available for the hybrid.