This week Ford Performance delivered on its promise of expanding the ST lineup by introducing us to the all-new Ford Explorer ST. This performance-minded SUV debut, which will be available as a 2020 model year vehicle, completes Ford‘s broadest-ever lineup of Explorer SUVs. It also gives us a total of three different variants to chose from of America’s favorite family hauler, as well as a great follow-up to the release of the 2019 Edge ST.
The Ford Explorer, Explorer Hybrid, and the Explorer ST models are giving SUV owners plenty of options to make your next adventure not only more enjoyable but also giving you the ability to get to these destinations faster and further than ever before.
The Explorer ST 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. - Ed Krenz, Ford Performance Chief Functional Engineer
“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.”
But it was the Explorer ST that really caught our attention at this year’s NAIAS. Engineered by the Ford Performance team, Explorer ST will use a specially tuned 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine giving it the ability to achieve up to 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque.
This will make the full-size vehicle the most potent Ford SUV ever. With an estimated top speed target for track drivers of 143 mph, it also makes it one of the fastest in the SUV lineup.
“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.”
Enthusiasts can expect the Explorer ST to deliver an engaging driving experience and will feature a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive with selectable traction control.
Like its smaller cousin the Edge ST, which made its debut late last year, the Explorer ST will offer selectable drive modes to choose to dial in the performance you desire for changing conditions.
2020 Ford Explorer ST Exterior Details
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.
So will you be able to tell the ST variant apart from the other two Explorer offerings? Well the Explorer ST will come standard with a unique black mesh grille insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside details, roof-rack side rails, and skid plate elements. A large “EXPLORER” badge will also be on display across the front edge of the hood to let the world know this vehicle is designed to get you to your next destination in a hurry.
The interior will feature a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster; flat-bottomed, heated steering wheel with the ST logo; and custom floor mats. Leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforation, City Silver accent stitching, and the engaging ST logo will finish the look.
We are excited to get behind the wheel of this ST version when it becomes available later this year. Although pricing for the new vehicle has not yet been released, you can click on Ford’s new Explorer website and browse through all of the innovative features, pics, trim levels, and available colors of the Ford Performance SUV right here.