SPIED: Development Of Next-Gen Ford Explorer Underway
The Ford Explorer has been spied on test again, this time with lesser camouflage than before. Ford will launch the SUV in 2019 as a 2020 model.
Judging by the sparse camouflage concealing the prototype, Ford could debut the Explorer very soon. With this debut, the SUV will enter a new generation in its life cycle. The Blue Oval had previously redesigned the Explorer in 2011, when the popular SUV shifted from a body-on-ladder frame in favour of a monocoque chassis. The same year, an inline-four powertrain was also introduced to the big SUV.
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The spy shots hint at substantial changes to the Explorer’s shell. The front fascia takes on a more prominent shape with the redesign. The body retains its boxy form with space for three rows inside. The test mule seen in the spy shots is the Explorer in its upmarket Platinum trim.
Ford has given a thorough makeover to the parts we can’t see. The 2020 Explorer will be one of the first models to ride on Ford’s next-gen platform for larger cars. The flexible platform is codenamed D6 and accommodates front-, rear-, as well as all-wheel-drive layouts.
The Ford Explorer will send its power to the rear wheels but will offer all-wheel-drive optionally. This setup can be seen on the 2020 Lincoln Aviator which is due next year. Ford is also liberally using aluminium all over the Explorer in a bid to reduce weight, increase rigidity, and improve fuel economy.
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As for powertrains, the base trim of the Ford Explorer will use a 2.3-litre EcoBoost inline-four engine for propulsion. A naturally aspirated 3.3-litre V6 will sit above the base offering. Ford will also the V6 trim with a hybrid option. For performance aficionados, the firm has also confirmed it is developing a new Explorer ST. It will replace the current 365-hp Explorer Sport. Ford will reportedly place a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 under the Explorer ST’s hood which would make close to 400hp.
All Images Credit: Motor Authority