As one of the popular mid-size crossover SUVs in the United States, the Ford Explorer has received a number of significant changes in the past decade. Now, the Detroit-based car manufacturer has just revealed the 2020 Ford Explorer to the public earlier this year. And the biggest news is that Ford will introduce a hybrid version of the Explorer crossover for the 2020 mode years.
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Initially, the Ford Explorer was launched in 1990 as the company’s first four-door SUV to replace its predecessor the two-door “Ford Bronco II”. Explorer shares the same platform and architecture with the Ford Ranger pickup truck at that time, and it’s relies entirely on the rear-wheel drive configuration. Furthermore, there is four-wheel drive models offered in the next first two generations Explorer.
Then the third-generation 2011 Ford Explorer hit the U.S. market with front-wheel drive based powertrain with a transverse-engine, and unibody structure. Although the front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive still remain the majority layout in the mid-size-SUV class to date, but the 2020 Ford Explorer has instead switched back to using rear-wheel drive based powertrain with a longitudinal-engine. Apart from that, the 2020 Ford Explorer shares the same new architecture with the 2020 Lincoln Aviator and it’s claimed to offer more passenger space in each of its three rows seats. Overall, the new Explorer has a slightly longer dimension with a wheelbase stretching 6-inches longer than the previous model.
The redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer is available in several powertrain options when it goes on sale at U.S. dealers this summer, depending on the selected trim. The entry-level model will get an EcoBoost 2.3-liter turbocharged engine paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission that can produce 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The EcoBoost turbo engine gets an increase in power output by 20 horsepower, from 280 HP to 300 HP. Two drive configurations are available for buyers, both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Ford has claimed that the 2020 Explorer 2.3L EcoBoost has a maximum towing capacity of 5,300 pounds, or it has increased from the current Explorer SUV which only has a towing capacity of 3,000 pounds.
The next option, there is a EcoBoost 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that is only offered for the 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum, and is set to replace the previous 3.5-liter V6 turbo engine which is capable of producing 350 horsepower. Mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox, the turbocharged 3.0L EcoBoost V6 unit capable of spewing output up to 365 horsepower with 380 lb-ft of torque, and is claimed to have a towing capacity of 5,600 pounds. For those who want more power, Ford will reportedly offer a new ST variant with a 3.0-liter V6 engine for the redesigned 2020 Explorer crossover. The new V6 unit is claimed to be capable of producing up to 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque.
Of course, fuel economy has become the only main focus in hybrid powertrain rather than performance. And the 2020 Ford Explorer hybrid is now powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.3-liter V6 engine coupled to an electric motor with a lithium-ion battery mounted under the second row seats. The new Explorer hybrid is available with 10-speed automatic transmission as standard and can be paired to either a rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The combined performance figures for the 2020 Explorer hybrid powertrain are rated at 318 horsepower with an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg combined.
Moving into the cabin, there are several standard technology features offered by the 2020 Ford Explorer such as the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, FordPass Connect app, 10.1-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen infotainment system, 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless device charging, and USB ports type-C. The standard safety features include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection system, pre-collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitor, automatic headlamps, and lane-departure warning.
The official release date scheduled for the 2020 Ford Explorer has been announced, where the new four-door mid-size SUV will be launched this summer and will reach U.S. showrooms shortly after that. Ford offers five trim level options for the new Explorer, including base, XLT, Limited, ST, and Platinum trim levels. As for the official price tag, the 2020 Ford Explorer will go on sale with a starting price of $33,860 for the base model and this price has increased by $400 from the previous model.