The Timberline package specializes in dirt, the Stealth in street.
Ford was the first to introduce a vehicle at a Detroit auto show in more than two years this morning at the Motor Bella event in Pontiac, Michigan. An American brand at the most American of shows unveiled its most American of vehicles -- a hulking behemoth of an off-road SUV -- the 2022 Ford Expedition. We'll also get to see the new Toyota Tundra and GMC Hummer EV at the event.
Continuing its fourth generation for 2022, the three-row Expedition splits off with two new trim packages called the Timberline series (like the Explorer version that came out in the summer) and the Stealth Edition Performance Package. As you can guess, the Timberline series is more for off-road adventures than the standard Expedition, while the Stealth Edition is for "street adventures."
Those character options are key to the buyers of this SUV, with Millennials now accounting for the fastest-growing demographic in the full-size SUV segment. Us old Gen Xers are important too, just less so.
"Gen Xers and Millennials are starting to purchase SUVs at higher rates. Millennials are changing life stages, they're going into family formation," said Bill Gubing, Ford SUV vehicle program director. "And the rate of Millennials and Gen Xers who are saying 'I do outdoor activities' is crazy high, Millennials over 50% and Gen Xers over a third. As Millennials and Gen Xers start getting a little bit older, they have disposable income, they buy trailers are boats to enjoy their empty-nester status, they appreciate the space that a product like this provides."
Speaking of space, and capability, the 7 or 8 passenger body-on-frame SUV has a max towing capacity of 9,300 pounds, which Ford notes is slightly better than the Chevy Tahoe's 8,400 pounds. It only comes with one powertrain, a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, here making 440 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. A ten-speed automatic transmission sends power the rear or all four wheels.
The Timberline package nets drivers 10.6 inches of ground clearance, the best in class, as well as Trail Turn Assist, which can brake the inside rear wheel to turn tighter, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires, a two-speed transfer case, and F-150 Raptor-style underbody shielding. Forged Green is the color you're looking at below, but it comes in a few others.
"Timberline sets a new standard with full-size SUV customers who need more passenger space, great off-road capability and a basecamp for life's journeys," said Mike Kipley, Ford Expedition chief engineer.
The Stealth Edition is available on Limited and Limited Max Expeditions and adds 22-inch black aluminum wheels, red brake calipers, and new black Ford emblems. There's also a ton of stuff in gloss black including the grille, mirror caps, roof rails, running boards, tailgate, rear bumper skid plate, fog lamp bezels, plus headlamp and taillamp housing. It sports the same 440 horses, but a sport-tuned suspension.
Sync 4 is standard for your infotainment needs with a standard 12-inch screen. It can be split to control multiple features at a time. The Sync 4A system gets a 15.5-inch portrait-style screen with a new menu system. A 12.4-inch driver display is also available. A premium Bang & Olufsen sound system with 22 speakers is available on King Ranch, Platinum, Stealth, and Timberline models.
Ford's hands-free Blue Cruise Level 2 assisted driving system is standard on Platinum models. The system works on 100,000 or so miles of road in the US and Canada. It builds on the Expedition's adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and speed sign recognition features to reduce fatigue on long journeys.
Other driver assist features included Road Edge Detection, Intersection Assist (watches for approaching traffic when turning left), Reverse Brake Assist (automatically brakes when backing up), Evasive Steering Assist (helps you steer in a panic situation) and the active air dam that improves aerodynamics at speed. All of these systems will be updateable and upgradable through over-the-air updates.
The 2022 Ford Expedition goes on sale in the first quarter of next year, chip shortage be damned, and will be built at the plant in Louisville, Kentucky. We don't have pricing yet, but the current model starts at about $51,000 and tops out at $77,000 for the Expedition Platinum Max. Expect it to stay in the same range, with a little increase.