Thanks to two brand-new trim levels.
Ford has enthusiasts covered with its upcoming Bronco and Bronco Sport models, both of which are built to handle off-road elements. Though it won't be as capable as the Bronco family, Ford has another capable SUV on the way. Car And Driver reports that the 2022 Ford Explorer will offer a new off-road package, rumored to be called the Explorer Timberline. Ford trademarked the Timberline name back in 2018 with the Maverick name, though we were unsure what the former would be used for until now.
Maverick is still expected to go on an upcoming compact pickup truck model, while the Timberline should grace the back of the most off-road-ready Explorer. This new Explorer option was formerly rumored to be called the FX4, but Ford's recent introduction of the Tremor name shows that it's willing to use other names for its off-road packages.
Based on what we know about the Explorer Timberline, it won't be extreme or capable enough to warrant a Tremor or Raptor badge. The package will likely include beefier all-terrain tires, new front, and rear fascias, a skid plate, and possibly a small suspension lift. It's unclear what engine will power the Timberline, though we wouldn't hold out too much hope for the Explorer ST's 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6. Instead, we suspect Ford will use the de-tuned version of its V6, which produces 365 hp in the Explorer Platinum trim level. All-wheel-drive will almost certainly be a standard feature on the Timberline.
Inside, the Timberline will likely include unique badging and interior materials to provide an outdoorsy theme. This semi-rugged SUV will rival other soft-roading three-row models like the GMC Acadia AT4 and Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition.
Ford is also rumored to add expand its King Ranch trim level to the Explorer. The King Ranch is currently offered on the F-Series trucks and the Expedition SUV but could be applied to the Explorer for the first time on the 2022 model.