No doubt we'll get a proper look at the new Ford Explorer at Detroit next year.
Ford has made the shocking announcement it’s killing off all cars, with the exception of the Mustang and Focus Active, in its current lineup, to focus on producing SUVs and trucks that are in more demand in the US. Spearheading its future SUV lineup will be all-new versions of the rugged Bronco and mid-size Explorer, the latter of which has been teased at the Beijing Auto Show. Just like the ST version that was teased earlier this year, the 2020 Explorer was hidden under a sheet preventing us from getting a proper look at Ford’s new crossover.
At the show, Ford Asia Pacific President Peter Fleet did confirm, however, that the new Explorer will be built in China as part of the automaker’s joint venture with Changan Automobile. From the profile, the 2020 Explorer looks similar to the Lincoln Aviator concept we saw at this year’s New York Auto Show. That probably isn’t a coincidence, considering that both the new Explorer and Aviator will share the same CD6 platform, which accommodates front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive vehicles. Rumors suggest the Explorer will feature rear-wheel drive. Under the covers, the 2020 Explorer also appears to have a sloping roofline giving the SUV a sportier appearance than its predecessor.
It also has a shorter hood, more muscular wheel arches, a roof rack and an upward sweeping beltline. It won’t be going on sale in the US until next year however, so Ford probably won’t be lifting the covers off the new Explorer until early next year at the Detroit Auto Show. The mid-size SUV will also spawn a high-performance ST variant, which could pack over 400 horsepower courtesy of the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 found in certain variants of the Lincoln MKZ and Continental. That would be a considerable improvement over the current 365 hp and 350 lb-ft the Sport current model delivers. A hybrid version is also expected to follow.