Guess Which Parts Ford Took From AMG For The Explorer ST

Tires

The Explorer ST puts them to better use, too.

The 2020 Ford Explorer ST is the most powerful model yet, with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 tuned to produce 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. 20-inch wheels come standard, but Ford will also offer an ST Street Pack and an ST Track Pack, which add 21-inch wheels, bigger brakes, larger vented rotors, red brake calipers, and better brake pads.

Regardless of which wheel you pick, Ford will also offer a summer tire package as a standalone option. If you opt for the summer rubber, the wheels will be wrapped in Michelin Latitude Sport 3 high-performance tires. While on the launch event for the new Explorer, Car and Driver noticed something interesting about those tires.

The sidewall of these tires reads, "Michelin Latitude Sport 3 MO." The 'MO' part is pretty interesting because it stands for "Mercedes Original." This means the Explorer ST wears tires that were developed by Michelin for Mercedes-AMG, specifically the GLE 43 Coupe.

When asked why the new Explorer uses a Mercedes-specific tire, Ford Performance chief engineer Ed Krenz admitted that his team added the summer tire option late in the development cycle and didn't have time to get a bespoke tire. Krenz said the engineering team felt that a grippier tire would improve precision and steering feel over the standard Pirelli all-seasons and wanted to explore (no pun intended) their options.

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When Ford reached out to Michelin for tires, the GLE's were the only ones that fit the Explorer ST's 275/45R-21 size needs. The GLE also comes with 21-inch wheels but can be fitted with 22-inch wheels (pictured above). Unlike the GLE, the Explorer ST uses a square setup with 275 size tries on all four wheels. The GLE uses 275 tires in the front but installs much wider 315-size rubber at the rear. This helps the GLE have better stability and give it a more aggressive stance, but it's a pain for owners since they can not rotate their tires. We think Ford made the right move with a square setup. This is an SUV after all, not a sports car.

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