We're guessing people living in the northern states will care.
For the first time in its model history, Ford offers a high-performance ST version of the Explorer. Whereas the regular Ford Explorer comes with rear-wheel drive as standard, the ST version has a standard four-wheel-drive system. That's what we expected from the a high-performance crossover, to take advantage of the its extra grunt.
This will no longer be the case for the 2022 Explorer, however. Citing inside sources, Ford Authority reports that the 2022 Ford Explorer will not get all-wheel drive as standard and will instead be sold with a standard rear-wheel-drive setup. All-wheel drive will still be available for all specifications of the Explorer ST including the entry-level Enthusiast variant but will likely be offered at an extra cost.
We've reached out to Ford to get official confirmation of this change and will update this story if we hear back. Under the hood, the regular Explorer ST and Enthusiast ST are powered by a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 producing 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque, paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. This won't be the first time the Explorer has switched from standard AWD to RWD, however, as the range-topping Explorer Platinum now comes with RWD as standard for the 2021 model year.
For 2022, the Ford Explorer will also be offered with a new off-road package called the Timberline, which will add a host of rugged upgrades. We're expecting the package to add larger all-terrain tires, a skid plate, and a tweaked suspension to enhance the SUV's off-roading capability. Just don't expect it to be as capable as the Tremor package available for the F-150.
Unlike the 2022 Explorer ST, the Timberline should be offered with AWD as standard. Additionally, the King Ranch trim level available for F-Series trucks will be offered for the 2022 Explorer for the first time. We should find out more details soon as the 2022 Explorer is expected to arrive in showrooms this fall.