The Very Different 2020 Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer has been all about a mid-size four-door family SUV since the 1990's, when Ford discontinued its iconic Bronco II. The start of the Explorer is a Ranger pickup with a rear-wheel drive. Through the first two generations most models had four-wheel drive as it was popular among SUVs. The market eventually called for an SUV that was more like a lighter car, and the Explorer followed those expectations. The 2011 model had unit-body construction, front-wheel drive, and transverse engine. This standard remains as one of the most popular in its class, but the industry is moving in a different direction again and that means a longitudinal-engine and rear-wheel drive for a better performance.
This new architecture will be unveiled in the 2020 model of Ford Explorer together with the new Lincoln Aviator. The car is just a bit longer, but the length of wheelbase grows by a cool six inches. This provides for more passenger space in all three rows. In addition to that, with all back seats folded, owners will be able to fit four-foot wide building materials on the floor, which was never done before in this class of SUVs. Second row chairs can be bench or captain.
The floor covers will be reversible with carpet on one side and weather-proof vinyl on the other. Owners are going to enjoy a power lift gate and power-folding third row seats.
There are two types of Ford Explorers coming out in 2020. The first is Turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline base engine, with 300 horse power (280 hp for current model today). The torque remains the same at 310 lb-ft. The new 10-speed automatic transmission will come with a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The towing rating goes to 5300 pounds from current 3000.
The second type, a Turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 is included in the Platinum trim and boasts 365 horse power and 380 lb-ft torque. It will also have the 10-speed transmission with 5600 pounds towing capacity compared to current 5000.
Just like Aviator, Ford Explorer will have an option of a hybrid gas-electric powertrain for drivers seeking fuel economy and not focused on performance. Such combination will have just a bit more power than basic turbo-four at 318 horse power from the 3.3-liter V6 engine and a lithium electric battery. The company is not giving out too many details about this chargeable battery just yet. This hybrid version will also be available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and will have 10-speed transmission. Fuel economy is expected to be at 24 mpg.
The new Explorer will come in five trim levels: base, XLT, Limited, ST, and Platinum. The base model will be priced at $33,860, which is a $400 increase. The prices of all other trims are not released yet.
The standard kit sounds great with included pre-collision warning sound, automated emergency breaking, pedestrian recognition, blind-spot side mirror warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-crossing warning, automatic headlamps, and LTE connections for 10 devices. There will be a FordPass Connect app, which will allow the driver to lock, unlock, and start the engine through it on the phone.
Among other innovative tech features you will find a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.1-inch portrait touchscreen entertainment system that will be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There will also be a wireless phone charger, 4 USB ports, and three 12-volt and one 110-volt outlets.
While reintroducing rear-wheel powertrain is a bit risky for the company, Ford is confident that new customers will like the more specious design that such architecture allows and sleek looks, loaded with new technological features.
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