2020 Ford Explorer Already Looking Bigger And Brawnier

Ford has a whole raft of new trucks coming out, stemming from its increased emphasis on big, high-riding vehicles as it shifts away from lower-slung passenger cars. And few of them will be as important as the new Explorer.

Currently in its fifth iteration, the Explorer is one of Ford’s hottest-selling nameplates domestically – behind only the smaller Escape crossover and the F-150 pickup. That means that Dearborn will likely be throwing the benefit of its entire weight behind the new model, and this is our best look at it yet.

Sent to us by eagle-eyed and avid reader Brett Borgard, these spy shots show what appears to be an entirely fresh Explorer. Like the current model – and unlike those that came before – it’ll be a crossover with unibody construction, not a body-on-frame truck.

It’s expected to make greater use of aluminum in its construction, but unlike the Blue Oval’s latest pickups, we’re expecting the bodywork to still be made (mostly) out of steel. It ought to offer more space and better packaging inside – something which buyers have naturally come to expect of big crossovers like the Explorer, and which the current model has not quite delivered as it should.

Ford’s 2020 Explorer teaser

The bigger change with the forthcoming next-gen Explorer, however, is the switch in layout. Sources tell us to expect a longitudinal engine driving the rear wheels, with the option of all-wheel drive. Ford’s penchant for turbocharged engines will be evident in the new model, likely starting with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four. The 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 will also likely be available, but the model we’re looking forward to most, of course, is the new Explorer ST.

Taking the place of the current Explorer Sport, the new ST model will pack Ford’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 producing somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 horsepower. That’ll make it not only more potent than the smaller, 335-horse Edge ST, but also the current, 365-horse Explorer Sport as well. Don’t expect it to come quite up to the level of the SRT versions of the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, though, with their big 6.4-liter Hemi V8s churning out 475 hp.

Look for the new Explorer to bow sometime early next year as a 2020 model, with the ST performance version to either accompany the base model at launch, or follow sometime soon thereafter.

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  • Leconte Dave

    With cheap interior*

  • ErnieB

    Hold up.. the one next to the older explorer looks just the same to me..hmm

    • Spyder Hole Fantome

      Oh crap, maybe they screwed up and actually didn’t redesign it.

    • Jay

      It the same but that isn’t the same one from the other photos. That one looks like a mule while the other is the new prototype.

  • Rocket

    If the sheet-covered Explorer in the teaser pic is accurate, the camo’d model is still wearing mule sheet metal. In other words, the photos tell us nothing.

  • xDRAN0x

    If the ST wants to have any success, it needs not to handle like a boat and have a good engine/exhaust note. I understand this new model will shed some weight and lets hope it is a lot. As for the interior, I agree. IMO, only the platinum trim makes it interesting.

  • Yishay

    I honestly hate “spy” photos and camouflage with a passion. Most companies that use this tactic to gin up hype, normally looks stupid when the reveal doesn’t measure up.

  • Harry Nimmergut

    So this, like the Blazer, has been delayed. Both are now ’20s instead of the previously-planned ’19s. Surprising, given the current temperature of the SUV/CUV market. I just hope that both don’t fall into a downward economic chasm should the pundits prove correct about a recession in ’19.

    • Paul Webster

      “Look for the new Explorer to bow sometime early next year as a 2020 model, with the ST performance version to either accompany the base model at launch, or follow sometime soon thereafter.”

      Will the Russians continue to manufacture the Explorer?

      • matrem

        We are the Russians now, so perhaps.

        • Paul Webster

          They have had a plant up and running going on 6 years. Russians like this car but I’m not so sure Europeans like them.

  • Hot Twink

    I’m more interested in the black 2018 Ford Expedition (seen in the gallery with the Ford Explorer mules) with the cut running board and yellow sticker, showing where the fuel pump safety switch is. It’s testing a different powertrain setup.

    Diesel, gas, hybrid, V-6, V-8…? Curious as to what is under the hood.

  • Scott Ryu

    I believe the All -New Explorer will be the successor to the Ford Flex just like the All New Lincoln Aviator will be the successor of the Lincoln MKT. The Flex and The MKT are definitely starting to show their age.

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