2020 Ford Explorer: Looks, Powertrains And All The Other Details We Know About It

School runs, dinosaurs and Firestone tires; yes, they’re some of the things that come to mind whenever Ford’s Explorer is mentioned in my vicinity. Fortunately, the household name we’ve come to know has become more civilized since its Jurassic Park and spontaneous rollover days.

Fast forward to 2018, and Ford’s iconic SUV is about to embark on the next chapter of its colorful story; a full redesign with all-new, rear drive-biased underpinnings, so let’s take an illustrative preview of the next generation model.

Familiar Lines

With the Explorer being a strong seller, Ford is taking no chances with the design this time round. In fact, on first appearance, you’d swear it’s just a major facelift, but it isn’t.

The upcoming SUV has a sleeker silhouette, similar to its stablemate, the Lincoln Aviator. Familiarities don’t end there either, as frontal styling is mixture of Ford Edge and (if you can remember) the Explorer America concept from 2008.

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2020 Ford Explorer prototype

LED Headlights sit horizontally, with the grille cascading from beneath. Lower bumper features Range Rover-style intakes and chunky lower cladding. Whilst the side profile is highlighted by fluidic c-channel sculpting, floating roof, slimmer window frames and rakish rear quarter window.

New Platform With Rear-Drive Layout

One of the headlining changes for 2020 is the switch to Ford’s CD6 rear-drive architecture with a longitudinally mounted engine. Shared with the upcoming Lincoln Aviator and even (in a different form), the next generation Mustang, the platform will grow in size, offering better looks to the SUV thanks to a longer dash-to-axle ratio. Naturally, it will have the potential to support both rear and all-wheel drive applications.

2020 Lincoln Aviator Concept

This in turn, should make the next Explorer a much safer and engaging drive compared to the D4-based current car.

Potent Power

Thanks to a recent leak detailing which powertrains the 2020 Explorer Police Interceptor will utilize, we have a better understanding about what will be offered to the general public too.

Engine options will include a 2.3-litre turbo four, 3.3-litre V6, 3.3-litre V6 hybrid and an Ecoboost 3.0-litre V6, paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission. The turbocharged 3.0-litre is tipped to appear in an Explorer ST variant, pumping out 400 hp (298 kW) and 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque.

The hybrid 3.3-litre V6 will feature high performance regenerative braking, with a lithium-ion battery pack that doesn’t intrude into the rear cargo area.



Ford’s CoPilot360 driver assist system will be standard on all variants, with features that include telematics, pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, bind spot monitoring, lane-keeping aid and heads up display with traffic sign recognition.

Also as standard, will be Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. It will incorporate a large tablet-style display, 4G LTE & wifi capability, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus wireless charging.

SUV Rivals & Launch Timing

The new Explorer will battle it out against some formidable competition like Jeep’s Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, the General Motors trio of Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia/Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander and Subaru’s hot-selling Ascent.

It’s tipped that the 2020 Explorer may debut the L.A. Auto show in November this year, with sales starting early 2019.


Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

more photos...
  • ErnieB

    I like what I see.

    • Jay

      Same here except the curved line below the head lights and grille. Hopefully it looks a bit different on the real thing.

      • ErnieB

        I just hope the seats are comfortable.. the current suv has the most uncomfortable seats!

  • Nordschleife

    This does look good but the Aviator naturally looks better. ?

    • Jay

      As the Navigator does over the Expidition.

      • Nordschleife

        It better be for the upcharge. Lol.

  • Dude

    If you buy an Explorer I hate you.

    • Mike anonymous

      And canceling my pre-orderrrrr…. now.

    • Koole

      My god, how will Explorer buyers ever recover from this?

  • Mark Hawthorne

    The Land Rover Explorer(TM)

    • Hot Twink

      Well, considering some of Land-Rover’s key designers left Land-Rover to work at Ford Motor… like Jim Holland, for example.

    • Raymond Ramírez

      The Land Rover was developed as a British copy of the U.S. Jeeps that remained in England after WWII. So all these SUVs are descendants of the Willy’s Jeep! During that war, Ford made some of the Jeeps. You can find them at special Jeep sites.

  • Denzel

    I wonder how this platform will effect the mustang?

    • Raymond Ramírez

      The 2020 Mustang will have the same hybrid power train: a 3.3 L V6 mated with an electric motor and a 10-speed transmission. The Police Explorer has been measured at 6.6 sec for 0 to 60 MPH. The Mustang Hybrid will be faster.

  • Leconte Dave

    There’s already leak pictures without camo

  • ThisDecepticonWillFU

    I can see this 2020 Ford Explorer in the Britney Spears continuation music video of Break The Ice.

  • MarkoS

    If the render is close I like what I see. If Ford can get its interior packaging down with this new RWD/AWD layout it will be hard to beat. Chevy should be very concerned with Fords SUV renaissance. Perhaps they should call this the Terminator, or should that be the Aviator.

  • john1168

    This is a good render, artistically speaking, but I’m not crazy about the shape of the headlights. I don’t like how they’re angled at the center and the front seems like it’s pushed in or flat or something but the actual Explorer may have slightly different proportions at the front. Ford, PLEASE DON’T write “EXPLORER” on the front hood… PLEASE! It looks extremely cheesy and a bit tacky. Zooming in on one of the camouflaged pics, it looks like the tail lights are the same as the current model which isn’t a good thing. Leave it to Ford to come out with an all new vehicle and have it look almost identical to the old one…UGH! I get the whole, evolutionary over revolutionary thing and that if sales were good then they may not want to change it but seriously, if it looks almost the same then that’s lazy design. We just have to wait and see I guess… I am interested in maybe purchasing this vehicle. It will have a good drive train and I hope a good interior and AWD system, hopefully with a limited slip rear diff.

  • SpongeBob99Swell


    Now make it body-on-frame again like it was originally… :3

    • Nordschleife

      Sure so it could still not got off road and have even more horrible fuel economy. Once Ford realize it could sell w/o being body on frame. It’s a wrap. Lol.

  • Six_Tymes

    Hey FORD, CHEVY wants it’s Camaro inspired Blazer BACK

    • SpongeBob99Swell

      But that “Blazer” isn’t even a Blazer!……

    • Rocket

      First, it’s a rendering. Second, even if accurate, it’s far more tasteful than the Blazer’s grille.

      • Nick

        it’s a rendering based on the interceptor that was spied uncovered. it’s not just what an artist thinks it’ll look like

        • Rocket

          And that Interceptor looked NOTHING like the Blazer.

          • Nick


          • ErnieB

            Thank god!

    • Hot Twink

      The Blazer wants its rear-wheel drive balls back. GM neutered the poor thing.

    • ErnieB

      This is miles better looking than that japlazer thing Chevy created.. yuk!!

  • David

    WTF dude, I don’t want to see a bunch of pictures showing a camouflaged vehicle!

  • xDRAN0x

    The issue with current explorer is 2nd and 3row, which are pathetic. Its a full size SUV for 2 adults and 1 toddler or 2, max.

  • Paul

    Nice render. I just hope it comes out looking something like it. All those camo shots are disappointing.

  • Winnie Jenkems

    Front end is ugly.. reminds me of an Edge. The current model looks a LOT better and much more premium.

    Super excited about RWD though.

    • john1168

      Yeah, I never liked the front of the Edge myself.

  • SteersUright

    That is one good looking SUV. Good job Ford. Hopefully the build quality goes up to match Europeans on fit and finish inside and out.

  • Sébastien

    Looks very VWish, bigger T-Roc

  • Nordschleife

    LOL This just made my morning Mike. It is something to consider. Thanks for that.

  • dumblikeyou2

    It looks like Edge. Jeez, Ford, it’s time to evolve your look.

  • Harry_Wild

    I like the Aviator, so I take the Explorer should look good too! The camouflage is extreme on the photos. It could be any full size crossover!

  • nastinupe

    I like this look. This and the Bronco should be a hit.

  • John F. Murphy

    It would be nice if it passes the IIHS tests.

  • ƬψƬΩiiXinnex

    I like that the grill pushes in the headlights.

  • ƬψƬΩiiXinnex

    I like the black headlights with the black grill. It gives off the ’20 Explorer a mature and bold characteristic. Although I would like to see LED lights in top of the headlights. It would look cool.

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