Following last month’s spy shots that gave us the best look yet at the 2020 Ford Explorer’s exterior, we now get to see the upcoming SUV’s interior completely undisguised.
The sixth-generation Explorer will be a significant departure from its predecessor, as it will shift from a front-drive layout with transverse-mounted engines to rear-wheel drive with longitudinally-mounted engines. On the outside, this will result in shorter overhangs and a modified dash-to-axle ratio.
Bigger touchscreen display powered by the latest SYNC software
There are plenty of changes inside, too. The dashboard and other components such as the door handle surrounds get a more angular design compared to the current Explorer. The dash layout is clean and elegant, featuring matte-finished wood trim and a neat center console that groups the climate control switchgear and buttons for the major functions of the infotainment system.
Above the center console, there’s a storage cubbyhole followed by a touchscreen display powered by the latest version of SYNC that seems pretty big and within easy reach of the driver. Under the center console, there’s another storage space in front of the transmission tunnel.
Big rotary dial replaces traditional gearshift lever
The 2020 Explorer gets a large rotary gearbox selector, as well as paddle shifters mounted on the steering column. The tunnel also features the electric parking brake and auto hold switches, as well as a smaller dial used to toggle between drive modes.
The photos also reveal a new multifunction steering wheel and a sizable digital screen in the instrument panel. This particular test prototype is a range-topping Platinum model, so chances are entry-level Explorers will look slightly less luxurious.
The flashier grille and quad exhausts are typical Platinum exterior features
Typical Platinum features on the outside include the more upscale grille treatment and the quad exhausts that hint at a powerful engine.
The new Explorer shares its CD6 platform with the recently-unveiled 2020 Lincoln Aviator. This likely means powertrain choices will include a 2.3-liter turbo-four, a 3.3-liter V6, a 3.3-liter V6 hybrid and an EcoBoost 3.0-liter V6 mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Topping them all will be a turbocharged 3.0-liter Explorer ST variant with around 400 hp.