Ford’s re-engineered Explorer is officially the automaker’s most powerful SUV ever thanks to a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine, projected to put down 400 HP and 415 lb-ft (562 Nm) of torque.
Ford is also calling the Explorer ST the “most fun-to-drive” Explorer ever, and says that flat out, it can do 143 mph (230 km/h), aided by its quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive system with selectable traction control.
“We designed it to be an ST from the beginning,” stated Ford Performance chief functional engineer, Ed Krenz. “There’s no mistaking its ST DNA. It has a performance feel with sustained performance capability and wears an unmistakably ST appearance. More than anything, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun to drive.”
Not your average Explorer
Speaking of visuals, buyers can spec the 2020 Explorer ST with the ST Street Pack and an ST Track Pack. Both offer 21-inch aluminum wheels, performance brakes with larger vented rotors, red-painted calipers with stainless steel pistons and larger brake pads for improved stopping power.
Other exterior features include the black mesh grille insert, liftgate applique, lower bodyside details, roof-rack side rails and skid plate elements. As for the interior, there’s a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster as standard, a flat-bottomed heated steering wheel with the ST logo, unique floor mats, leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforation, City Silver accent stitching and more ST logos.
It’s on the move however where most people will get to enjoy this SUV to its fullest, and aside from its 400 HP and 415 lb-ft (562 Nm) of torque, the 2020 Explorer ST also comes with a Sport mode, which can be engaged via the selectable drive dial in the center console. What it does is it tightens the steering feel, makes the gas pedal respond more aggressively, delays shifting for rpm-hungry drivers (although the shifts are quicker) and plays an enhanced engine note throughout the cabin.
Standard features on the Explorer ST include the Class III Trailer Tow Package with Cargo Management System and the Active Park Assist 2.0 system, which helps the vehicle park itself.