All-new 2020 Explorer gets ST, hybrid options

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News
Ford Explorer ST and Hybrid: Has Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president of product development and purchasing, introduces the Ford Explorer ST. It  gets a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine cranking out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A hybrid version of the Explorer also is offered for 2020.

The all-new 2020 Ford Explorer brings with it two all-new models.

Ford Motor Co. announced Monday at the Detroit auto show that the redesigned SUV expected in showrooms this summer will have an ST and a hybrid option. The new vehicle would be the second SUV ST to debut in less than a year, and the second hybrid SUV the automaker has announced in the same amount of time.

The Explorer ST gets a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine cranking out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. That's mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford is targeting a 143-mph top speed.

The vehicle can be upgraded with an ST Street Pack and ST Track Pack, which get better brakes and some appearance tweaks. The vehicle has a "sport" drive mode that, when engaged, tightens the suspension, makes the accelerator more aggressive, and makes the SUV hold gears for a longer period, Ford said.

As with other ST models, the exterior gets a meaner look. The redesigned Explorer gets a black mesh grille, lower body panels, roof-rack rails and skid plate elements. Ford stretches the vehicle's name across the hood.

Inside, ST badges are placed throughout. The vehicle has an optional vertical, 10-inch display. The vehicle also comes standard with Ford's new parking assist system, which allows drivers to park with the touch of a button.

The hybrid model, meantime, gets a 3.3-liter hybrid engines projected to produce 318 horsepower combined. Ford is targeting a range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups on the rear-wheel drive model, though Ford said that will vary.

The automaker expects final EPA-estimates sometime this year.

The automaker said it was able to preserve cargo and cabin space by building a lithium-ion battery into the Explorer chassis below the second-row seats.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau