It seems like there is no stopping Ford from building more and more high-performance crossovers and SUVs.
Still fresh from the world debut of the all-new Explorer last week, the Blue Oval brand decided that was not enough and has revealed two new variants of the Explorer at this year’s North American International Auto Show.
Making their official debut in Detroit, Michigan is the new Explorer ST and the first-ever Explorer Hybrid. The two new Explorer variants were built from different ends of the spectrum, but are capable of generating more than 300 PS and more from their six-cylinder engines.
Beginning with the Explorer ST, it now serves as the flagship offering of the model lineup. Under the hood is a beefed-up 3.0-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. It generates 405 PS (+35) along with a stump-pulling 562 Nm (+47) of torque. It comes standard with selectable four-wheel drive along with the new ten-speed automatic transmission.
Besides having more power, the new Explorer ST also comes with a better braking system. It consist of larger ventilated discs, stainless steel pistons and bigger brake pads that allow faster stoppages at any speed.
To make it stand out from the pack, Ford gave the Explorer ST a sportier look and feel inside and out. It gets a blacked-out mesh front grill, ‘Explorer’ badging on the hood, additional black trim pieces on the tailgate, roof rack and skid plate, and large 21-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Moving inside, the Explorer ST comes with these exclusive extras: flat-bottomed steering wheel with an embossed ‘ST’ logo, unique floor mats, and leather sport bucket seats for added comfort.
Last but certainly not the least is the more eco-friendly Explorer Hybrid. From its namesake, it gets its power from a V6 hybrid powertrain that displaces 3.3-liters. Ford claims it is capable of producing well over 320 PS and have an EPA-estimated range of 804 km between trips to the pumps on the rear-wheel drive models.
Like the ST, it also comes with a ten-speed automatic transmission albeit specifically tuned for hybrid performance. Another neat feature on the hybrid crossover is the placement of the battery pack. Instead of taking up space in the rear compartment, Ford decided to put it under the second row seats.
As far as in-car features and amenities are concerned, the Explorer Hybrid can come with the following: active noise cancellation, Ford Co-Pilot 360-degree assist, active driver assist systems, leather upholstery, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, wireless phone charging and ten-way power-adjustable driver & passenger seats.