Last year, we were curious as to when Ford Philippines will bring in the all-new Explorer. That question is now answered as the American automaker has quietly brought in a few units of the all-new Explorer to select dealers.

The sixth-generation Ford Explorer officially made its global debut ahead of the 2019 North American International Auto Show. It featured a revised exterior, new high-tech features, and a more powerful EcoBoost engine. The midsize seven-seater from Ford set to take on the likes of the Mazda CX-9 and the upcoming Subaru Evoltis locally. 

Ford PH sneaks in a few 2021 Explorer units image

According to a reliable source, the limited supply was for private sales to VIP clients and loyal customers; and only a handful of dealers were able to get units. Our source added that the introduction was originally scheduled for sometime in late 2021. However, Ford might have thought of exploring (no pun intended) the waters with the initial batch of units. For now, the 2021 Ford Explorer is only offered in a 4x4 Limited 2.3L EcoBoost trim and priced at Php 2,998,000.

Ford PH sneaks in a few 2021 Explorer units image

Donning the company's new design language, the new Explorer gets a more prominent exterior thanks to a bigger front grill, bolder-looking LED headlights and a sportier front bumper. It even gets plenty of creases and character lines along the side that complement the Explorer's new look. A sloping roofline along with a revamped tailgate and taillights give the all-new Explorer its sleeker overall look. The unit displayed was fitted with the 20-inch hand-polished wheels.

Ford PH sneaks in a few 2021 Explorer units image

Open the doors and the 2020 Explorer invites you into a minimalist, yet stylish cabin. Unfortunately, the tablet-style 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system doesn't make it into the local models. Instead, Philippine-bound Explorers get a smaller 8-inch touchscreen unit that still features Ford's SYNC 3 system. This being the Limited variant, it doesn't get the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. Instead, analog gauges flank a large digital display. Other changes include revamped aircon vents, a rotary-style gear selector, updated HVAC controls, and a plethora of charging ports throughout the cabin.

Ford PH sneaks in a few 2021 Explorer units image

Interestingly, the Explorer Limited in the US comes standard with captain seats for the second-row. Unfortunately, that isn't the case for the Philippine-spec model. Instead, occupants will have to settle for a three-row bench. Thankfully, the power-adjust and fold third-row seats were carried over from the previous-generation model. There's a large panoramic moonroof too. 

Ford PH sneaks in a few 2021 Explorer units image

Under the hood, a new turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four EcoBoost produces 304 PS (+30) and 420 Nm of torque (+12); it is mated to a new ten-speed automatic gearbox. Ford PH has also specced the initial batch of units with intelligent 4WD, it gets a new Terrain Management System that comes with several driving modes like: Normal, Sport, Trail, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Eco, and Snow / Sand. There's also a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 option rated at 370 PS and 515 Nm of torque, but it's still unconfirmed if this will be offered locally. Besides getting more powerful engines, the Explorer reverts back to a native front-engine rear-wheel-drive (FR) layout.

Ford PH sneaks in a few 2021 Explorer units image

Is Ford going for a mono-trim high-spec release for the Philippine market with this preview of the 2021 Ford Explorer?