It looks like Ford Philippines wants to start 2020 off with a bang. Recently, the automaker sent us an invitation for an upcoming car launch. Simply labeled with a launch date set for January 23, the rather plain invitation has left us scratching our heads as to what the Blue Oval has planned for the country.
Of course after we deduced what Ford was launching when they released the invite for the Transit, they're being a bit more cautious. The invite for the January 23 launch, however, had a photo of the great outdoors, and that might be the clue.
We think that come January 23, Ford Philippines might officially debut the all-new Explorer.
A quick check of what’s currently available in the Philippine market, as well as what models were launched last year in the US, gave us a good idea as to what Ford might be debuting in a few weeks.
The automaker’s current lineup mostly consist of new-generation models, as well as refreshed nameplates. From the Ranger, Ranger Raptor, Everest, EcoSport, Mustang, Expedition, and the latest Transit arriving in the Philippines, this leaves the fifth-generation Explorer as the likeliest (and oldest) to be replaced soon.
But what can we expect from the sixth-generation Explorer should it be available in the Philippines in due time? For starters, it now gets a new look that appears to have been borrowed from the Edge ST. It gets a redesigned front grill, horizontal headlights, along with a new front bumper design. The new Explorer also gets a revised set of taillights, a more sloped roofline, and a new tailgate complete with a bigger chrome trim.
A simpler and more high-tech cabin might also await would-be customers of the 2020 Explorer. A new tablet-inspired infotainment screen now makes its home on the center dashboard and makes use of an updated SYNC 3 system. Beyond that, a new digital instrument panel, a rotary-style gear selector, and new captain-style second row seats could be available as well on the PH-spec Explorer.
Under the hood, a choice of either an upgraded 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engines are available for the new Explorer. The former now produces 304 PS along with 420 Nm of torque while the latter cranks out 370 PS and 515 Nm of pulling power. Gone is the old six-speed automatic transmission as that has been replaced by a new ten-speed automatic unit.
Also, unlike the outgoing model which has a front-wheel drive layout, the new Explorer reverts to a rear-wheel drive configuration. However, four-wheel drive is still available on higher-grade models. This could mean that the PH-spec 2.3-liter EcoBoost could be RWD while the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 might have 4WD as standard.
With just a few weeks away before January 23, we’ll have to wait and see if Ford will indeed be launching the next-generation Explorer for the Philippine market. Fingers crossed too if Ford Philippines will offer the more powerful Explorer ST in the not so distant future.