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Ford Explorer ST debuts with 400 horses at Detroit Auto Show

14 January 2019

The ST replaces the Explorer Sport in the new sixth-generation lineup gaining a punchier engine, tighter chassis tuning and exclusive styling. Ford says it has designed this version of the '20 Explorer to be all about torque boost, although we were told it can run on electrons alone for a couple of miles at 20 to 25 mph. Instantly familiar but more rakish and attractive than the outgoing model, the 2020 Explorer hits all the marks needed to remain relevant: It's approximately 200 pounds lighter, can tow up to 5600 pounds, features updated infotainment and connectivity anchored by an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and is built on an entirely new longitudinal-engine platform featuring rear- or all-wheel drive.

Options include the ST Street Pack and ST Track Pack, both of which come with 21-inch aluminum wheels, red brake calipers, and their own individual brake upgrades.

Capping its broadest-ever lineup of Explorer SUVs, Ford revealed today two all-new models that will take Explorer drivers faster and further than ever before.

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As with Edge ST, Explorer ST offers a Sport mode that lets drivers select an even more exhilarating ride. A blacked-out grille, lower body-side details, and roof-rack side rails send a subtle message to the neighbors that this suburbanite isn't averse to throwing down. Leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforations, City Silver accent stitching and ST logo complete the sporty feel.

To make the ST handle and stop better, Ford retuned the dampers, upgraded the brakes, and dialed-in an ST-specific brake booster calibration. Ford claims that this year it's introducing a whole slew of hybrid vehicles that combine performance and extended range via their efficiency, and this one is just the first. All-wheel drive is standard, and the lone transmission continues to be the 10-speed automatic.

Beyond making life a little greener for SUV owners, Explorer chief engineer Bill Gubing points out that "Reduced cargo space in hybrids is a thing of the past for Ford customers". In today's announcement, Ford added that the Explorer Hybrid's lithium-ion battery pack will be liquid-cooled and fitted below the second-row seats in a way that preserves passenger and cargo space. Final EPA-estimated ratings available in the 2019 calendar year.

Ford Explorer ST debuts with 400 horses at Detroit Auto Show