The Ford Explorer ST Whips Up 400 Horsepower, Looks Pretty Sweet

2020 Ford Explorer hybrid

The 400-hp 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 also spins up 415 lb-ft of torque; a 365-horse version of the same engine is available in the range-topping Explorer Platinum.

Ford boldly calls the Explorer ST "the fastest three-row SUV under $60,000", and it packs upgraded brakes, springs, and dampers.

Ford's Performance team has added another SUV to its roster in the form of the 400-hp ST version of the all-new, rear-drive-based 2020 Explorer.

After revealing the all-new 2020 Explorer at an independent event last week, Ford has detailed the performance-focused ST edition and fuel-sipping hybrid at the Detroit auto show.

The Explorer Hybrid and Explorer ST are two very different sides of the same coin, but they do share a performance bent. As Ford's SUV sales leader, Explorer will set the pace for the rest of Ford's utility lineup, which continues growing this year with an all-new Escape - and more. The company says it's estimating a 143-mph top speed.

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To get the most out of the hot rod Explorer, a Sport mode can be engaged for more aggressive throttle mapping, an altered gearbox shift schedule that will hold onto gears longer, a weightier steering feel and louder engine note.

"We designed it to be an ST from the beginning", said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief functional engineer. Ford will also offer an ST Street Pack and ST Track Pack that both offer increasingly more powerful brakes and 21-inch wheels. 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. Ford has previously anticipated that the Explorer Hybrid would return 24 mpg, EPA combined, although its final ratings might land somewhat higher than that. Both the Explorer ST and hybrid will come with the same 10-speed automatic as in the standard members of the Explorer lineup.

Ford claims the Explorer Sport has a top speed of 143 miles per hour, is faster than the Range Rover Sport with its supercharged V-6 engine, and is the fastest three-row SUV under $60,000. To the latter point, the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is located below the second row of seats and doesn't impinge on interior space.

The ST stands out from the standard Explorer thanks to a blacked-out grille, unique lower-body panels, and special badging.

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