Ford Explorer Hybrid signals the start of a big electrified push

The Explorer ST is Ford's first large performance SUV

Ford's re-engineered Explorer is officially the automaker's most powerful SUV ever thanks to a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine, projected to put down 400 HP and 415 lb-ft (562 Nm) of torque.

Ford boldly calls the Explorer ST "the fastest three-row SUV under $60,000", and it packs upgraded brakes, springs, and dampers. "More than anything, it's just a hell of a lot of fun to drive".

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 redesigned Explorer will begin arriving in showrooms later this year.

Ford hasn't announced pricing for either the Explorer hybrid or ST, but said both will go on sale this summer with the rest of the lineup. While we don't have the full download on either ST Pack yet, we do know that they both include 21-inch aluminum wheels and upgraded brakes with red-painted calipers.

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Ford isn't talking performance numbers yet but is quick to say the Explorer ST will be quicker than a Range Rover Sport HSE with the 380-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V-6. Selecting Sport mode alters the shift mapping and throttle response for maximum acceleration right up to the ST's claimed 143-mph top speed. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is standard, as are a tow package with a Class III receiver and Ford's suite of active safety tech.

An all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission provides SUV capability.

"Lost cargo space in hybrids is a thing of the past for Ford customers", said Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer.

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.

Other standard Limited trim level equipment includes Active Noise Cancellation to reduce unwanted noise in the cabin, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ driver-assist technologies, leather seats with micro-perforations and accent stitching, second-row heated seats, a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system, wireless phone charging pad and 10-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. 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.

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