Ford’s best-selling SUV is getting plenty of love these days. As it should. Completely redesigned for 2020 with lighter, leaner and stronger construction paired to an improved EcoBoost engine, more tech, and a hybrid variant in the mix, the 2020 Explorer will offer the most trim levels ever.
Now, Ford dials-up the Explorer with a performance-tuned ST model — something the family mid-size SUV has been missing all these years, now joining its compact Edge ST sibling.
Most powerful Explorer to date
Under the hood, the Explorer ST gets a specially tuned 3.0L EcoBoost engine putting down an estimated 400-hp and 415 lb.-ft. of torque. With a 143 mph top speed, the 2020 Explorer ST might just be the quickest grocery-getter on the block.
Add a a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive with selectable traction control as standard, along with a Sport mode to ramp things up, this solidifies the ST variant as the most powerful Explorer to date.
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As Ford puts it, “We designed it to be an ST from the beginning…There’s no mistaking its ST DNA. It has a performance feel with sustained performance capability and wears an unmistakably ST appearance. More than anything, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun to drive.”
Redesign with ST Love
Styling-wise, Ford’s ST models always stand out with touches of blacked-out features — the Explorer ST is no exception. Dark wheels, a black mesh grille insert, ‘Explorer’ badging spanned out across the hood, roof-rack side rails and skid plate elements, and lower bodyside details rounds out the look.
Inside, the sport-tuned treatment includes a heated, flat-bottomed steering wheel with an ST logo, ST-exclusive floor mats, silver stitching, and sportier leather bucket seats you won’t find in other Explorers.
Power and bold design aside, the 2020 Explorer ST can tow as well — a Class III Trailer Tow Package with Cargo Management System and Active Park Assist 2.0 both come standard.
What others are saying:
“Undoubtedly, the Explorer ST is not as exciting as the new GT500, but thanks to its new, rear-drive platform, we’re going to keep an open mind.” Chris Perkins at Road&Track
“Although Ford is not yet sharing pricing details for the ST, we expect it to be one of the most expensive 2020 Explorer trims.” Greg Fink at Motor1