Ford Motor Company is in the process of giving the Explorer SUV a total redesign for 2020. Details of this redesign have started to leak out, including that this version will return to rear-wheel drive and likely offer an ST performance model.
It’s been known for sometime now that next Explorer will be based on Ford’s upcoming CD6 platform. This platform is sort of a Swiss Army Knife for Ford, because it can be front, all or rear-wheel drive. Apparently Ford is leveraging the rear-wheel drive capability of this chassis for the Explorer and its alleged Lincoln counterpart, the Aviator.
With a longitudinal engine and rear-wheel drive layout, the 2020 Explorer is going to have some new opportunities. According to The Truth About Cars four engine options will find their way into the 2020 Explorer engine bay.
Their reporting, citing unnamed sources, says the only carryover engine from today’s Explorer will be the base EcoBoost 2.3-liter four-cylinder. The current 3.5-liter V-6 will be replaced by the newer 3.3-liter V-6 found in the 2018 F-150.
The biggest news is that Ford will reportedly drop the current 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and Sport trim levels in favor of the company’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 and the ST badge. This same engine is already found in the Lincoln Continental and MKZ, making 400 horsepower. In the Explorer ST this engine is expected to make even more power. Each engine will be mated to Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission.
TTAC did not reference specifics regarding the alleged fourth engine.
The 2020 Explorer is expected to go into production at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant sometime next year.