Ford may be giving Explorer ST buyers more choice. A new report suggests the hottest version of the Ford Explorer will come with standard rear-wheel drive for 2022. Today the ST model forces buyers to select the all-wheel drive option.
Ford Authority reports Ford will pivot to offering the Explorer ST with rear-wheel drive standard. Today both the Enthusiast ST and ST models require all-wheel drive and have since launch. It’s worth noting that Ford has not confirmed this change and the report is citing unnamed sources who are supposedly familiar with the matter.
Despite the change, Explorer ST buyers will still be able to get all-wheel drive. It will just be optional like it is on nearly all Explorer trim levels. On other trim levels Ford charges $750 for its all-wheel drive system. It’s anyone’s guess if Ford will lower the base price of the ST models to reflect this change, but we’re skeptical of that one. Today the 2021 Explorer ST starts at $50,890 after destination charges.
The Explorer ST is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 with 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. Suffice to say, enthusiast drivers will appreciate having rear-wheel drive with that level of power. Even in a family-hauler.
It’s unclear why Ford is possibly making this change. One possible reason is the ongoing global semiconductor shortage. Intelligent all-wheel drive systems require chips; less all-wheel drive, less chips. Or possibly Ford is just throwing enthusiasts a bone here, which we’ll take as a valid reason too.