• 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid promises 500 miles range

Thanks to the clever battery placement, the interior and the cargo space is uncompromised

The Explorer line up now feels complete with the debut of the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid. It feels like the Blue Oval is a little late to the Hybrid-SUV party, but the company has made sure to capitalise on all the hype the Explorer has created over the years and has launched the Explorer SUV in the Hybrid from with an acclaimed range of 500 miles!

A Hybrid With Impressive Specs

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid promises 500 miles range
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Although Ford flirted with the idea of a hybrid SUV with the Escape Hybrid a few years ago and even found a fair-share of success, the Blue Oval found itself ousted from this ever-growing market. However, it is back with a bang and this time, you can explore the roads for 500 miles before you run out of steam.

First things first, the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid comes packed with a 3.3-liter, V-6 hybrid powertrain that churns out a combined power output of 318 ponies and 336 pound-feet of torque.

Power will be sent to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission system. The Explorer Hybrid will have a top speed of 123 miles per hour. It is expected to return 24 miles per gallon, combined, and the automaker promises a 500 mile-range with a 19.3 gallon fuel tank. Mind you, this rating is only for the standard rear-wheel-drive version. The figures for the optional all-wheel-drive system variant are not out yet.

This Shows How Far Ford Has Come From the Hybrid Escape Days

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid promises 500 miles range
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Fortunately, Ford has been smart with its battery placement this time around.

The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid’s 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack will be liquid-cooled and fitted into the chassis beneath the second-row seats in a way that preserves the legroom as well as the cargo space.

Just like the standard Explorer, the cargo space of the Explorer Hybrid is also rated at 18.2 cubic feet, which can grow to 87.8 cubic feet when the rear- seat rows are flipped. Interestingly, Ford has managed to keep the Explorer Hybrid quite light - even lighter than the 400 horsepower ST version – at 4,969 pounds.

The towing capacity has taken a hit slight hit, however. It is rated at 5,000 pounds; 300 pounds lesser than the gas-powered Explorer. However, this is much better than the 1,800 pound capacity of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Filled To The Brim With Creature Comforts

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid promises 500 miles range
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Talking about the feature-list, Ford has not cut corners here.

The Hybrid Limited models will come with 10-way-adjustable power front seats, leather upholstery, second-row heated seats, Active Noise Cancellation, wireless phone charging pad, 14-speaker B&O sound system.

In terms of safety, standard safety features will include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, evasive steering assist and speed sign recognition. Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ safety and assistance technologies will also be featured on the higher trims.

As It Should Be, The Interceptor Is Even Better Spec’d

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid promises 500 miles range
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The sexy-looking Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid will get better figures. The 2020 cop-version is tuned to sprint to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 7.3 seconds and the 0-100 miles per hour figure can be touched in 17.7 seconds. This one tops out at 137 miles per hour, as tested by the Michigan State Police. Although the battery specs are not revealed, the testing showed the Explorer Hybrid to be 455 pounds heavier than the 3.0-liter EcoBoost all-wheel-drive variant of the Explorer Interceptor. Does this mean bigger batteries as well?

Final Thoughts

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid promises 500 miles range
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The price will of course be higher than the standard model, which begins at $34,000. So, we speculate it to be in the ballpark of $38,000, much in the vicinity of the Highlander Hybrid which retails around the same tag price. This family-hauler is expected to hit the showrooms in the summer this year. Share your thoughts on the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid in the comments section below.

Further reading

2020 Ford Explorer ST has 400 HP, wants to be taken seriously as a performance SUV
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2020 Ford Explorer ST has 400 HP, wants to be taken seriously as a performance SUV

2020 Ford Explorer
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Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Explorer.

2016 Ford Explorer High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Explorer.

Six Generations of the Ford Explorer
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Six Generations of the Ford Explorer

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
About the author

Completing its broadest-ever lineup of Explorer SUVs, Ford today revealed two all-new models that will take Explorer drivers faster and further than ever before.

The all-new Explorer ST and the all-new Explorer Hybrid complete a lineup that includes a variety of driver and passenger comforts, an array of technologies that improve every drive, and new powertrain options that deliver power and efficiency.

The new Explorer family, which follows on the heels of Ford’s hot-selling new Expedition, goes on sale this summer. As America’s favorite SUV, Explorer will set the pace for the rest of the Ford’s utility lineup, which continues growing this year with an all-new Escape – and more.

“This new generation of Explorer recognizes that every family – and every driver – is unique,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, product development and purchasing. “With an all-new ST and an all-new hybrid, there truly is an Explorer for every adventure.”

These latest additions to the all-new Explorer family – built at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant – will join base, XLT, Limited and Platinum models in showrooms.

ST thrills continue with all-new Explorer ST
Continuing the expansion of the ST brand, the all-new Explorer ST is the most powerful and fun-to-drive Ford SUV ever.

Engineered by the Ford Performance team, Explorer ST uses a specially tuned 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine projected to achieve 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque. A top speed target for track drivers stands at 143 mph.

“We designed it to be an ST from the beginning,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief functional engineer. “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.”

Explorer ST delivers an engaging driving experience with a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive with selectable traction control. Available upgrades include an ST Street Pack and an ST Track Pack. Both have 21-inch aluminum wheels with differing levels of performance brakes and feature larger vented rotors, red-painted brake calipers with stainless steel pistons, and larger brake pads for even better stopping power.

As with Edge ST, Explorer ST offers a Sport mode for an exhilarating ride. When engaged via the selectable drive mode dial in the center console, the steering system tightens for sportier reaction, the gas pedal responds more aggressively, gears hold longer and shift quicker, and an enhanced engine note plays through the cabin.

Visually, Explorer ST stands out courtesy of a black mesh grille insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside details, roof-rack side rails and skid plate elements. “EXPLORER” badging stretches across the front edge of the hood.

Inside, a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster is standard. A flat-bottomed, heated steering wheel embossed with an ST logo and unique floor mats are subtle cues exclusive to Explorer ST. Leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforation, City Silver accent stitching and ST logo complete the sporty feel.

Explorer ST comes standard with a Class III Trailer Tow Package with Cargo Management System and Active Park Assist 2.0 – Ford’s new driver-assist parking system that takes control of the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal and gear shifter during parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers with a simple touch of a button.

Explorer Hybrid offers no-compromise efficiency
Ford is reinventing the standard for hybrids – introducing an entirely new generation of vehicles this year that bring out the best in hybrid capability with great performance and the freedom to go further.

The all-new Explorer Hybrid, which features a 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain, is projected to produce a combined system 318 horsepower. An EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups is targeted for the rear-wheel-drive model*.

An all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission provides SUV capability. Unlike previous hybrid vehicles, a specially designed liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is built into the Explorer chassis below the second-row seats to preserve cargo and passenger space.

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

Available in Limited edition trim, Explorer Hybrid comes with Active Noise Cancellation, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+™ driver-assist technologies, leather seats with micro-perforation 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.

*Actual range will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available in the 2019 calendar year.

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