New generation will return to rear-wheel drive

An anonymous source within Ford in conjunction with confirmed speculation suggests the next-generation Ford Explorer will return to a rear-wheel-drive architecture and come with four new engine options, one of which will offer more than 400 horsepower in a sporterized ST variant.

The news comes from The Truth About Cars, which speculated about the rear-drive platform some time ago. TTACs insider source then revealed details about the next-generation Explorer’s powertrain options, along with the new ST trim. This follows Ford’s recent release of the Edge ST – a two-row crossover gussied up by Ford Performance with 335 horsepower and a stiff suspension. The same is expected with the Explorer ST, but with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 currently used in the Lincoln Continental and MKZ. In the Lincolns, the engine makes an even 400 horses and 400 pound-feet of torque. The insider source says power will likely increase since the V-6 will be longitudinally mounted in the new rear-drive Explorer.

Continue reading for more information.

More on the 2020 Ford Explorer

Anonymous Report: 400+ HP Ford Explorer ST in the Pipeline
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Rear-wheel drive will come standard, but either a part-time 4WD or a full-time AWD system will be offered

Beyond the halo trim, the ST, the new Explorer will have three other engines. According to TTAC’s inside source, they include the carry-over 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, the F-150’s new 3.3-liter V-6, and a gasoline-hybrid powertrain. Ford’s new 10-speed automatic is expected to be the sole transmission choice. Rear-wheel drive will come standard, but either a part-time 4WD or a full-time AWD system will be offered.

Power specs could easily change, but the current 2.3-liter EcoBoost is rated at 280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The 3.3-liter V-6 in the 2018 F-150 makes 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque.

Anonymous Report: 400+ HP Ford Explorer ST in the Pipeline
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Despite being a rear-drive SUV, the 2020 Explorer is expected to ride on a unibody platform, specifically the CD6 architecture

Despite being a rear-drive SUV, the 2020 Explorer is expected to ride on a unibody platform, specifically the CD6 architecture. That means we can expect a fully independent suspension system, as well. The insider also says Ford won’t be using vast amounts of aluminum on the new Explorer, but rather steel. That makes sense after reports of Ford’s slumping profits in the wake of rising aluminum costs.

Speculation on the next-generation Ford Explorer should come to an end at the 2018 L.A. Auto Show this coming November. The new three-row SUV will then arrive in showrooms sometime in 2019 as a 2020 model.

References

Ford Explorer

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

2018 Ford Explorer Sport High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Explorer Sport.

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Source: The Truth About Cars

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