It will take place on January 9, the week before the NAIAS opens its doors

The sixth generation of the Ford Explorer will be unveiled at a media-only event that will be held at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions NFL team, the week before the Detroit Auto Show opens its doors. Ford will also exhibit the new Explorer at the NAIAS, potentially next to the new Escape.

Ford’s confirming in a way that the decision to move the Detroit Auto Show to a June date makes sense. The American automaker recently sent invitations to the media for the launch event of the highly-awaited Explorer SUV that will take place on January 9. Thereafter, expect to see the Explorer in showrooms in the first half of 2019.

The Detroit Auto Show won’t be the site of the Explorer’s world premiere

Ford Tries to Be a Big Player, Schedules Standalone Event for Debuting the 2020 Ford Explorer Exterior High Resolution
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Ford’s third best-selling model, the Explorer, is moving to its sixth generation and to a new platform. We’ve already seen multiple spy photos of both the civilian version and the Police Interceptor and, while the redesign isn’t dramatic, the grille is different, as well as the headlights while the taillights are very similar.

The new SUV will sit on the same underpinnings as the Lincoln Aviator which translate to a shift from FWD to RWD.

There will also be the option of AWD for extra money. We don’t know, as of yet, what engines will be available but what we know is that they will now be mounted longitudinally. Expect to see a 3.0-liter or 3.3-liter V-6 with some level of hybridization as well as the 2.3-liter turbocharged four-pot. The top-of-the-line ST version should pack as much as 400 ponies under the hood from the 3.0-liter V-6. That’s the same engine that’s coming with the police version which is said to be 40% more efficient than the outgoing 3.7-liter V-6, as well as easily surpassing the 307 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque of the 3.7-liter unit.

Ford Tries to Be a Big Player, Schedules Standalone Event for Debuting the 2020 Ford Explorer Exterior High Resolution
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Touted as "the all-time best-selling SUV in America," by Ford thanks to "almost 8 million [that] have made their way into driveways and trails across the U.S," this "sixth-generation of the Ford Explorer is our most advanced and adventure-ready version ever," according to the official invitation to the launch event. The invitation itself depicts an alpine landscape which suggests that Ford is betting its money on how "adventure-ready" the new Explorer will be.

What we know at the moment is that cabin space for passengers will remain the same as in the outgoing model although cargo space will increase.

The 2020 Explorer has to raise the bar in terms of sales with the old model losing 1.4% this year up until November according to AutoNews. An important aspect that will determine whether more people will buy the Explorer or not is the interior and, as spy shots revealed, the sixth generation comes with an infotainment system that features a big screen in the middle of the dash that looks somewhat out of place there and circular knobs for selecting gears and shuffling through the driving modes. The SUV will be built at the Chicago assembly plant.

Ford Tries to Be a Big Player, Schedules Standalone Event for Debuting the 2020 Ford Explorer Exterior High Resolution
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So, with the Explorer bound to show its face to the world before NAIAS, it means we might get the new Shelby GT500 as the only official world premiere from Ford at the show. A pretty sad way to end the January chapter as far as we’re concerned.

Further reading

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

Ford Tries to Be a Big Player, Schedules Standalone Event for Debuting the 2020 Ford Explorer Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full driven review on the 2017 Ford Explorer.

Ford Launches The First Ever Pursuit-Rated Hybrid SUV
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Explorer Police Interceptor, fastest police vehicle in U.S.

Source: Automotive News

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