2020 Ford Explorer STAs car enthusiasts, we can't help but be most excited about the sporty Explorer ST. It's the most powerful Explorer with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 making 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque, and it's even more torquey than the non-hybrid Lincoln Aviator that shares the engine. A 10-speed automatic backs the V6 and sends power to all four wheels. We kind of wish there was a rear-drive only version, but at least this system, like in the regular Explorer, will be rear-biased. Suspension is stiffened up, and the brakes are slightly upgraded. Ford will also offer an ST Street Pack and ST Track Pack that both offer increasingly more powerful brakes and 21-inch wheels.
The ST includes some other nice standard features. It has unique leather upholstery with ST logos stitched in the seatbacks and a heated flat-bottom steering wheel. The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and towing package are standard, too.
Pricing hasn't been announced, but a Ford representative said that it will be priced under $60,000. That may sound a bit steep, but it's worth noting that's cheaper than the Dodge Durango SRT.
2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited
Even though the ST is probably the most exciting Explorer, the Hybrid is interesting, too. It's similar to the Aviator hybrid in that it uses the same 10-speed automatic transmission and electric motor, and it has the battery under the right-side occupants to preserve cargo space. But instead of the Lincoln's twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6, the Ford uses a naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V6. Total output is 318 horsepower, which is 18 more than what the turbo 4-cylinder makes.
Ford claims there's no sacrifice in capability, either, so it should have the four-cylinder's maximum towing capacity of 5,300 pounds. Ford didn't give final fuel economy numbers, but for what it's worth, Ford estimates that the rear-drive version of the Hybrid will go 500 miles on a single tank of gas. Evidently the all-wheel-drive version won't go quite as far.
The Hybrid is only available in Limited trim, which sits between XLT and Platinum. Among the standard features are a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, heated second-row seats, 10-way power leather front seats and active noise cancellation. Pricing isn't available yet, but expect it to fall below Platinum and above the four-cylinder Limited.