A prototype for Ford’s next-generation Explorer has been spotted once again. The vehicle is expected on sale in 2019, as a 2020 model.
The last time the Explorer was redesigned was in 2011, when the popular SUV adopted car-like unibody construction and an inline-4 as the base powertrain. The 2020 model should follow a similar formula, though it looks to be growing in size.
The photos hint at evolutionary changes to the Explorer’s styling for the upcoming redesign. There’s still a big, blocky shape plus space for three rows of seats, and the treatments for the lights and greenhouse appear similar to the current model.
Ford has much more radical changes for the parts we can’t see, however. The 2020 Explorer is expected to be one of the first models to ride on Ford’s next-generation platform for larger models. Code-named D6, the highly flexible platform is thought to accommodate front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations.
The Explorer is expected to ride on a rear-wheel-drive configuration but offer all-wheel drive. This configuration is expected to be the same one Lincoln uses for a revived Aviator, which the Ford luxury brand will likely use to replace the unloved MKT.
Ford’s newfound love of aluminum should continue with the 2020 Explorer to help reduce weight and in turn improve economy.
And once again the base powertrain should be a turbocharged inline-4. For performance fans, a new Explorer ST has been confirmed. It will likely replace the current Explorer Sport, which comes with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 good for 365 horsepower. A hybrid option is also confirmed for the 2020 Explorer.
Stay tuned for updates as development continues.