New-generation family hauler gets comprehensive overhaul, no plans for right-hand drive though.
Ford has revealed the all-new 2020 Explorer, ahead of a North American on-sale date in mid-2019.
The Blue Oval says the three-row SUV has been "redesigned from the ground up", underpinned by a new rear-wheel drive architecture shared with the recently-revealed Lincoln Aviator.
In addition to the redesigned exterior and interior, the Explorer is available with the brand's latest driver assistance and active safety systems, employing the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite as standard equipment encompassing autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, a rear-view camera, and automatic headlights with auto high-beam.
Additional driver assists available include adaptive cruise control with speed sign recognition, reverse autonomous emergency braking, and Active Park Assist 2.0 – which can park in parallel and perpendicular bays.
The Explorer also moves to an all-turbocharged engine line-up, too. As standard the SUV is powered by a "reinvigorated" 2.3-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost motor, making a 'projected' 300hp (223kW) and 310lb-ft (420Nm), mated to a 10-speed automatic as standard.
Atop the range is a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that debuted in the Aviator, 'projected' to develop 365hp (272kW) and 380lb-ft (515Nm), making it the "most powerful Explorer ever" – at least until Ford Performance launches the Explorer ST.
Where the four-cylinder engine is available on just about every variant (there's six in total), the V6 is offered exclusively with the flagship 'Platinum' grade.
A hybrid model will become available at some point, and Ford is yet to confirm the specifications of the performance-oriented ST, so stay tuned for those details when they become available.
Towing capabilities are claimed to have been improved as well. Ford claims the 2.3-litre Explorer can tow up to 5300 pounds (2404kg) with the Class III Trailer Tow Package (up from 3000 pounds), while the V6 ups that again to 5600 pounds (2540kg).
Inside, the "recrafted" cabin is said to be quieter and more spacious than the outgoing model, headlined by the availability of a swish new 10.1-inch portain-orientated Sync 3 infotainment display and 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle.
FordPass Connect is included as standard, as is a smaller 8.0-inch Sync 3 infotainment unit. The former enables a high-speed 4G WiFi hotspot for up to 10 wireless devices using a compatible data service, along with remote access to vehicle information and functions via a smartphone.
Available cabin tech also includes a wireless smartphone charger, up to four USB inputs including Type-C ports, up to three 12V outlets and a 110V outlet.
Those who enjoy a good mixtape will want to opt for the available 980W 14-speaker B&O premium audio system, while on- and off-road drivers can select up to seven drive modes – Normal, Sport, Trail, Slippery, Tow/Haul and Eco as standard for rear-wheel drive models, with four-wheel drive versions adding Deep Snow and Sand modes.
Ford is touting the Explorer's cabin storage solutions as well, with up to 123 cubic litres of cubbies scattered throughout the interior, and up to 87.8 cubic feet (2486L) of cargo capacity with the second row seats folded flat.
Isofix child seat mounts are available in both the second and third rows, with the latter available with power folding for more convenience.
The new-generation Ford Explorer will be manufactured at the Blue Oval's facility in Chicago.
Speaking with CarAdvice, Ford's local product communications manager, Damion Smy, said: "There’s no plan for a RHD Explorer to join the new Endura, Everest, Escape and EcoSport in Australian showrooms".
The Explorer nameplate was last sold locally in 2005, though the new three-row SUV would serve as a fitting replacement for the now-defunct locally-made Territory, as the recently-launched Endura (nee Edge) is only available with five seats.
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