The Ford Explorer ST Whips Up 400 Horsepower, Looks Pretty Sweet

Cadillac Takes Aim at Tesla With SUV Priced Below Model X

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid signals the start of a big electrified push

GM unveiled the new Cadillac XT6 SUV at the Detroit auto show, and while It's not all electric yet, there was some indication that the all EV model could be ready by 2021.

A year ago Ford revealed the Edge ST, which was the first Blue Oval SUV to receive the ST performance badge.

The newest additions to the all-new Explorer family - built at Ford Chicago Assembly Plant - will join base, XLT, Limited and Platinum models in showrooms. Ford said the hybrid can tug up to 5,000 pounds (down just 600 pounds from the Explorer's max tow rating of 5,600 pounds), which is 1,500 pounds more than a Highlander Hybrid can haul.

Engineers say the top speed of the monster has also increased to 143 miles per hour (230 kph), with the help of the quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.

Optional upgrades include an ST Street Pack and an ST Track Pack, which both have 21-inch aluminum wheels with differing levels of performance brakes, larger vented rotors, red brake calipers with stainless steel pistons, and larger brake pads for better stopping power.

Visually, Explorer ST stands apart from the rest of the lineup courtesy of a black mesh grille insert, liftgate applique, lower bodyside details, roof-rack side rails and skid plate elements. Leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforations, City Silver accent stitching and ST logo complete the sporty feel.

Inside, a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster is standard. 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 brand new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission has been used.

At the other extreme comes the 2020 Explorer Hybrid. By packaging the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery into the Explorer Hybrid's chassis, below the second row seats, it doesn't eat into cargo space.

Standard features on the hybrid include active noise cancellation, a 14-speaker B&O sound system, perforated leather seat trim, wireless phone charging, heated first and second row seats, and 10-way power adjustment for the front row pews.

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