This evening at Ford Field in Detroit, Ford showed the new 2020 model year Explorer that is lighter – if light can be applied to ~4300-4700 lbs. curb weight, with claimed stronger construction, the broadest model lineup ever, more powerful and efficient EcoBoost engines and increased towing capacity. Powertrain offerings include a 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 projected to produce 365 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque using 93-octane gas, making this the most powerful Explorer ever. The Explorer lineup now features standard, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST and Platinum models.
The all-new Explorer comes with a dozen new standard features for only $400 more than the previous model. Standard features include a power liftgate, 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine with an all-new 10-speed transmission, 8-inch digital touch screen with SYNC 3, FordPass Connect Wi-Fi service for up to 10 devices. (Caveat – by the time final pricing is done on all the options this is going to be the most expensive Explorer ever – base 2019 models are ~$34,000-55,000. The average incentive spend on Explorer was $6,194 in 2018 – about $2,000 more than segment average says Edmunds.)
However, these traditional virtues for a rear-wheel-drive vehicle might be overshadowed by the added new smart technology that connected vehicles in an ill-defined mobility world will have.
Available on the 2020 are Driver-Assist Technologies:
- Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, which includes Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support
- Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert
- Lane-Keeping System
- Rearview camera with built-in lens cleaner
- Auto headlamps with auto high-beams
Other optional Co-Pilot360 technologies include Evasive Steering Assist, which provides steering support to help avoid a collision; and Post-Impact Braking provides braking after a collision to lessen injury and damage caused by a secondary crash event.
Explorer also has optional Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Speed Sign Recognition. In addition to automatically slowing when traffic ahead slows and helping keep the vehicle centered in its lane, the system uses cameras to read speed signs and, combined with the optional navigation system, adjusts cruise control settings accordingly.
Also, Reverse Brake Assist and Active Park Assist 2.0, which handles all steering, shifting, brake and accelerator controls during a parking maneuver with a touch of a button. The class-exclusive item – standard on Explorer Platinum – allows the driver to park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with a touch of a button without having to work the steering wheel, gear shifter, gas pedal or brake pedal.
Optional reverse brake assist, also standard on Platinum, uses radar and ultrasonic sensors to detect an object in Explorer’s path, and can apply the brakes automatically to avoid an imminent collision when the vehicle is backing up at a low speed – such as when exiting a driveway.
An all-new but optional Terrain Management System with up to seven select-able drive modes through a dial in the center console has normal, trail, deep snow and sand, slippery, sport, tow/haul and an eco mode. Each come with special 3D animated graphics in the option new 12.3-inch digital cluster.