Ford Explorer Hybrid signals the start of a big electrified push

Ford Explorer Hybrid signals the start of a big electrified push

Ford Explorer Hybrid signals the start of a big electrified push

Ford promised a whole family of 2020 Explorer versions, spanning fuel-efficiency through to performance, and sure enough here come the 2020 Explorer ST and Explorer Hybrid to seal that deal. It has a performance feel with sustained performance capability, and wears an unmistakably ST appearance. Expect to see these models on showrooms with the new Explorer later this year. Ford will also offer an ST Street Pack and ST Track Pack that both offer increasingly more powerful brakes and 21-inch wheels. While Tesla may have the crown for most well-known EV maker, there are lots of brands creeping in to take a share of the market.

As previously revealed, the Explorer Hybrid will have a 3.3-liter V-6 and a 10-speed automatic transmission that incorporates a modular hybrid system. Underneath, the Explorer ST is fitted with tauter suspension than the standard model. Like the Edge ST, the Explorer ST includes a sport mode that tightens the steering system, makes the throttle response more aggressive, increases the gear shift speed, and enhances the engine note.

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. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is standard, as are a tow package with a Class III receiver and Ford's suite of active safety tech. It has unique leather upholstery with ST logos stitched in the seatbacks and a heated flat-bottom steering wheel.

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Ford is reinventing the standard for what a hybrid can be, and this year is introducing an entirely new generation of hybrids that bring out the best in hybrid vehicles with great performance and the freedom to go further.

There's no breakdown of electric-only range, but Ford says it expects a total range of more than 500 miles with gas and electric drive combined, at least in the rear-wheel -drive model. Like other versions of the 2020 Ford Explorer, all-wheel-drive is available for the 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.

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