2020 Ford Explorer Revealed: RWD, New Engines And New Tech Aplenty

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Ford is kicking off the NAIAS 2019 reveals early this year with the reveal of the all-new 2020 Ford Explorer SUV. Don’t let the familiar looks fool you, this thing is all-new from the ground up, and promises to be more capable than ever.

Thanks to the adaptation of the all-new CD6 platform, like the 2020 Lincoln Aviator, the 2020 Ford Explorer is now back to being rear-wheel-drive like when it was still a body-on-frame SUV. The new architecture and drivetrain layout also helps improve towing, and introduces the latest technologies, as well.

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The 2020 Ford Explorer will introduce more than a dozen new standard features, including a 2.3L EcoBoost engine and 10-speed transmission, an 8-inch digital touchscreen with Sync 3 infotainment, a FordPass Connect Wi-Fi service for up to 10 devices, a power liftgate, and a new digital instrument cluster, to name a few things.

The 2.3-liter engine is standard on 2020 Ford Explorer base, XLT, and Limited models, and is projected to produce 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Both are improvements over the outgoing Explorer equipped with the same engine. 2020 Ford Explorer SUVs equipped with the Class III Trailer Tow Package can tow up to 5,300 pounds, versus the 3,000 pounds today’s similarly equipped Explorer is capable of.

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The new Terrain Management System from Ford offers up to seven selectable drive modes are available, including Normal, Sport, Snow, Trail, Slippery, Tow/Haul, and Eco for 2020 Explorers equipped with RWD only. four-wheel-drive models add a deep snow and sand mode. Each have their own high-resolution 3D graphics that can be seen from an available 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster.

Never mind that you should have the capability to maneuver a three-row vehicle properly, if you plan on driving a large three-row vehicle such as the 2020 Ford Explorer. Because Ford has instead enabled the more inattentive among us and introduced new driver aides for the vehicle. With Active Park Assist 2.0, the system 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. Because parking is hard.

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Another new system is the available Reverse Brake Assist, which 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. This in case if people forget about the backup camera, we suppose.

There’s more. The latest Ford Co-Pilot360 driver-assist suite offers:

  • 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

Another new active safety offering Evasive Steering Assist, which provides steering support to help avoid a collision – in case you’re distracted for some reason. Should a collision happen, Post-Impact Braking attempts to halt the vehicle from further movement after a collision to lessen injury and damage caused by a secondary crash event.

We could just learn to drive better. But until that happens, Ford’s at least being realistic with the average American driver skillset.

The size and capacity of the 2020 Ford Explorer begs to be used to its complete potential, such as a cross country road trip with friends or family. This is where the technology and cabin refinement will shine. The new Explorer offers a wireless charging pad in the front row that gives occupants the freedom to recharge compatible mobile devices, as well as up to four USB ports, including new USB-C outlets. What’s more, up to three 12-volt outlets and a 110-volt outlet are also available.

For the audiophiles, the 2020 Ford Explorer offers an available 980-watt, 14-speaker B&O premium audio system. Access to SiriusXM satellite radio is standard, and HD Radio is standard on the 2020 Ford Explorer Limited.

To get everybody in and out with minimal effort, the 2020 Ford Explorer second-row seats feature a new mechanism that allows for easy entrance and exit to the third row using just one hand. Ford also redesigned the ISOFIX anchor points allow child seat installation anywhere in the second and third rows. Second-row windows are equipped with available retractable sunshades. For large cargo, the 2020 Explorer has a PowerFold third-row seats and new E-Z entry second-row seats let drivers create a flat loading area that stretches out to offer nearly 171 cubic feet of space – which Ford says is wide enough to fit standard 4-foot building materials, depending on seating configuration.

While pricing on all trim levels have not been announced just yet, the 2020 Ford Explorer will start just $400 more than the outgoing model when it launches this summer out of the Chicago Assembly Plant.

Stay tuned to Ford Authority as we continue to report on the latest 2020 Ford Explorer news.

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Written by Manoli Katakis

Former staff.

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11 Comments

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  1. Well, I must say that the CD6 platform Ford Explorer has potential. I think the styling is fairly decent and I like the new interior design, I’m going to cut right to the point of this however and get to what Ford needs to do with this. Make a GT model with the Bullitt variant 480hp/420tq 5.0L V8 with the 10-speed automatic, a lowered and tuned Magnetic ride suspension, 20×10.5″ 5 Y-Spoke wheels wrapped in 285/50R20 tires, Brembo brakes, HD cooling, active exhaust with quad tips, GT hood and rear spoiler dark optioned tail lamps, thicker sway bars, strut tower brace, subframe bracing, and a sporty interior. The vehicle should be lighter and faster than the SRT-392 Durango/Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-392 with better handling.
    I’m honestly hoping that Ford will finally go back to producing RWD vehicles and also offer some other performance Vehicles with the 5.0L V8 I’m sure that with the Gen-7 S650 CD6 Platform mustang, The performance and Technology will only get better. What I’m truly hoping is that Ford will Benchmark the BMW M850i X-Drive as the inspiration for the next Mustang GT. The 8-series BMW is only slightly larger than the mustang with a wheel base of 111″, a total length of 191.2″, 53″ tall, a front track width of 64.1, rear track width of 64.6 & legroom 42.1″ front/29.5″ rear to the mustang’s 107.1 WB, 188.3″ overall, 54″ tall, 62.3 Frt Track/ 64.9″ rear track, 44.5/30.6 frt//rear leg room. Stretching the car’s wheel base will improve handling overall while gaining a sleeker, design that still says mustang but more evolved and sophisticated. Hopefully the new CD6 S650 Mustang GT will offer things like the current Performance pack level-2 suspension and wheel/tire size on the standard Mustang GT, a performance AWD system like what was pioneered on the Focus RS and the Taurus SHO with Torque vectoring, electronic hybrid performance differentials, Brembo brakes, a mid-muffler exhaust system with rear resonators and quad exhaust tips, GT-350 style exhaust manifolds, a Gen-4 Coyote V8 engine mated to the 10-speed conventional hybrid drive automatic transmission, the 12″ digital instrument cluster, a modern version of the classic mustang interior with a wider center stack for a 12″+ infotainment screen, a console shifter, a suede and leather interior option with heated/cooled seats, heated/cooled steering wheel, illuminated door sills, ambient lighting, heated/cooled/illuminated cup holders, illuminated USB ports and aux ports, upgraded B&o stereo system, a completely redesigned taillamps style that is still a 3-piece design but spread out wider across the rear with black housings and red LED trim The trunk should mimick the M850 but a rear spoiler should be present, similar to what the Alfa Romeo Giulia has but larger and more aggressive, a lower rear diffuser, under body panels, like the upcoming GT500, a subtle aero package, the front end of that “future” mustang concept with an open grille, different fog lamps, an illuminated running pony, and an evolution of the current mustang headlamps into the shape of what was on the concept. Along with that, the car should have the ’69 Mach 1 style rear quarter scoops. With the Gen-4 Coyote 5.0L V8 and the hybrid 10-speed setup and AWD, the car’s power output should jump up from 460hp to about 495hp while the torque should jump from 420lb-ft to 520hp. Switching up to basically a 5.0L Aluminator V8 with the GT350 style heads and cams, a GT350 intake manifold and throttle body and intake, the car would be short of the M850’s power output, but the car would also be nearly $50,000 less money to own. Just below that, the mustang should get an “LX” variant with the 3.5L twin turbo V6 being put in making 450hp and 495lb-ft of torque, detuned slightly from the Raptor with the 10-speed automatic, AWD, magnetic ride, smaller brembo brakes, a sporty suspension, etc. putting it well above the Camaro RS and even above cars such as the Challenger GT, Challenger R/T and even the current generation 5.0L Mustang GT. Slotting below that would be the Mustang Ecoboost with a 2.3L Hybrid V8 pushing out 400hp/420lb-ft of torque “pushing V8 levels of torque. with AWD and a “Performance Pack” for both the Ecoboost and the LX. I honestly feel the Explorer should be set up the same exact way.
    I know Ford is really pushing alot of new stuff out next week and I’m hoping the new CD6 platform is really going to be something special. Me personally, I would love to see a Charger-fighting Falcon sedan pop up from the CD6 platform with a Gen-4 5.0L Coyote V8 with a hybrid-drive 10-speed auto behind it with AWD and everything else. Basically a new version of the 2016 Australian FPV Falcon GT sedan. Ford is positioned to do great things. I hope they come through this time.

      • never owned a Nissan, Honda, or any of those types of vehicles, but I have owned 2 mustangs, a trans am, a Lincoln LS, a Ford Escort, a Mercury Sable and a Cobalt SS at one point in time so yeah. But thanks Freeway Fiddler for your asinine response. You can take your 98 sentra and shove it up your @$$!

    • prepare to be disappointed if that’s your expectations. Ford has no business trying to match beamer/alfa/etc, different segment marketed to different customers.

      • more less just wishful thinking. I don’t think Mustang GT could/Should ever match BMW’s performance, luxury, it’s not in the same ball park. What I’m saying is that since the Mustang has become more of a sports car instead of just a pony car/muscle car. It should evolve into a more “adult” vehicle (similar to what Ford tried to do in 1971). Ford’s 94-98 Mustang had a very rounded, sleek shape for it’s time and I think Ford’s mustang could benefit from a more modern, sleeker shape. Similar to what the M850i had both cars are fastback coupes albeit the BMW is more svelte. Looking at the Ford commercial about the Future is built, the Gen 7 S650 CD6 Mustang has a somewhat BMW 8-series front and the cars already share a very similar silhouette. Having the mustang pull away from the hard modern retro theme but still keep more than enough cues to let you know that yes, it’s still a mustang is the point I’m making. My reference to the Giulia was just to the spoiler alone. A very similar spoiler to the lip spoiler on the Dodge Viper TA. Ford has always had it’s eye on being a very european-like vehicle and it European market cars have played a big part in alot of Ford’s vehicles for a long time.
        Also i see no reason why there shouldn’t be a Coyote powered Explorer, a Coyote Powered sedan, a V8 raptor and a hot performing street truck. I also see no reason why the the GT shouldn’t get 495hp and have a 435-450hp 3.5L Ecoboost AWD model up under it for the twin turbo V6 guys and even a 400hp 2.3L Turbo for the Turbo-4 guys. Same thing with a performance CD6 sedan and the CD6 explorer and even the F150, the Ranger & the Bronco. Okay a Coyote V8 in a ranger/bronco might be a bit much but they should be just as customizable as any Jeep Wrangler out there. They both need Wild Trak and Raptor options and a slew of Ford Performance parts for style & performance. Yeah Ford needs to bring back the Tremor, the Lightning, the Harley Davidson and the Raptor F150 trucks and they should Range from a 3.5L Ecoboost, a factory Supercharged 5.0 in the lightning and the Harley Davidson and a 7.0L DOHC V8 in the Raptor. Mopar is doing the same thing and they’re killing the game with no real competition. Yes there will be room for hybrids and electric mobility devices both performance and pedestrian but Ford needs to get back in the game. Honestly, do i think it will ever happen, probably not. Do i wish it would happen. Yeah!! I do. Regardless of what anyone thinks. I personally would like to see Ford do some stuff like this. But that’s just me.

  2. The center infotainment screen does look a bit odd put there between the vents but I dont think it looks any worse then other placement of infotainment screens and better then others.At least should be easier to read the navigation.I also like the fact that there are still buttons to control the main functions on the car like climate control and other things keep doing that please ford.

  3. T. why would one have to use premium gas on the 365 HP 3.0 on the 2020 2020 Explorer, when the Navigator has 400 HP on the same gas octane?????????????????

  4. After 45 years of driving/owning/leasing seventeen Fords: a 71 Maverick, 75 Grand Torino Elite, 87 Taurus, 2 Taurus SH0s 93 & 97, a 92 Probe, a 94 Windstar, 06 Lincoln MKZ, 08 Lincoln MKX, three Escapes 06, 13, 17, a 16 Focus, 13, Explorer Titanium, a 17 Fusion, 18 EcoSport & now w 44,000 on my 16 Mustang EcoBoost Premium Convertible…, I see a winner w this 2020 Explorer…looks Sharp!

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