Back in July, Ford Authority showed you the very first photos of what appeared to be a prototype for an upcoming off-road variant of the Ford Explorer that will potentially be called Explorer FX4. Now, we’ve caught up to another prototype of the same vehicle to get a better look of what’s in store.
Though the vehicle itself is different, this new prototype looks identical to the one we saw in July. A healthy amount of camouflage covers up the front and rear fascias. Those really into any flavor of off-roading might already know that the combination of smaller wheels and chunkier tires is the perfect formula for the rough stuff, and that’s exactly what’s taking place with this Explorer FX4: the model is riding on a set of aggressive Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 3 tires wrapped around a set of 18-inch wheels.
It also appears that the covered-up front fascia features more aggressive styling and a better approach angle. Meanwhile, the rear end seems to feature a more robust departure angle. And though it’s hard to tell, this Explorer FX4 prototype also rides higher than the regular Explorer XLT model that this prototype appears to be based on.
Rounding out the entire package is a set of black plastic fender flares and lower bodyside molding in order to protect the lower extremities of the body from being chipped by flying stones and pebbles when driving on trails.
We believe that this particular model will come to market as the Explorer FX4 for either the late 2021 model year, or the 2022 model year. Power should come from one of two EcoBoost engines currently offered in the Explorer: either the turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 or the twin-turbo 3.0L EcoBoost V-6. Power will be routed via Ford’s ten-speed automatic transmission. Once it’s introduced, it would take on some of the rougher Jeep Grand Cherokee models as well as the GMC Acadia AT4.