In recent weeks, we’ve spied a handful of 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline prototypes testing not once, but twice. And now, we’ve caught yet another Timberline prototype out driving around, this time wearing Oxford White paint.
The lighter hue gives us a better look at the orange line that runs across the Timberline’s bumper, as well as its matching orange tow hooks, and provides a nice contrast to the crossover’s dark trim and wheels. The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline also features a unique grille design with a single bar that runs the entire width of the grille.
The “Explorer” script that typically runs across the bottom of the hood is gone as well, while the foglights are a completely new design. Instead of the thin, rectangular units present on the regular Explorer, the Timberline has more rugged, square fog lights. The lower grille also features a different design intended to improve the crossover’s approach angle.
Moving down the side, the Timberline wears a set of what appears to be 18-inch black wheels that look similar to the ones available on the Ford Bronco Sport Badlands, which are wrapped with beefy Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires. Previous prototypes had badges on the C-pillars, but this one does not.
While the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline doesn’t appear to ride much higher than other Ford Explorer models, it’s entirely possible that the new off-road focused variant is utilizing an adjustable air suspension, as we recently speculated.
The rear bumper of the Timberline has been revised as well, presumably to improve the Timberline’s departure angle, and its dual exhaust has been tucked underneath for the same reason.
Perhaps most interestingly, the Timberline wears a “4WD” badge on the rear liftgate, even though the Explorer comes with an all-wheel-drive configuration. Finally, while other prototypes had a Timberline badge on the liftgate, this one does not.
FoMoCo filed to trademark “Timberline” on January 11th, 2018, for the goods and services category of motor vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles, trucks, sport utility vehicles, off-road vehicles, and structural parts, trim, and badges, therefore.
We expect the Explorer Timberline to launch very soon for the 2021 model year as a rugged version of Ford’s long-running crossover, essentially as an off-road-focused version of the Explorer ST.
Like all other Explorer variants, the Explorer Timberline will be produced at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant.