The Ford Explorer was treated to a full redesign for the 2020 model year, ushering in a new era for the long-running model. In the meantime, China’s version of the Explorer recently underwent a refresh, while the North American crossover received a few changes for 2022 and will carry over into the 2023 model year mostly unchanged. The Ford Explorer is set to receive a refresh for the 2024 model year, though the next-generation ICE-powered model will likely follow in 2026, according to Automotive News.
The gas Ford Explorer will continue to be built at the Chicago Assembly plant “for the foreseeable future,” according to the report, including the next-gen model when it launches in 2026. This is notable because the all-electric versions of the Explorer and Lincoln Aviator were previously expected to be built at the at the Cuautitlan Assembly plant in Mexico alongside the Ford Mustang Mach-E, but that plan was later scrapped, with both EV crossovers being pushed back to 2024 as a result.
Recent rumors indicate that the Explorer and Aviator EVs could be produced at the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada, which will be retooled for the production of five all-electric models beginning in 2025. However, that report also left open the possibility that the Explorer and Aviator EVs could wind up being produced at the Chicago plant alongside their ICE counterparts at some point in the future.
In the meantime, the 2023 Ford Explorer will carry on following a host of changes for the 2022 model year, including the addition of standard rear-wheel drive for the ST, the new ST-Line trim, and a few other minor tweaks. As Ford Authority reported in June, 2023 Explorer order banks opened up on August 11th, 2022, while production is slated to begin at the Chicago Assembly plant on November 7th, 2022.