Ford Authority

Refreshed Ford Explorer For Chinese Market Will Likely Remain In China

While the North American market carries on with the current-gen Ford Explorer, which was redesigned for the 2020 model year, the Chinese market has already received a refreshed version of the long-running crossover that originally leaked back in February before it was teased a few months later. The Explorer – which has been on sale in China since 2020 with arguably better looks than the North American version – even got a special 30th Anniversary Edition to commemorate that model’s milestone, while the rest of the world did not. Now, it appears that the refreshed Chinese Ford Explorer likely won’t launch in the U.S., either.

Ford has officially revealed the refreshed Chinese Explorer and provided a few more details about the model, pointing out that like its other vehicles in that country, the crossover “embodies its ‘Progressive Energy in Strength’ China design language” that also adorns some other recently-launched models. China is the Explorer’s second-largest market outside of the U.S., which led to a redesign that “required local insights,” according to the automaker, and thus, took place at Ford’s China Design Center.

“Being the first time the Explorer was designed outside of North America, it was important that it continues its successful heritage of pioneering innovation and adventure whilst being modernized for the progressive China market,” said Simon Brook, Chief Designer of Ford China Design Center. “We know our Chinese customers value a high degree of sophistication, luxury, and premium refinement, from exterior to interior.”

Ford integrated modern Chinese aesthetics into the Explorer’s existing design when conjuring up the refreshed model, reinventing it as a “luxury yacht” with 21-inch Turbine fan wheels that spin like a ship’s propeller, a C-pillar graphic that echoes the mast of a luxury sailboat, and a front end that captures the essence of a ship’s bow as it breaks through the waves. Inside, a massive 27-inch touchscreen spans the dashboard, coast-to-coast, with special seat material and patterns to boot.

With such an emphasis on reimagining the Explorer specifically to cater to the Chinese market, it seems unlikely that those changes will carry over to the North American version. However, this isn’t anything new, as a bevy of recent products – including the Lincoln Zephyr, Ford Mondeo, and Ford Evos – were all designed specifically for Chinese customers.

We’ll have more on the Explorer soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. jess

    too bad, looks 100 times better than our ex

  2. Mortimer Duke

    Dear North America,

    Up yours.

    Yours truly,

    Ford Motor Company

    1. Mrx19

      Absolutely. Huge improvment over the current North America version. Especially the interiors shown on youtube. You can see where Fords priorities are.

  3. Michael K

    They’ve been tweaking the Explorer design for the Chinese market since the 2020 model came out.

    The US Explorer is due for an update for 2024, about a year ahead of the Explorer EV.

  4. Gary

    Too bad the US won’t get a refreshed Explorer as it’s badly needed here. The interior in the current model is way behind the competition and the vertical screen is just the worst design. It looks like an after thought. In fact the entire dash needs a new design. I guess when my lease is up on my 2020 I will be leaving Ford. This is too bad as the new chassis was a huge step in the right direction. They keep doing the same thing. Redesigning a model giving it potential but with a half way job then forgetting about it. Plus the quality has gone way downhill.

  5. Justen L

    This is exactly why I left ford! I loved my Fusion but, it was time for an upgrade and Ford failed to deliver! It’s really annoying & weird that Ford caters to China but not US.. Meanwhile Hyundai/KIA/Genesis gives US all the Sedans..

  6. Charles

    Sucks. We have owned three Explorers and was hoping this model was coming to the US too. Probably getting a Grand Cherokee. Interior way more refined than current Explorer.

  7. Ford Guy

    I was so excited… then I realize this is China-only? What is Ford thinking? The ChiComs get a 27″ touch screen and we get an iPad glued to the dash? They get the huge, boxy Range Rover grill and we get the skinny little awkward hexagon? From the tail lights to the headlights, the Chinese design smokes ours. It’s seriously insulting.


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