Ford Authority

Ford Explorer ST Cited As Successful Derivative Model

A little over a year ago, Ford revealed that its future product plans revolve around what it considers to be its “Icons,” or vehicles with established nameplates that resonate with consumers. That also includes adding more derivatives – or variants – to existing product lines that are already quite successful – including the Ford Bronco SUV – among others, all of which generate big profits for The Blue Oval. Recently, Jim Baumbick – Ford’s vice president, product development operations, and quality – specifically mentioned the Ford Explorer ST as one of these successful derivatives, too.

“In other cases what we’re finding is as we strike something into the market that resonates with customers, it’s naturally pulling on the mix,” Baumbick said while speaking during the 2023 Bank of America Global Automotive Summit. “And it might actually result in higher volume. So I’ll use an example. ST on Explorer is a wonderful example of something that started as a derivative. It was a very efficient derivative. And it’s grown to almost 20% of the mix. It has very, very healthy contribution margins. And it’s one of those ones that’s well above 30 percent higher.”

Along with the off-road focused Timberline, the Ford Explorer ST has proven to be a big profit generator for FoMoCo, and as such, both will continue to be sold when the crossover receives a refresh for the 2024 model year, as Ford Authority reported back in October.

This is all part of The Blue Oval’s bigger plan to continue to generate profits from its Ford Blue ICE division to offset expected losses in the Model e EV side of the business over the next couple of years, as well as continue to grow even as the automaker pivots to all-electric vehicles. Additionally, Ford is focused on reducing complexity in its ICE lineup as soon as the 2024 model year, which will likely apply to the refreshed Explorer, too.

We’ll have more on the Ford Explorer ST soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Explorer news and comprehensive 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.

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.


  1. Tim

    Have a 2020 ST. Absolutely love it. My wife and I were looking for something larger, safe, sporty, and could put up with toddlers and multiple dogs. Over the last 3 years this thing has been great!

  2. Oliver65

    The explorer ST is a beast ford did there thing with this vehicle

  3. Dave

    Now that the Explorer is rear-wheel drive biased, Ford
    should offer the 5.0 Coyote V8 in the top performance
    model. Now THAT would be a beast!”

  4. Mf

    Explorer ST is a compelling product, so much so that people buy it despite it’s cheap interior, horrific infotainment and digital cluster, and lackluster quality.

    I hope Ford goes beyond fixing the interior and tech with the 24 and upgrades the transmission as well. 5600 pounds towing due to the light duty transmission is just a little too low. If they used the beefier 10 speed and got up to 6500-7000 like the PHEV aviator that used the stronger transmission did, it’d be ideal.

    What Ford really need stondontjough is tune the motor to 450hp or so, and.offer an upgraded monoblock brake package. While the current sliding calipers work, monoblock calipers should be expected at this price and performance point. Hell, GM uses monoblock calipers on regular Silverado and Tahoe, so it’s absurd that the ST doesn’t have them. A set of brembos all around would be a welcome upgrade that would get picked a LOT.

  5. Mf

    Ford needs a ranger and F150 ST. If they offered an F150 ST, I’d buy it.

    1. JB

      Isn’t that what the Raptor versions are for Ford’s trucks and Bronco?


Leave a comment