Ford Authority

2024 Ford Explorer Spotted Without Camo For First Time

After nearly four years on the market, The Blue Oval’s venerable Ford Explorer is set to be refreshed. Significant changes are expected inside, where the three-row will likely gain an all-new operating system for its infotainment, but outside, things were less clear. That began changing recently, as some 2024 Ford Explorer prototypes steadily shed their heavy cladding for lightly covered camouflage that hinted at front fascia and rear liftgate alterations. Now, photographers captured a completely undisguised example sitting curbside, providing confirmation that the 2024 Ford Explorer will mimic its Chinese counterpart up front and out back.

2024 Ford Explorer ST-Line

North American 2024 Ford Explorer refresh

Refreshed Chinese Ford Explorer

While the angle of our featured 2024 Ford Explorer isn’t ideal, it is immediately apparent that the fully exposed front end takes after its counterpart from across the Pacific, which is already on sale in China. Both utilize the same headlamp assembly design, which is shaped slightly differently than the current model, as it features a nice little curved area as it meets the grille. Speaking of the grille, that’s also new, and as previous photos indicated, it appears to be the same exact shape as the Chinese Explorer. Below that area is where things get interesting in some respects, as it appears the North American Explorer will depart from its counterpart with its own lower fascia that ditches the LED lighting for a visual motif that is vertically oriented but not as muscular as the model currently on sale in China. Additionally, it appears the area below the front license plate bracket retains some, if not all, of the current North American Explorer’s design.

It should be noted that the model seen curbside is clearly an ST-Line, judging by the badge just in front of the driver’s door, which is exactly where it is on the current model. This example almost certainly doesn’t feature a front light bar above the grille, and at this point it is unclear if that particular setup will be a part of the American lineup, where it would be found on higher-end trims. This Explorer also seemingly wears a brighter version of the 20-inch aluminum wheels currently standard on the ST-Line, a possible sign that

2024 Ford Explorer rear three quarter view, showing new tailgate

North American 2024 Ford Explorer refresh

Refreshed Chinese Ford Explorer

Out back, it appears the 2024 Ford Explorer will adopt some similar cosmetic elements of the Chinese version’s liftgate, but follow its own path in certain regions. First off, we can see for the first time the the North American market Explorer will in fact visually connect both taillamp assemblies together via the horizontal strip across the liftgate that now sports some LED lighting and is what almost certainly the “Explorer” script above the license plate. Unlike the Chinese version, there is no chrome strip connecting both taillamps, as the company has opted to completely omit that cosmetic part. That allowed the company to switch up the lighting inside each taillamp assembly, which gets two vertically-oriented vertical sections flanked by the rear lights, with that latter section soldiering on mostly unchanged, save for the very bottom. The top portion of the taillamps appear to have notched sections to blend in with the lighting on the liftgate itself.

Last but not least, Ford decided to keep the “Explorer” script right above the license plate and the Blue Oval badge right below the liftgate wiper, judging by the lack of lettering in that region. That not only aligns with the current model, but with the previous generation’s setup as well, which also featured a horizontal strip visually connecting both taillamp assemblies. Additionally, the area below the license plate has been pushed outward across the entire width of the liftgate, which is also present on the Chinese version. There don’t appear to be any changes to the rear bumper however, although our featured example may be missing that entire section.

2024 Ford Explorer infotainment up close

Aside from the front and rear end changes, the 2024 Ford Explorer is widely expected to ditch Sync 3 for an entirely new operating system, possibly the long-rumored Google infotainment that has been teased for years. BlueCruise is widely expected to debut on the SUV as well, but beyond that, it is currently unclear if there will be any trim or powertrain shake-ups for the upcoming refresh.

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

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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  1. Kevin

    Ford stop pushing this grille. It’s as boring as Honda. The Aston Martin knock off grill was best

  2. Nautical-one345

    Definitely looks better than the current grille.

  3. Drew Ford Retiree

    Irrelevant. Quality is in the dumpster. And the vehicle needs a Herculean improvement in interior materials and style.

    1. bob dobson

      As the owner of a 2021 Explorer St I have to agree 100%. Too many QC issues

  4. Joe

    Must wait to see the interior. If improved. I’ll take a 2024 Explorer Platinum with a
    2023 Platinum front bumper, grill, fog lights, headlights. Perhaps, I can change the front . May need to ship the vehicle to West Coast Customs. 🙂

  5. Chuck H.

    With 435,000 miles on a very beautiful 02 Eddy Bower Explorer, I am due for an upgrade. I would sure like to see a 3.5 L Powerboost Hybrid Power Train with Dual Fuel Injection as an upgrade to the current Explorer Hybrid. The 7.2 Kw Power Generation would be a real nice feature for residential backup power. I had a chance to drive in a F-150 Powerboost and it was very nice with plenty of power. The two-tone Brown interior reminded me of my Eddy Bower and as of today, looks exquisite. Based on the current Explorer Hybrid MPG, it doesn’t look like there would be much difference between the 3.3 L and the 3.5 L Turbo Engines and if so, I could live with it. How about Ford?

    1. rPax

      Eddie Bauer is what you’re going for.


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