Report: Ford Explorer ST in the works for next generation of popular SUV

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2020 Ford Explorer spy shots - Image via Tom Poeschel

2020 Ford Explorer spy shots - Image via Tom Poeschel

Ford this month introduced a new Edge ST, but this won't be last Blue Oval SUV to wear the performance badge.

According to The Truth About Cars' sources, an Explorer ST is in the works for the next generation of the popular 3-row SUV. The new Explorer is currently thought to be on sale in 2019, as a 2020 model.

The Explorer ST variant will reportedly pack the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 found in the Lincoln Continental and MKX, but with output dialed higher than the 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque the engine makes in the Lincoln duo. This is an ST after all.

Camouflaged prototypes for the new Explorer have been spotted and suggest an evolutionary look is planned. Things will be very different under the skin, however.

The new Explorer will be among the first models to ride on a modular platform Ford is cooking up for its mid- and large-size models. Code-named D6, the highly flexible platform is thought to accommodate front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations. The new Explorer is expected to ride on a rear-wheel-drive configuration but offer all-wheel drive.

Interestingly, the new Explorer is expected to be twinned with a Lincoln model likely reviving the Aviator name. The Truth About Cars' sources claim the Lincoln SUV will feature the Explorer ST's 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 as standard and offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain as an option. Production of both models is said to be taking place at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant. The plant is where Ford builds the current Explorer and Taurus.

 
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