Ford will unveil a track-ready Explorer ST at the Woodward Dream Cruise on Aug. 21. The modified SUV was built for the Ford Performance Racing School, which offers driving instruction to owners of Ford performance vehicles.
Modifications included ditching the third row and adding a roll cage. The remaining four seats are Recaro Cross Sportster CS buckets, with four-point harnesses. Window nets were installed in all four doors.
The ST rides on Signature Wheels SV503 track series wheels, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Ford also upgraded the front brakes, with 16.5-inch vented rotors from the Shelby GT500 Mustang, clamped by Brembo 6-piston monobloc aluminum calipers.
Ford didn't mention any changes to the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, so it likely makes the same 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque as before. Shifting duties are handled by a 10-speed automatic transmission, which sends the power to all four wheels.
The modified Explorer ST will be displayed at the Ford Performance Racing School's Woodward booth to help promote the ST SUV Experience the school offers for Explorer ST and Edge ST owners. It will also see some track time in the future, but it needs some additional tuning before that, Ford Performance Racing School president Dan McKeever said in a statement.
For the 2021 model year, Ford is also adding an Enthusiast version of the ST to the lineup. It eliminates some of the standard version's luxury items, like power side mirrors, heated second-row bucket seats, and the 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, but it retains the 12.3-inch touchscreen and a long list of driver aids. Other additions to the 2021 Explorer lineup include luxurious King Ranch and outdoorsy Timberline models.