Ford's Explorer is about to go under the knife for a nip and tuck.
Camouflaged prototypes for the updated three-row mid-size SUV have been spotted, hinting at some of the changes we can expect.
Our spy photography caught prototypes for both the rugged Timberline and sporty ST grades, and the camouflage gear on the testers hints at new fascias front and rear, as well as revised lights.
There are also some shots of the interior of the ST prototype. They reveal a new digital instrument cluster and a large landscape-oriented infotainment screen. The current Explorer features a small 8.0-inch infotainment screen as standard and an available 10.1-inch screen in a portrait orientation.
2024 Ford Explorer facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf
The graphics of the instrument cluster are similar to what's found in the F-150, while the graphics of the infotainment screen are new for Ford.
The current Explorer and its Lincoln Aviator twin arrived on the market in 2019 as 2020 models. The updated Explorer should arrive later this year as a 2024 model. Prototypes for the updated Aviator are also out testing, with the Lincoln expected to arrive in updated form together with its Ford counterpart.
There's also a unique version of the Explorer that's sold in China. The Chinese-market version received its own set of updates unique to that market last summer.
2023 Ford Explorer (China spec)
It isn't clear what changes are pegged for the updated Explorer's powertrains, though more power or improved efficiency are possibilities. The base option in the current Explorer is a 300-hp turbo-4. Above this is a 318-hp hybrid V-6 and at the top of the range is a 400-hp turbo V-6.
Electric versions of both the Explorer and Aviator are also in the works. They will use a new dedicated EV platform Ford announced in 2021, and are expected to arrive for the 2025 model year. They will also likely feature unique styling treatments to help further differentiate them from their gas-powered counterparts.
Stay tuned for updates as development continues.