Ford SUVs – Juggernaut Continues
Ford SUVs are the key to future success in Ford’s business. As Ford leaves the sedan (not car) business, they have given the first glimpse of their all new 2020 Explorer Crossover SUV (XSUV). The new Explorer replaces the fifth generation D4 platform Explorer with a totally modern platform. The all new body is unitized just like its predecessor but it is now rear wheel drive giving up its previous front wheel drive architecture. Explorer looks much like its predecessors with evolutionary, but modern, styling. Rear wheel drive lets its proportions be much more contemporary.
Features will be a major part of the Explorer story going forward. The new Explorer XSUV gains the Ford CoPilot 360+ suite of safety and driver assistance features. When launched, Explorer arguably will be the most feature laden vehicle offered by Ford.
Of particular note is Explorer’s Powertrain lineup. Base engine is a 300HP 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder, the upscale engine will be a 3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 making 365HP. The sporty ST model goes one step further gaining 35 more horsepower with the 3.0L Twin Turbo. There is also a hybrid version available that mainly will be pitched to police forces due to its higher fuel economy.
We haven’t driven the Explorer yet, but it promises to be very good and probably the best Explorer off-road than ever. Admittedly, previous gen Explorers were pretty mediocre off-road compared to competition.
The story of Ford SUVs doesn’t end with Explorer. It is educational to look at their present SUV lineup in the charts below. Starting with the barely competitive EcoSport, the lineup marches upwards in five to ten inch increments with Ford SUVs covering everything from the EcoSport Compact XSUV to the gargantuan Expedition Max.
EcoSport is the oldest of the bunch, but the platform for the Premium Mid-Size Edge is getting a little long in the tooth even with a 2019MY freshening. The high volume Escape gets a complete re-do in late 2019 or early 2020. Coming later is a reincarnation of the off-road Bronco to combat Jeep’s popular Wrangler. Also later, an additional baby Bronco will be launched slotted below the hard-core off-reader.
Ford clearly does not intend to give up any ground it the hyper-competitive SUV market.