Last night, in front of over 5,000 Ford employees, press and suppliers, including a handful of LaFontaine Automotive Group employees, Ford unveiled the completely redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer – America’s best-selling SUV in history.
“Explorer drivers told us what they want – more capability, more power, more space,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s head of product development and purchasing. “They want more technology, not just for the driver, but for the whole family. And they want all of it with a beautifully sporty exterior. This new Explorer gives them all of that, and more, helping make every journey more enjoyable.”
Ford engineers described it as lighter, leaner and stronger — but, most importantly, designed with the consumer at the center.
“We reinvented the Explorer from the ground up,” said Bill Gubing, global chief engineer of the Ford Explorer program. “Over the last eight years, our team has been together, living this customer, breathing this customer — studying, learning, understanding this customer.”
Ford Chairman Bill Ford, at the Wednesday evening event at Ford Field, said, “At Ford, we believe in the freedom of movement and the power of the outdoors to remind us of our humanity.”
With more than 7.8 million sold, more Explorers have been purchased since the original model debuted as a 1991 model than any other SUV. The 2020 model will have a base price of $33,860, Ford said Wednesday evening.
The new rear-wheel drive layout (with an all-wheel-drive option) enables a sporty design, improved on- and off-road capability, and 600 pounds more towing capacity. The SUV has a 10.1-inch touch screen; drive assist technology that includes reverse brake assist, and active park assist that handles all steering, shifting, brake and accelerator controls with the touch of a button.
“You can parallel park and perpendicular park with one finger now,” said Chris Billman, Ford global driver assist technology manager. “If you need help getting out (of a tight parking space), it can help with that, too.”
He noted that the vehicle also offers a “really cool” new feature: side wind mitigation.
Standard features include automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot alert, power tailgate, LED head and taillights, post-crash braking to keep the vehicle from ricocheting into secondary impacts, and steering that subtly compensates to keep the vehicle going straight in crosswinds.
The Explorer’s 4WD system has nine driving modes, with settings for everything from sporty driving to trailering; deep snow and sand; and off-road trails.
Ford will use those features and capabilities to showcase the Explorer as a gateway to family adventures.
Key features on the 2020 Explorer:
- Base 300-horsepower, 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
- Optional twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with 365 hp and 380 pound-feet of torque
- 10-speed automatic transmission
- Improved off-road capability
- Fuel-saving hybrid model
- ST model with performance and styling tweaks
- Optional 10.1-inch tablet-style touch pad
- Rotary shifter
- Power-folding rear seats
- Automatic steering, braking and power application during parallel and perpendicular parking. All the driver has to do is press a button while the SUV parks itself.
- Room to lay a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood flat in the rear
- Acoustic glass and noise cancellation for a quiet interior
- Massaging, heated and cooled front seats
- 980-watt, 14-speaker B&O audio
Want to see more? Check out the complete 2020 Ford Explorer reveal HERE. (Skip ahead to minute 20:27 to view the Explorer reveal)