The Ford Explorer goes gasoline-electric for 2020 with the arrival of a dedicated hybrid model. The Explorer Hybrid sports 318 horsepower courtesy of a 3.3-liter V6 engine and an electric motor built into the 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive is standard, although all-wheel-drive is an optional extra.

While EPA ratings aren’t available yet, Ford states the rear-wheel-drive Explorer Hybrid is efficient enough to travel more than 500 miles between pit stops. Whether that figure is the result of a big fuel tank or noteworthy fuel economy, however, remains to be seen.

A liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack lives under the second-row seat, and Ford claims the pack has no impact on the Explorer’s cargo or passenger space. Thus the Hybrid ought to sport the same 87.8 cubic feet of available cargo space as its non-hybrid counterpart.

Available exclusively in the high-level Limited trim, the Explorer Hybrid comes equipped with standard niceties such as leather seating surfaces, heated rear seats, power front seats, a premium audio system, and a wireless charging pad. It also sports the full array of Ford’s Co-Pilot360suite of passive and active safety features, which includes a blind-spot monitor with a cross-traffic alert system, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, a forward collision system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, as well as adaptive cruise control and a lane-centering system.

While the Explorer Hybrid may differ from its four-cylinder sibling underhood, the two models share practically identical exterior styling. A small “hybrid” badge serves as the only major differentiator. 

Ford has yet to announce an on-sale date or pricing for the 2020 Explorer Hybrid; however, we expect the model to make its way to dealer lots before the end of the year.


Source: Motor1

January 14, 2019