Ford Explorer ST with 400 hp and Explorer Hybrid revealed in Detroit

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The eco-friendly and performance-oriented Explorers will act like bookends for the mainstream lineup unveiled last week when they go on sale this summer.

Jerry Dias said Monday at the North American International Auto Show that he has had discussions with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of innovation, science and economic development. The motor provides up to 200 pound-feet of torque and contributes to a combined system output of 318 hp and 336 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the new Explorer Hybrid pairs a 3.3-liter engine with a 1o-speed modular hybrid transmission. The automaker told Motor Authority the hybrid's gas tank holds 19.4-gallons, which means the hybrid should get about 26 mpg, which isn't exactly impressive compared to the Toyota Highlander Hybrid's EPA rating of 29/37/28 with standard all-wheel drive. Ford's previous hybrid SUV, the Escape Hybrid, was only rated to tow 1,000 pounds. It gets the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 from the Platinum model but here it's retuned and given more boost to produce 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. To the latter point, the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is located below the second row of seats and doesn't impinge on interior space. Special calibrations triggered by the drive-mode controller's Sport setting tighten steering heft, retune the transmission and throttle, and pipe a synthetic engine note into the cabin.

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Standard features on the hybrid include active noise cancellation, a 14-speaker B&O sound system, perforated leather seat trim, wireless phone charging, heated first and second row seats, and 10-way power adjustment for the front row pews.

As usual, the tweaks made by Ford Performance for the ST model resulted in some hefty increase in power.

The Street Pack and Track Pack options add 21-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, and larger disc brakes and brake pads. Like other versions of the 2020 Ford Explorer, all-wheel-drive is available for the hybrid.

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