Green and mean: Ford Explorer Hybrid and ST debut

The Explorer ST is Ford's first large performance SUV

The Explorer ST is Ford's first large performance SUV

In its Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid form, which will be different in weight and perhaps output versus consumer versions, the 2020 Hybrid turned 0-60 mph times of 7.3 seconds and 0-100 mph times of 17.7 seconds, with a top speed of 137 mph, as tested by the Michigan State Police. While already more honed than a regular Explorer, an available Sport mode turns up the wick even more, with even quicker transmission responses to automatic or paddle-initiated gearswaps, more aggressive throttle response, sportier steering, and a deeper, throatier sound. Instantly familiar but more rakish and attractive than the outgoing model, the 2020 Explorer hits all the marks needed to remain relevant: It's approximately 200 pounds lighter, can tow up to 5600 pounds, features updated infotainment and connectivity anchored by an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and is built on an entirely new longitudinal-engine platform featuring rear- or all-wheel drive. Rated at 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque, it's essentially the engine that appears in a handful of Lincoln vehicles; the only way to get it in an Explorer is to order the ST. A top speed target for track drivers stands at 143 miles per hour.

Options include the ST Street Pack and ST Track Pack, both of which come with 21-inch aluminum wheels, red brake calipers, and their own individual brake upgrades. It has unique leather upholstery with ST logos stitched in the seatbacks and a heated flat-bottom steering wheel.

Explorer ST also comes standard with a Class III Trailer Tow Package with Cargo Management System and Active Park Assist 2.0, Ford's new driver-assist parking system that takes control of the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal and gear shifter during parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers with a simple touch of a button.

That's right, there's now a Ford Explorer with the word Track in its name.

An all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission provides SUV capability.

Now playing: Watch this: 2020 Ford Explorer ST is a fast 400-horsepower people. Unlike other Ford hybrid vehicles that sacrificed space for big, awkwardly-placed battery packs, this one slides its specially designed liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery into the chassis beneath the second row seats so owners don't have to give up legroom or cargo space.

The ST stands out from the standard Explorer thanks to a blacked-out grille, unique lower-body panels, and special badging. Final EPA-estimated ratings available in the 2019 calendar year.

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