Ford Unveils All-New Explorer ST, Explorer Hybrid, New Shelby GT500 Mustang

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2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid // Photograph Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford today introduced its all-new 2020 Explorer at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit — a complete redesign of America’s all-time best-selling SUV — that now features the broadest model lineup ever, more power and space, and smart new technologies to help tackle life’s adventures. In addition, Ford revealed its all-new 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, the most powerful street-legal Ford ever with a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 producing more than 700 horsepower, due to arrive in showrooms this fall.

Explorer is now more capable, comfortable, sportier and roomier in all three rows thanks to Ford’s flexible new rear-wheel-drive architecture. The strengths of the all-new Ford Explorer were showcased at a special reveal event for employees, fans, dealers, suppliers, government officials, and media today at Ford Field in Detroit, where Ford brought to life how it can help American families get the most out of their road trips. The all-new SUV arrives this summer.

“Explorer drivers told us what they want — more capability, more power, more space,” says 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.”

Improved off-road capability comes courtesy of intelligent four-wheel drive and an available new Terrain Management System that features seven easy-to-engage drive modes. Powertrain offerings include a 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 projected to produce 365 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque using 93-octane gas, making this the most powerful Explorer ever. The Explorer lineup now features standard, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST and Platinum models.

The all-new Explorer comes packed with more than a dozen new standard features for only $400 more over the previous model. Standard features include a power liftgate, 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine with all-new 10-speed transmission, 8-inch digital touch screen with SYNC 3, FordPass Connect Wi-Fi service for up to 10 devices and more.

Owners will find design and engineering updates throughout that deliver comfort and SUV functionality. Explorer’s stylish, sloped-roof silhouette protects rear-seat headroom, while its comfort-enhanced second-row seats slide to improve access to the third row.

“We obsessed about what Explorer customers need and want,” says Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer. “We met with customer groups, pored through internet forums, and dissected social media posts to determine what they love about today’s Explorer and understand their pain points. Then we found ways to improve it across the board. Every enhancement on this all-new Explorer was inspired by our customers.”

Building upon Ford’s push to bring more driver-assist technology to market, the all-new Explorer introduces available Active Park Assist 2.0. The class-exclusive feature — standard on Explorer Platinum — allows the driver to park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with a touch of a button without having to work the steering wheel, gear shifter, gas pedal or brake pedal. Available reverse brake assist, also standard on Platinum, uses radar and ultrasonic sensors to detect an object in Explorer’s path, and can apply the brakes automatically to avoid an imminent collision when the vehicle is backing up at a low speed — such as when exiting a driveway.

Explorer also is available with Ford’s all-new Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Speed Sign Recognition. In addition to automatically slowing when traffic ahead slows and helping keep the vehicle centered in its lane, the system uses cameras to read speed signs and, combined with the available navigation system, adjusts cruise control settings accordingly.

Explorer comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360, a suite of driver-assist technologies including:

  • Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, which includes Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support
  • Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane-Keeping System
  • Rearview camera with built-in lens cleaner
  • Auto headlamps with auto high-beams

Other available Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies include Evasive Steering Assist, which provides steering support to help avoid a collision; and Post-Impact Braking provides braking after a collision to lessen injury and damage caused by a secondary crash event.

“It’s not about filling the vehicle with technology for technology’s sake,” says Chris Billman, Ford Co-Pilot360 engineering manager. “It’s about improving the experience, making driving less stressful, and helping the driver to feel more confident behind the wheel.”

New Generation of Explorer Hybrids

Ford is also introducing an entirely new generation of hybrid vehicles this year with greater performance and the ability to go further.

The all-new Explorer Hybrid, which features a 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain, is projected to produce a combined system 318 horsepower. An EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups is targeted for the rear-wheel-drive model.

An all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission provides SUV capability. Unlike previous hybrid vehicles, a specially designed liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is built into the Explorer chassis below the second-row seats to preserve cargo and passenger space.

“Reduced cargo space in hybrids is a thing of the past for Ford customers,” says Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer.

Available in Limited edition trim, Explorer Hybrid comes with Active Noise Cancellation, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ driver-assist technologies, leather seats with micro-perforation and accent stitching, second-row heated seats, a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system, wireless phone charging pad and 10-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.

Ford is also introducing an entirely new generation of hybrid vehicles this year with greater performance and the ability to go further.

The all-new Explorer Hybrid, which features a 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain, is projected to produce a combined system 318 horsepower. An EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups is targeted for the rear-wheel-drive model.

An all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission provides SUV capability. Unlike previous hybrid vehicles, a specially designed liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is built into the Explorer chassis below the second-row seats to preserve cargo and passenger space.

“Reduced cargo space in hybrids is a thing of the past for Ford customers,” says Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer.

Available in Limited edition trim, Explorer Hybrid comes with Active Noise Cancellation, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ driver-assist technologies, leather seats with micro-perforation and accent stitching, second-row heated seats, a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system, wireless phone charging pad and 10-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.

 

The All-New Shelby GT500

The all-new Shelby GT500 — the pinnacle of any pony car ever engineered by Ford Performance — delivers on its heritage with more than 700 horsepower for the quickest street-legal acceleration and most high-performance technology to date ever offered in a Ford Mustang.

“Carroll was always working on the next faster Shelby, I think he would love this Mustang more than any other,” says Jim Farley, Ford president, global markets. “A takedown artist, the new Shelby GT500 will surprise supercar owners with its Ford Performance racing tech, supercharged engine and visceral swagger.”

Arriving this fall to join its Shelby GT350 stablemate, Shelby GT500 is engineered to attack on all fronts. On the drag strip, a projected 700-plus horsepower delivers blistering straightline performance via its first-in-class dual-clutch transmission. At the track, performance improves even more thanks to its race-bred chassis, custom Michelin tires and the largest front brake rotors ever available on an American sports coupe. On the street, its menacing aerodynamic design and Ford Performance driver control technologies make every moment behind the wheel even more exhilarating.

In the process of making the all-new Shelby GT500 the quickest street-legal Mustang ever, Ford Performance created an exclusive powertrain to deliver new levels of power and torque.

“With its supercar-level powertrain, the all-new Shelby GT500 takes the sixth-generation Mustang to a performance level once reserved only for exotics,” says Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance vehicle programs. “As a Mustang, it has to be attainable and punch above its weight. To that end, we’ve set a new standard among American performance cars with our most powerful street-legal V8 engine to date, plus the quickest-shifting transmission ever in a Mustang for all-out precision and speed.”

Shelby GT500 starts with a supercharged 5.2-liter aluminum alloy engine built by hand. To keep the intake air cooler and deliver a lower center of gravity, the team inverted a 2.65-liter roots-type supercharger with air-to-liquid intercooler tucked neatly in the V8 engine valley.

Like Shelby GT350, the aluminum alloy block features weight-saving wire-arc cylinder liners and high-flow aluminum cylinder heads, plus larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication and cooling passages. Beneath that, a structural oil pan adds strength, reduces vibration, and features a patented active baffle system to keep oil where it’s needed.

To channel power and torque to the unique carbon fiber driveshaft, Ford Performance leveraged learnings from the tuning of its Ford GT supercar’s dual-clutch transmission. The team selected a TREMEC 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is capable of shifts in under 100 milliseconds — markedly faster than any manual gearbox. This dual-clutch transmission is designed for a number of drive modes, including normal, weather, sport, drag and track, and activates features like line-lock and launch control through selectable Track Apps.

To harness the power and torque of the most powerful Mustang ever made for the street  requires cutting-edge active chassis technology, track-bred Michelin tires and Brembo brakes — all dialed in by Ford Performance.

Shelby GT500 takes advantage of revised suspension geometry, a new electronic power steering unit and lighter-weight coil springs front and rear. Next-generation active MagneRide suspension is baked-in, along with the latest in advanced drive mode technologies from Ford Performance. The payoff is the highest-ever lateral acceleration from a Mustang for greater track performance and driver control.

Putting all this chassis hardware to the pavement, custom Ford Performance-spec Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires and more aggressive Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires feature unique compounds and tread. To provide track-ready stopping power, massive 16-5-inch (420-millimeter) two-piece rotors are added – the largest of any domestic sports coupe – plus larger, stiffer Brembo six-piston calipers. With 20 percent more swept area than the Shelby GT350’s, these brakes have more than 30 percent additional thermal mass in the front corners.

Two handling packages with increasing levels capability are offered for the all-new Shelby GT500. An available Handling Package includes adjustable strut top mounts and spoiler with Gurney flap. For the truly hardcore, an available Carbon Fiber Track Package features exposed 20-inch carbon fiber wheels with 0.5-inch-wider rear wheels (11.5-inch), custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, adjustable exposed carbon fiber GT4 track wing and splitter wickers with integrated dive plane. The rear seat is deleted to reduce weight.

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