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Ford Adds 3 New Choices To The Explorer ST Lineup

The hot-selling Ford Explorer ST lineup will feature three additional models for 2021. The models include a rear-wheel-drive model for places where four-wheel-drive isn't needed. It will also feature a hybrid model.

As you likely know, if you follow Ford's truck/SUV lines, the F-150 is the country's best-selling pickup for the 44th year in a row, and the Explorer is the nation's top-selling SUV. For 2021, the automaker will add three new choices to the Explorer lineup.

Ford Outlines New Additions

The choices include:

  • A lower-priced Explorer Enthusiast ST, powered by Ford Performance
  • A better-value rear-wheel-drive Explorer Platinum
  • A Platinum Hybrid that features new levels of luxury and efficiency

The lineup additions are driven by customer feedback, the automaker said, starting with the Explorer Enthusiast ST. Like the Explorer ST, the Enthusiast ST is the most potent Explorer made. The automaker builds the Enthusiast ST for customers who want the same level of fun and performance but at a lower cost. The new optional models join the lineup after a strong start to the year as detailed by my colleague Jimmy Dinsmore.

Ford Manager Explains Decision

Craig Patterson, Ford SUV marketing manager, said:

"The market continues to grow for performance SUVs, and the ST currently accounts for nearly 20 percent of sales. With our new Explorer Enthusiast ST, we've made this Explorer performance SUV an even better value for more customers to enjoy while maintaining the same exterior styling and performance – for an uncompromising, exciting ST driving experience."

The Enthusiast ST is the new Standard Equipment Group within the ST model line and features the looks and performance of the Explorer ST at a lower MSRP of $48,750. The model uses the same specially tuned 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine. The engine cranks out 400 horsepower and 415 pounds-feet of torque. The engine uses Ford's 10-speed automatic and sport-tuned suspension. The combination enables a top-end speed at the track of 143 miles per hour. The Enthusiast ST also features a standard Class III Trailer Tow Package that lets you tow up to 5,600 pounds.

The Enthusiast ST comes with leather upholstery that features unique Miko micro-perforated inserts and City Silver accent stitching with the ST logo. The Enthusiast ST features a 12.3-inch digital cluster and a heated sport-style steering wheel featuring the ST logo and paddle shifters. Outside, the Enthusiast sports quad chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, and sideview mirrors with ST projection lamps.

Ford Lists Features Of New Explorer ST Lineup

The Explorer Enthusiast ST also features standard Ford Co-Pilot360™ technology, including Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Keeping System. Hill Start Assist, a rearview camera with a built-in lens washer, auto headlamps with high-beams, Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking with Pedestrian Detection, forward collision warning, dynamic brake support, and post-impact braking.

Another new 2021 model is the 3.0-liter rear-wheel-drive Platinum, starting at $52,480 (suggested retail), in addition to the premium four-wheel-drive model. The rear-wheel-drive option provides customers with a better value, offering the right equipment for the right markets – those where a four-wheel-drive is not necessary.

There are some key differences on the Platinum model. For example, the door handles come with satin aluminum inserts, while the liftgate handles unique feature appliques. The lower bodyside cladding insert, roof-rack side rails, and a unique grille feature the satin aluminum finish. Platinum models also feature standard twin-panel moonroofs, allowing light to flood into the most comfortable Explorer cabin ever. The Explorer Platinum model includes special leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

Ford To Offer First Hybrid In Explorer ST Lineup

For the first time, Explorer Platinum is available as a hybrid, starting at $53,085 (suggested retail). The Explorer now has the broadest lineup ever, expanding on a successful entire hybrid-electric powertrain with the highest-spec Explorer series to give customers even more choice and fuel efficiency.

Customers can order the Explorer Enthusiast ST, rear-wheel-drive Platinum, and the Platinum Hybrid. Deliveries will be this summer.

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not too many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in venues including Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.