Ford Adds To Explorer Line With King Ranch Option For Country's Best-Selling SuV
One of Ford's fabled high-end editions has been the King Ranch option. If you wanted an F-150 that was something special, you ordered the King Ranch edition. It has been on Ford's order sheet for 20 years.
Ford’s Takes Explorer To New Level
Taking the best-selling Explorer to a new level, Ford has added a King Ranch edition to the Ford Explorer stable. The Explorer is the all-time best-selling SUV in America, and the King Ranch option should make the model even more popular. Its addition to the Explorer line will give mid-sized SUV customers an all-new, rugged, premium appearance package with the uncompromising quality, craftsmanship, and authenticity of the iconic Texas Ranch.
"In 1853, Captain Richard King bootstrapped the King Ranch in the harsh landscape of southern Texas until it became a shining example of agricultural and livestock innovation and success," said Lee Newcombe, Ford Explorer marketing manager. "Ford Explorer families can now enjoy a piece of the King Ranch's renowned craftsmanship and the multigeneration legacy that still thrives 168 years after its founding."
The Explorer King Ranch is the latest addition to the broadest Explorer lineup. It celebrates 20 years of Ford's collaboration with the legendary South Texas cattle ranch, beginning with the 2001 F-150 King Ranch when Ford and King Ranch teamed up to build a more upscale western-themed truck.
Ford Improves On Best-Selling SUV
Meantime, Ford continues to innovate with the Explorer. For 2021, the company is responding to customer demands with the King Ranch edition and the introduction of the XLT Sport Appearance Package. Also, new interior trim finishes and new exterior colors, with numerous enhancements to the interior, including brighter paints, elevated finishes, and higher-quality materials for a brightened, more premium ambiance.
The Explorer King Ranch will now deliver:
A standard 3.0-liter EcoBoost® under the hood, which produces 365 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque with four-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive configurations offered, combined with a 10-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift® capability. Explorer King Ranch offers the first application of rear-wheel-drive combined with the 3.0-liter EcoBoost in the entire lineup.
- Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+, featuring Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering, Evasive Steering Assist, a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system with pinch-to-zoom capability, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link® and Speed Sign Recognition.
- An available Premium Technology Package featuring multi-contour seats with active motion massaging functionality, a 10.1-inch center, portrait-style touchscreen with swipe and pinch-to-zoom capability, as well as a 14-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen specially tuned to Explorer's interior.
- A unique Stone Gray-painted mesh grille insert, 20-inch aluminum wheels with Running W center cap, liftgate scuff plate, and quad chrome exhaust tips.
- Hand-stitched premium touches and mahogany-colored Del Rio leather-trimmed seats with perforated front and second rows with the legendary King Ranch Running W logo.
Ford Listens To Feedback
Customer feedback and market insights have demanded the ultimate interior that Explorer has to offer. Explorer King Ranch will now deliver with hand-stitched premium touches and mahogany-colored Del Rio leather-trimmed seats with perforated front and second rows with the legendary King Ranch Running W logo. The center console features a Mesa Del Rio leather armrest and King Ranch logo insert, along with leather door trim rollovers, genuine Sapele wood instrument panel appliqués, plus leather-wrapped steering wheel with Norias stitching and a Sapele wood insert.
Outside, Explorer King Ranch comes decked out with a unique Stone Gray-painted mesh grille insert, 20-inch aluminum wheels with Running W center cap, liftgate scuff plate, and quad chrome exhaust tips. Capping it all off is signature King Ranch badging. A standard Class III Trailer Tow Package enables towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.
The introduction of Explorer King Ranch marks 20 years of Ford's relationship with the iconic Texas cattle ranch, beginning with the 2001 F-150 King Ranch when Ford and King Ranch teamed up to build a more upscale western-themed truck.
The King Ranch Original
Ford based the King Ranch on the newly introduced F-150 SuperCrew. It featured a leather-covered front console with the King Ranch brand and front and rear King Ranch leather captain's chairs, as well as F-150 King Ranch branding throughout the interior and exterior.
Since then, five generations of Ford F-150, four generations of Ford F-Series Super Duty, and three generations of Ford Expedition have worn the King Ranch badge. Today, workers at the Texas ranch use a fleet of more than 300 Ford trucks to get the job done every day.
The Explorer, King Ranch edition, will start at $52,350 MSRP for rear-wheel-drive configuration and $54,350 MSRP for four-wheel drive. It will be available in dealerships this spring.
Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper's auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn't much on four wheels that I haven't driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as Fixya.com and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Most of Marc's stories are part of Torque News Ford coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Ford F-150 news for more F-150 truck news coverage.