How Ford Makes Buying The 2020 Explorer or Edge More Appealing Through a Special Experience
Buying a new vehicle is expensive as it is. So when a car company offers extra value to the purchase, that’s a win in my book. Additionally, for performance-minded consumer who now have families but don’t want to settle into a boring crossover, there’s now a better choice. Consumers who purchase the 2020 Ford Edge ST or the Ford Explorer ST get to experience the Ford Performance Driving Program in Park City, Utah. Ford had previously offered such an experience for only those who bought the Fiesta ST or the Focus ST.
However, making this part of the buying experience for two popular SUVs shows Ford gets it. Plus, buying a performance-based vehicle means extra power and performance and showing those consumers how to handle their vehicle shows responsibility from Ford. There’s no reason you can’t have performance in a family SUV too. Ford brings the performance experience to their consumers who are turning to these popular SUVs and might be moving up from the more youthful Focus or Fiesta.
2020 Ford Explorer ST
This is the quickest, more performance-oriented Explorer on the road. The 2020 Ford Explorer ST has 400 horsepower. That’s more power than most are used to in a full-size SUV. Ford Performance excels at adding fun and power to their vehicles, but bringing it into their SUV line is something that was always a mission according to Ford. The 2020 Ford Explorer has a 3.0-liter V6 with Ecoboost. Once again, Ford shows they don’t need a V8 to generate a lot of power and performance.
A Ford engineer told me that the ST Explorer can reach track speeds of 143 mph. There’s a slick 10-speed automatic transmission that does a great job without generating any turbo lag. A knob allows the driver to sport-tune the transmission by switching into sport mode. The steering is tighter on the Explorer ST than it is on the regular Explorer. Navigating mountain terrain and on the highways of Salt Lake City, the Explorer ST was absolutely a blast. I switched to Sport Mode when going down a steep mountain road to really see how this changes the dynamics.
2020 Ford Edge ST
The Edge ST has its own engine which is a 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6. It makes 335 horsepower (compared to 250 of the standard Edge). Like the less powerful Edge, the ST comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot 360, Post-Collision Braking, Enhanced Park Assist and a rotary dial gear shifter. During my demonstration time with the Edge ST I also got to experience the Enhanced Park Assist feature where with little to no assistance from me, the vehicle parallel parked itself. The technology on the Edge ST, plus the high-performance engine, was incredibly impressive. By the way, the 2020 Ford Explorer is loaded with technology too.
Ford Performance Racing program and ST SUV Driving Experience
Now, SUV owners, who might be more family-oriented who wouldn’t consider a more youthful vehicle like the Focus or Fiesta still get to experience the fun and performance but, in a family,-oriented vehicle. According to Ford, consumers who buy the Explorer ST or the Edge ST are able to experience the Ford Performance Driving Program. Consumers do have to cover their airfare to Utah, but otherwise Ford covers all the costs including a one-night hotel stay.
I was able to experience this fun-filled and exciting program earlier this summer. Park City, which is only about a half hour drive outside of Salt Lake City, is a gorgeous backdrop for this experience and the SUVs get to experience various terrain and beautiful mountainous backdrops.
During this experience, you will enjoy a scenic drive from the hotel to Soldier Hollow Nordic Center. There, with the help of a Performance School driving expert, you will perform exercises in a skid car and learn all about oversteer and understeer. Having done this experience, I learned a lot about vehicle control, and it made me a better driver. There was a nerve-racking but oh-so-interesting experience where you take the Edge on a straightaway at 20 mph, let off the brakes/accelerator and off the steering wheel then watch as an inflatable object comes up in front of you. The Edge’s accident avoidance technology through Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 kicks in and the Edge stops itself. And you don’t rear end the object in front of you.
But, let me say, it takes a lot of faith in the technology to do this, but it’s really rewarding and exciting to see it work. Also, in the 2020 Ford Edge you can experience the Edge’s drivability on an Autocross course. The dynamics of the Edge ST will be on full display on this aggressive and exhilarating course.
You and a guest will also take part in the following activities (included) as part of the ST SUV experience:
• Welcome dinner and reception
• Catered lunch at Soldier Hollow
• Exclusive ST SUV Experience gifts and swag bag
• Olympic Biathlon Experience
I got to participate in all these events as if I were a consumer and I can say it was a special day. Between the scenery and the high-performance driving, it was a lasting memory. The ST SUV Experience through the Ford Performance Racing Program is a real added value for the consumer. If you were considering an Explorer or an Edge, why not upgrade to the ST trim for more performance and this amazing driving experience?
See you in my next story where I am interviewing Shelby President Gary Peterson on the 2020 Shelby Super Snake.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. In addition to being a nationally syndicated automotive columnist, Jimmy has been published in a compilation book about children growing up with disabilities, where he shared his own very personal experience. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.