The 400-horsepower Ford Explorer ST — proving there is a growing market for performance SUVs – is surpassing sales expectations and attracting new customers trading-in luxury brand vehicles.
Explorer ST is accounting for 21 percent of overall Explorer sales, with nearly 28 percent of non-Ford trade-ins coming from luxury brands. In addition, Explorer ST is helping Explorer retain its title as America’s all-time best-selling SUV, according to Ford analysis of new light vehicle registration data from IHS Markit.
“Ford ST stands for performance for enthusiasts, and Explorer ST is no exception,” said Craig Patterson, Ford SUV marketing manager. “We believe once drivers feel the power and refinement of our first-ever Explorer ST, performance bred from racetracks around the world, demand will only grow stronger.”
Redesigned from the ground up for 2020, Explorer’s rear-wheel-drive architecture enables a sportier, more athletic design, improved on- and off-road capability, and 600 pounds more in maximum towing capacity when equipped the trailer tow package and the available 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine, which makes this the most powerful Explorer ever. Customers can now opt for enhanced dash and door details, including satin silver accents and richer surfaces for the instrument panel, steering wheel and switches.
Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package returns
Ford is adding a new XLT Sport Appearance Package this summer for the 2021 Explorer, featuring unique Carbonized Gray-painted 20-inch wheels with matching grille, skid plates and hood lettering, and finished with dual chrome exhaust tips.
Interior highlights include unique ActiveX Light Slate two-tone seats with accent stitching, matching the center console lid and door trim panels. Previous offerings of this popular appearance package accounted for one of every four Explorer XLT models sold and returns as more young SUV buyers are entering the showroom.
“Our Sport Appearance Package offers a new styling dimension for Explorer XLT customers,” said Patterson. “It has always been a favorite among our younger customers looking for a more energetic design and feel at a great value.”
Happy 30th anniversary and 8-millionth Ford Explorer sold
Ford Explorer celebrates 30 years, retaining America’s all-time best-selling SUV title. Ford also sold its 8 millionth Explorer in January – a milestone no other SUV can claim. Ford innovated with its highly capable, family-oriented 4×4 featuring four doors and plenty of cargo room in 1990, redefining the sport utility segment.
“Ford changed the game three decades ago with the civilized, all-purpose utility vehicle refined with easy-to-use electronic 4×4 controls and luxury packages like the Eddie Bauer edition,” said Patterson. “Families flocked to the new platform, leaving their boring minivans behind – and we’re seeing history repeat itself all over again.”
The trend continues as Ford Explorer remains a strong choice for young adults. Eighteen percent of new Explorer buyers are 18 to 35 years old, while 46 percent are 36 to 55 years old, marking a strong new chapter for the adventure-ready Ford Explorer.