At a glance, you could easily write this Explorer ST as a regular one with a black mesh grille. The only real tip-off is the bright red ST badge in the corner. Other visual tweaks include the very large and relatively wide wheels and tires, black-painted roof bars, and smoked headlights and taillights. Otherwise, it looks nearly identical to other Explorers.
What’s unique is under the hood. Rumors have said that the Explorer ST will have 400 horsepower. And now that the Lincoln Aviator, the Explorer’s platform-mate, has been revealed with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 with 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, we think it’s all but guaranteed that engine will appear in the Explorer ST. Further cementing this possibility is the fact that Michigan State Police revealed the Explorer pursuit vehicle it tested had a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. Arguing against it is the fact that Ford may want to keep some powertrains exclusive to Lincoln, but a niche vehicle like this Explorer ST shouldn’t cause an issues.
Like in the Lincoln, it will probably be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. More of a mystery is which wheels will be driven. The Lincoln Aviator supports both rear-drive and all-wheel-drive. Rear-drive would certainly appeal to Mustang fans, but crossover buyers like the all-weather confidence that comes with all-wheel-drive. We should know more when the crossover is fully revealed – we wouldn’t be surprised if it appears as soon as the Detroit Auto Show in January.