The grille mesh, wheels, and tailpipes separate the Platinum from lesser trim levels.

Ford continues to test the next-gen 2020 Ford Explorer on Michigan's roads. Like the last test mule in spy shots, the Blue Oval doesn't bother to cover the roof of this one. The Platinum badge on the back of the SUV in these photos indicate it's the range-topping model for folks looking for some luxury in their new family hauler.

Gallery: 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum spy shots

Compared to the last Explorer we saw (see below). The Platinum (left) features different grille mesh than the XLT model (right), and it has a more aggressive lower fascia with a hexagonal shape. 

In profile, the two models are practically identical, other than the wheel designs. The rear is also quite similar, but the Platinum has quad exhausts with a pair of pipes emerging from each side.

Despite creating a new generation of the Explorer, Ford's designers opt for evolutionary styling tweaks, rather than revolutionary changes. It continues to be a handsome SUV, though.

We don't yet have any details about the new Explorer's cabin. However to keep up with the standard of the segment, Ford needs to equip it with a large infotainment screen and offer lots of driver assistance tech.

2020 Ford Explorer Platinum Spy Shots
Ford Explorer Spy Shots

The new Explorer moves for Ford's D6 platform. Base models would allegedly be rear-wheel drive, but buyers who want extra traction can also get all-wheel drive. Powertrain tweaks aren't entirely clear, but a sporty ST variant is joining the lineup with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing at least 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts).

The 2020 Explorer debuts sometime in 2019. We don't expect to see it as soon as the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, but the Blue Oval could still surprise us.

Source: Automedia

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