Yet another set of spy shots showing the 2020 Ford Explorer are here, and this time the test mule in the photos is the new ST performance trim. Like in the previous images, the Blue Oval's engineers don't bother to cover up the roof or pillars at all.
Gallery: Ford Explorer ST Spy Shots
Compared to the other grades of the next-gen Explorer, the ST wears a dark mesh grille with a badge bearing the trim level. There also appears to be black accents in the headlights. A slightly different lower fascia treatment lacks the metallic trim from the Platinum version.
In profile, all versions of the next-gen Explorer look very similar. The biggest differentiating factor for the ST is the black, seven-spoke wheel design. The brake discs might be a little larger on this sporty trim, too.
At the back, the ST has the same four-outlet exhaust layout as on the Platinum. However, the performance-oriented trim doesn't have the metallic trim around them like on the luxury model. Since this is a test mule, it's possible that the trim piece simply might not be in place on this vehicle.
The Explorer ST reported uses the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 from the Lincoln Continental and MKZ. While the mill makes 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) and 400 pound-feet of torque in those vehicles, but Ford might create a more potent version for its sporty SUV.
The next-gen Explorer switches to Ford's D6 platform. Base models are reportedly rear-wheel drive, but look for more expensive versions like the ST and Platinum to come with all-wheel drive. Powertrain details for models other than the ST aren't entirely clear, but the Blue Oval is hinting strongly that a plug-in hybrid could be available eventually.