The Woodward Dream Cruise is set to return this Saturday after a one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. That means thousands of cars and car enthusiasts will descend on Metro Detroit, and automakers will be in attendance, too. Ford will be there with a one-off Explorer ST that takes the already potent family hauler to the extreme as a way to advertise its Ford Performance Racing School.
The SUV receives a host of upgrades that include a custom fabricated full four-passenger safety cage, four Recaro seats with four-point safety harnesses, and racing window nets all around. Brembo six-piston monobloc aluminum front calipers clamp onto 16.5-inch front rotors from the Mustang Shelby GT500. Michelin 315/30ZR21 Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires wrap around Signature Wheels SV503 Track Series wheels. The graphics package comes from Lue Creative.
Gallery: 2020 Ford Explorer ST: First Drive
Under the hood is a tune from HP Tuners that gives the SUV more oomph, though Ford doesn't specify its new numbers. The Explorer ST packs a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that produces 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) and 415 proud-feet (563 Newton-meters) of torque. The one-off Explorer should see a modest increase in output without needing new hardware, though that could have really upped its performance credentials.
The new one-off Explorer is designed to draw attention to the racing school that was established in 2006, which offers high-performance driving instruction and the company's complementary programs it provides to new Ford Performance vehicle buyers. These complimentary programs began back in 2012 with the Boss Track Attack program for the Mustang Boss 302. Ford has also offered programs for the Focus ST, the Fiesta ST, the Mustang Shelby GT350, the F-150 Raptor, the Explorer ST, the Edge ST, the GT500, and the Mach 1.
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The one-off Explorer ST will make its public debut this Saturday, August 21, at the Woodward Dream Cruise. It will be on display at Ford Performance Racing School's setup at the center of Mustang Alley in Ferndale, Michigan, which sits along Woodward Avenue.