We don't always feature crazy custom cars on Motor1.com. When we do, it's usually something absolutely bonkers like a giant V8-powered roller skate, or a Ford Taurus with more horsepower than a Bugatti Veyron. This Ford Explorer ST doesn't look like footwear, and it doesn't boast four-digit horsepower (yet). But in a world of modded Detroit muscle cars, this 10-second SUV is all kinds of awesome.
For the record, a stock 2020 Ford Explorer ST isn't boring. Its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 generates 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts), and with the help of sticky summer tires, it can hit 60 mph in about five seconds. That's not bad for a three-row SUV, but Kevin Krupski wanted a bit more. When COVID lockdowns came about in 2020, he got a bit stir crazy and started looking for ways to mod his family truckster. Apparently, nobody warned Kevin ahead of time that, once you start down the modification path, forever will it dominate your destiny.
Gallery: 2020 Ford Explorer ST With 657 WHP
Photos Courtesy Kevin Krupski
It started simple enough. Modern turbocharged vehicles generally respond well to engine tunes, and as Ford Muscle explains, Kevin went for a 100-hp upgrade. He loved it, and things escalated like crazy from there. Unfortunately, the Ford Explorer doesn't exactly have a robust aftermarket, so even something as simple as an exhaust upgrade required a custom touch. He found friends at FenFabrication, creating an exhaust system that looked more like a work of art. Kevin was so happy with the final product that he stuck with FenFabrication for a plethora of other upgrades. What, you thought it would stop at a tune and exhaust? Pulleese.
The list of mods reads more like a parts catalog for an A80 Toyota Supra. Upgraded turbos, high-flow intake, upgraded wastegates, downpipes, intercooler, injectors, and more all contribute to this 3.0-liter V6 pumping out 657 hp to all four wheels. Assuming 20 percent driveline loss, this unlikely performance hero could be making around 820 hp (611 kW) at the crankshaft. And it's done the hard way – through trial and error because nobody makes high-performance parts for an Explorer.
There's enough power on tap to send this three-row SUV through the quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds. Once through the traps, upgraded eight-piston brakes reel it back in. They're definitely needed, because this Explorer still has the weight of all three rows inside. And there could be even more power in the future, as Kevin told Ford Muscle the upgraded turbos were good for 1,100 hp.
Will we see a nine-second Explorer in the future? That's hard to say, but one thing is for certain. Kevin is absolutely into the modification rabbit hole, so we'll be watching his Instagram page for more updates.