Earlier this month, our spy photographers caught a camouflaged Ford Explorer ST out testing. It raised some eyebrows because Ford had just updated it for the 2022 model year. Today, we have more Explorer spy shots, but they are of the new Timberline trim that Ford launched in 2021. It’s concealing the same bits with cladding and camouflage as the ST.

This is likely our first – early – look at the 2024 model. Ford hides the front and rear fascias, keeping any design updates from prying eyes. The images don’t reveal many of the styling changes, but our spy photographers report that the SUV’s grille is larger and it features new headlights, which aren’t clearly visible in the pics. We can’t spot any changes at the rear, but the Explorer should receive revised taillights and possibly other tweaks.

Gallery: Updated Ford Explorer Timberline Spy Photos

Ford revealed the Explorer Timberline in May 2021, giving the sixth-generation model a rugged trim. The SUV received an upgraded suspension with a lift, unique wheels, improved four-wheel drive, a standard Torsen limited-slip differential, and 18-inch all-terrain Bridgestone tires.

The trim’s 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four is expected to carry over to the redesigned model without significant changes. It makes 300 horsepower (223 kilowatts) and 310 pound-feet (420 Newton-meters) of torque and pairs with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford could tweak the powertrain to make a bit more power, but don’t expect anything earth-shattering.

We haven’t had the opportunity to check out the updated Explorer’s interior. It’s unclear if Ford will keep the layout as it is or change it to accommodate a larger screen. The automaker updated the Explorer in China with a giant 27-inch infotainment display on the dashboard. The SUV also received revamped exterior styling that could preview what’s ahead for the US model.

We’ll likely see the updated Explorer Timberline debut in 2023 for the 2024 model year alongside the rest of the Explorer lineup, like the ST. Ford could have planned the update to coincide with the launch of the electric Explorer, which the automaker had initially scheduled to begin production in mid-2023. However, Ford pushed back that date to December 2024 in late 2021.

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