The last time we saw a Ford Explorer test vehicle, it was draped with heavy covers on the front and rear. Those are now gone, giving us a clear look at changes coming to the stalwart SUV. Per current trends, there's a bigger grille with smaller lights, and the interior could see some changes as well.

Let's start with the Explorer's updated face, as that's where most of the changes are happening. There's no mistaking the revised grille that ditches the irregular hexagon shape for a larger rectangular design. Headlights remain fixed at the top, but they are ever-so-slightly slimmer versus the current SUV. The changes also mean a revised front fascia, and the overall effect is quite similar to the Ford Explorer sold in the Chinese market.

Gallery: 2024 Ford Explorer Spy Photos

There are a few things happening at the rear as well, though changes are far less pronounced. We draw your attention to the taillights, which look the same at a glance but we can see different lighting elements within the housings. Similarly, the lower fascia has revised cutouts for the exhaust tips, which on this particular vehicle are obviously not in place. The dual pipes at the back certainly aren't production-spec, and though there's still camo wrap on the quarter panels, it's not concealing anything new as far as we can tell.

Our spy sources believe this is an Explorer Limited trim, and while we aren't treated to a peek inside, there's reason to believe the North American model will get the same large horizontal screen offered in China. And by large, we're talking a 27-inch display that spans most of the dash. It's a narrow screen, and it's unknown if it will be standard-issue across the Explorer lineup. But it would line up with similar designs coming from Lincoln on the Nautilus.

Under the skin, we aren't hearing anything about powertrain changes. Currently, Explorer buyers in North America can get Ford's 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, the 3.3-liter V6 hybrid, or the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 in higher-spec trims.

Look for the updated 2024 Explorer to debut before the end of this year.

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