A refreshed Ford Explorer is coming soon. Considering we now have photos of a new model in public without a teeny bit of camouflage, it could be coming very soon. Essentially, what we have here is an unofficial debut for the 2024 Explorer before you're supposed to see it.
And what do we see? The new face shouldn't come as a surprise – Ford unveiled a new Explorer for China last year with the same grille, now larger and rectangular in design. It's flanked by marginally slimmer headlights positioned at the very top, but at the bottom, this particular Explorer uses a different fascia compared to its Chinese counterpart. It could be trim-specific, as our spy sources believe the blue SUV featured here is an ST-Line version.
Gallery: 2024 Ford Explorer No Camo Spy Photos
It's a similar story at the back, where new taillights now incorporate a horizontal feature extending well into the hatch. It doesn't form a solid light bar as we're seeing on other vehicles these days, but it matches the Explorer sold in China. The primary taillight housings, however, feature different lighting elements for the North American market. Here, we see vertically-oriented reverse lights surrounded by partial red brackets for the stoplights. You'll find C-shaped elements with horizontal reverse indicators in China. Minor differences for sure, but enough to separate the SUVs for their respective regions.
The unofficial reveal doesn't stop with the exterior. A single spy photo captures the dash and front seats in full view, where we see a larger landscape-style touchscreen mounted atop relocated vents and a small bank of controls. This could be a standard-issue screen, which looks larger than the current standard offering but smaller than the optional 10.4-inch portrait-oriented screen. There's a new digital instrument cluster as well, but overall, the layout is vastly different from the Chinese-market Explorer and its 27-inch screen spanning a majority of the dash (pictured below on the right).
Powertrain options at this point are still unknown, but we believe current choices will carry over unchanged. The 2023 Explorer is available with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, 3.3-liter V6 hybrid, or the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 in higher-spec trims.
When can we expect a debut? An official date is unknown, but it could be just weeks away.