The Ford Explorer isn’t just a vehicle, or an SUV, it’s a franchise. That start back when it singlehandedly transformed Ford’s off-road lineup when it mercifully shoved aside the Bronco II in 1990. Explorers, in a real sense, fill a role at Ford that used to be the province of Di Noc-and-applique Country Squire station wagons. They haul families, their pets and lifestyle gears to a lot of primitive places the floaty old station wagons could never hope to reach. To that end, Ford is rolling an Explorer that’s pre-package for just those sorts of off-pavement gallivanting. The seventh new truck or SUV package that Ford has debuted since 2019, the Explorer Timberland is unquestionably coming to play.
There are clear indications here that this Explorer is serious about the dirt. The Timberline’s ride height is elevated 0.8 inches, which, when combined with model-specific front and rear fascias, put the vehicle’s approach and departures angles on the far side of 23 degrees. The added ride height brings overall ground clearance to 8.7 inches. Heavy-duty, police-spec shock absorbers are also part of the package, along with skid plates. The standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine produces 300 horsepower, is mated to a standard 10-speed automatic transmission, and turns all-wheel-drive with seven operating modes and a Torsen center differential. Three specials packages – Outfitters SkyBox, Outfitters MegaWarrior and Outfitters FrontLoader – will be offered when the Timberline arrives this summer.