Ford might have stolen the spotlight today with the debut of its entirely new 2020 Escape, but there was some European news on the Explorer that stayed under the radar stateside. For the first time, Ford will be selling the Explorer in the European market, and it's coming out of the gate with a PHEV variant of the 2020 model year vehicle.
The wild part of this news is that it's the same powertrain we'll be getting in the Lincoln Aviator PHEV in the U.S. That means it will be equipped with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine aided by an electric motor. Combined system output is a rocking 450 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque, which is 20 pound-feet more than the Aviator is pegged for. This plug-in would laugh at the Explorer ST if it were offered here, as the sportiest Explorer makes do with just 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. This might be part of the reason why Ford currently has no plans to bring the PHEV Explorer to the U.S.
Lincoln doesn't sell to the European market, so there's no conflict of interest in potentially making the Ford more powerful than the Lincoln. This news is huge for Europe in another way, too, because the Explorer has never been offered there throughout its long history. Now the continent is getting what might just be the best Explorer ever built with the plug-in powertrain. We can't help but be a little jealous for the time being, but at least the stunning Aviator will be an option for buyers here.
Europe will be getting the Explorer in ST-Line and Platinum trims, but both use the same powertrain. You'll be able to travel 25 miles in pure EV mode before forcing the gas engine to kick on. This figure finally gives us an indication of how far the Aviator PHEV will go on a full charge. It might not be exactly the same, but we imagine 25 miles is a good estimate for the time being. Ford has carried over all the other tech and capability of the Explorer here to this one, which you can read about in our reveal post.