Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid packs 450 hp, 25 miles of range for Europe

Ford says it has no plans to introduce it in the US, though.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read

As of this writing, Ford has only unveiled a traditional gas-electric hybrid powertrain for the US version of the 2020 Explorer, but over in Europe, they're going a little harder in the paint on electrification.

Ford on Tuesday revealed the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid. Built for the European market, the Explorer PHEV offers short bursts of electric-only driving, thanks to a battery much larger than the one in the standard Explorer Hybrid.

The Explorer PHEV sounds pretty similar to the Lincoln Aviator PHEV that debuted at the 2018 LA Auto Show , and for good reason -- the two share a platform. Under the body lies a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 mated to an electric motor and a 13.1kWh lithium-ion battery. The result is a net output of 450 horsepower and about 620 pound-feet of torque.

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Both all-wheel drive and a 10-speed automatic transmission are standard. All that goodness combines for an electric-only driving range of about 25 miles and a towing capacity of 2,500 kilograms (about 5,500 pounds). There are multiple hybrid modes that can either generate battery charge, maintain it or use it as the driver sees fit. There are also a number of driving modes independent of the electricals, including Normal, Sport, Trail, Slippery and Deep Snow/Sand.

Higher trims can get decked out with a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 12.3-inch gauge cluster display. On the safety front, standard equipment includes autobrake, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, speed sign recognition and lane-keep assist. Check enough options boxes and the car will also be capable of sliding into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces without help.

There are plenty of creature comforts inside, as well. Standard equipment is plentiful, including heated and cooled power front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless device charging and tinted rear glass. The top Platinum trim adds a 14-speaker, 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system.

The PHEV goes on sale in Europe later this year. If you're waiting for Ford to announce the US version, you might have to wait forever -- Ford spokesperson Mike Levine said in an email that Ford has no plans to introduce a PHEV Explorer in the US. Perhaps it's just a bit too close to the Aviator PHEV.

Originally published April 2 at 9:57 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:32 a.m. PT: Clarified information regarding future US available of the Explorer PHEV.

Ford Explorer packs PHEV power in Europe

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