Refreshed 2024 Ford Explorer Spied Testing in the Colorado Mountains

What’s going on with the Ford Explorer?

Ford’s iconic SUV has undergone a few distinctive transformations over its three-decade lifespan, with the latest round of changes coming in for the 2020 model year. While Europeans will soon know a completely different, fully-electric Explorer to what we have here in America, the North American model is set to undergo a mid-cycle refresh before we get our own BEV model. We aren’t yet talking about a drastic overhaul, as these photos sent over by our friend Kris show more of a light to moderate facelift from the three-row family hauler you can drive off the lot right now.

It’s a bit difficult to tell from today’s weather and the general photo quality, the various states of camouflage suggest at least some minor tweaks to the front clip. Bumper design as well as headlight and fog light changes are par for the course with any update, so we can bank on getting those changes in the next few months. The Chinese-market Explorer underwent a far more dramatic shift, while its interior also gets a massive 27-inch wide screen.

These spy shots aren’t detailed enough to confirm whether we’ll see such an interior update over here.

However, Ford’s decision to fit a the 10.1-inch vertical screen certainly didn’t please everyone, so that may well be part of the 2024 upddate.

Until we see a full-on Explorer EV, the 2024 Ford Explorer will most likely carry on with its current (albeit updated) powertrain lineup. The base 2.3-liter engine will most likely get a slight power bump to 315 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, as it’s configured in the new Mustang. The 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine found in the ST may end up with the same output as before (400 hp/415 lb-ft), as it’s already one of the more potent options in the segment.

What we’d really like to see is an updated and more efficient Explorer Hybrid. Perhaps by ditching the 3.3-liter V6 engine for the smaller EcoBoost unit and coupling it with the electric motor will help improve its economy. Currently, the rear-wheel drive Explorer Hybrid manages up to 28 mpg on the highway, which isn’t all that great. A rumored plug-in hybrid Explorer may also bridge the gap to a full EV, but we’ll have to wait for more details on that one.

When will we get an electric Explorer?

We should know more about the refreshed 2024 Ford Explorer in the coming months, with its imminent arrival later this year or in early 2024. Ford recently updated both the Escape and Expedition and decided to drop the mid-size Edge (while the Bronco Sport is brand-new), so it’s the last one in the brand’s baseline crossover lineup to receive substantial updates.

Within the next two years, Ford will retool its Oakville, Ontario assembly plant to build five new EVs. Two of the new electric models folks expect Ford to build first are larger crossovers like the Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. So, if everything checks out, this facelifted model should stick around for the 2024 and perhaps 2025 model years. Ford may either replace the ICE-powered Explorer and Aviator entirely by these EVs, or the company will sell its electric versions alongside the ICE models before ultimately dropping them near the end of this decade.

Nothing is really certain until Ford Motor Company itself officially confirms all the rumors swirling around. Again, we should have that information in the next few months, so we’ll have to sit tight and see. In other SUV news, Lincoln is revealing a new Nautilus on April 17, so be sure to check that out while we wait for more Explorer news.