When you think of mid-size crossovers you won't normally notice them with their off-road capabilities. While they do come with all-wheel-drive systems, some hardcore trail drivers will tell you otherwise. Ford Motor Company wants to change that with a new variant that has been added to its 2021 Ford Explorer. Dubbed the Ford Explorer Timberline, the Blue Oval has given the crossover more trail-ready hardware to make it a more capable adventure vehicle.
On the outside, the Ford Explorer Timberline looks the same as the regular model, however, the newer model now brings with it beefier tires and other accessories to further accentuate its adventure-oriented theme. In addition, the American brand has also tweaked the suspension to give it a more robust arrangement. The automaker has even stated that the Timberline utilizes the same suspension as the police version of the Ford Explorer. The new parts give the crossover an extra 20mm of ground clearance over the standard model, giving it a total of 221mm.
The enhanced suspension and raised ground clearance give the Timberline a better approach and departure angles over its more city-oriented model. This means that raised crossover will have fewer chances of scratching rocks along the trail. A steel skid plate has also been added to the vehicle that helps protect its underbelly from anything that could damage its vital components. Also included in the Timberline is a set of Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires, a new set of tougher stabilizer bars, and a limited-slip differential. All of these upgrades help enhance the Explorer’s Terrain Management System (TMS) to give the vehicle a better grip when taken off-road.
With TMS in play, this gives the driver access to Trail, Deep Snow, Mud, Tow/Haul, Eco, Normal, and Sport driving models. This allows the user to optimize the capabilities of the crossover to various situations and levels of traction. Hill-descent control is also standard with the Timberline giving it more traction when traversing tricky downhill terrain. As for its wading capabilities, the upgraded suspension, as well as the new tires, have also aided the vehicle; it now comes with a wading depth of 530mm.
Moving onto the interior of the vehicle and not much has changed. It still retains the same layout as the standard model and is available with the same features as well albeit with a few minor changes to the accents inside the vehicle.
Powering the Ford Everest Explorer Timberline is still the same as this generation's predecessor. It can be had with either a 3.0-liter Ecoboost V6 gasoline motor or a 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine that the crossover shares with its entry-level Ford Mustang brother. Despite not having a V6 under its hood, the 2.3-liter four-cylinder still makes a lot of power generating 300 hp and 420 Nm of torque. It is important to note that the Timberline is currently only available in North America, Ford has yet to make any further announcements stating if it will sell it in other markets.
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