Ford has unveiled the new Explorer Timberline, a new trim designed to give the SUV more capable off-road features.
“Ford is delivering on more capable SUVs with Timberline. Consumer data has shown us that now more than ever, customers want to get outside and explore nature with friends and family,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Company. “Timberline hits a new sweet spot with these customers who want an ideal combination of passenger space, moderate off-road capability and great manners around town.”
Two consumer trends have come together to support the launch of the Timberline series, Ford said. The first is the popularity of SUVs and the growing number of buyers who go off-roading. Over the last 10 years, SUVs have jumped from 36 percent to 55 percent of the U.S. market, with actual sales up from about 4.6 million units in 2011 to nearly 7.8 million in 2020. Ford Explorer owners report a 56 percent increase in off-road use over the last three years.
The second key trend is data showing that people now participate in more outdoor activities and adventures than before the pandemic. Forty percent of all Americans surveyed say they have spent more time outdoors since the pandemic began.
For Explorer Timberline, its ability to handle off-road terrain starts with Ford’s standard intelligent four-wheel drive. This system automatically adjusts torque between the wheels based on conditions and driver inputs, providing pre-emptive torque before wheel slip occurs, the automaker said.
A new addition for Explorer Timberline is a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, which automatically sends torque to the wheel with the best traction and prevents the other wheel from spinning to help keep the vehicle moving.
A standard Terrain Management System features seven drive modes – including Trail and Deep Snow/Sand – that drivers can opt for based on road or trail conditions. Standard Hill Descent Control allows the Explorer Timberline to maintain a constant speed between 2 and 12 mph, enabling drivers to focus on steering down uneven descents.
Explorer Timberline is equipped with standard steel skid plates. The underbody protection starts underneath the front, continues under the engine and transmission and through the rear. Steering calibration, stabilizer bars and springs are specially tuned for Timberline, including a front rebound spring.
Explorer Timberline raises the ride height 0.8 inch, thanks to off-road-capable heavy-duty shocks originally developed for Explorer Police Interceptor and high-sidewall Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 all-terrain tires. This, along with unique front and rear fascias, results in an approach angle of 23.5 degrees and maximum departure angle of 23.7 degrees, plus minimum ground clearance of 8.7 inches.
Explorer Timberline features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine producing 300 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The standard Class III Trailer Tow Package brings 5,300 pounds of towing capability.
Explorer Timberline launches in a new Forged Green Metallic exterior color. All models feature blackout treatment around the headlamps and taillamps and a black Ford oval, along with Timberline badges on the C-pillars and liftgate. A set of Red Ember tow hooks at the front are rated at 150 percent gross vehicle weight. Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 all-terrain tires surround high-gloss painted aluminum wheels that feature a laser-etched Timberline logo. The Timberline also includes LED fog lamps and a wiring harness for auxiliary lights.
A Deep Cypress interior trim color complements Explorer Timberline’s exterior, with an Ebony headliner, overhead console, A, B and C-pillar trim, grab handles, visors and moonroof shade. The cabin features a Stone Mesh instrument panel appliqué, Satin Silver Twilight on the center stack, steering wheel bezel and door armrest trim, Deep Cypress door trim panel inserts, Deep Tangerine stitching on the seats, steering wheel and door trim, plus Timberline logos on the front seats, standard rubber floor liners, heated front seats and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel. A standard 360-degree camera and front camera provide a view of obstacles around the vehicle.
Ford offers three Outfitters packages – Outfitters SkyBox, Outfitters MegaWarrior and Outfitters FrontLoader. All three packages combine all-weather floor mats, crossbars and the selected Yakima rooftop accessories.