Ford this week unveiled a heavily updated Explorer in China.
The updated mid-size SUV features new styling front and rear and a revamped interior with a landscape-oriented 27-inch touchscreen display serving as the infotainment hub.
The updated front-end features new headlights and a larger grille with a more rounded shape inspired by a lion’s nose. At the rear, there are new C-shaped taillights that extend across the tailgate and separated by a black strip with the Ford logo sitting center.
Responsible for the updated design is Ford’s China Design Center using a design language specifically crafted for the Chinese market.
2023 Ford Explorer (China spec)
It’s unlikely the updates will filter across to Explorers sold in the rest of the world, as the pre-updated Explorer on sale in China already features a different design to Explorers sold elsewhere.
The Explorer has been on sale in China since 2012 and is built locally in partnership with Chinese automaker Changan. China is the second biggest market for the Explorer after North America.
The SUV is offered there with the choice of a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-4 or twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6. The sole transmission is a 10-speed automatic, and most grades come with all-wheel drive standard with rear-wheel drive standard on the base grade.
Here in the U.S., the Explorer was last redesigned for the 2020 model year and will likely receive an update around 2024, when Ford is expected to introduce an electric Explorer based on a separate dedicated EV platform. An electric Lincoln Aviator is also planned.