Although Ford currently has itself quite the family of ruggedized off-road vehicles — including such models as the Raptor, the Bronco, and a trio of Tremor trucks — there’s been one notable omission from the lineup: the Explorer. And it’s a shame. Because the SUV has grown soft over the years, trading its time on the trail for a trip through the carpool line.
But with the launch of the Explorer Timberline, the Blue Oval is looking to right the platform’s wrongs. That’s because it gains a Torsen limited-slip diff, some re-engineered Police Interceptor shocks, front and rear skid-plates, an 0.8-inch lift, and a set of Bridgestone Dueler all-terrain tires — features that make it “the most off-road-capable Explorer ever.” In practice, this means that the Timberline’s approach and departure angles are markedly improved at 23.5 degrees and 23.7 degrees, with its ground clearance now sitting at 8.7 inches. And when it comes to the package’s aesthetic upgrades, you’ll find that the ‘Forged Green Metallic’ paint comes complemented by some matte black detailing, a set of ‘Red Ember’ tow hooks, and a ‘Deep Cypress’ interior complete with easy-wiping ActiveX inserts. Powered by a 2.3L EcoBoost engine good for 300hp and 310lb-ft of torque, it’s available now starting at $47,010.