2023 Ford Explorer Revealed In China With Overhauled Exterior And Interior

Ford has taken the wraps off the updated Explorer in China as the new flagship of its range with a redesigned exterior and a new massive screen inside the cabin. The Chinese website calls it a brand-new model although it is better described as a comprehensive facelift of the sixth-gen Explorer that was introduced in 2019.

The model made its first appearance on spy shots last February, with detailed but unofficial photos surfacing on the Chinese Ministry Of Industry and Technology back in April. Now, Ford has officially revealed it online, since the Beijing Auto Show where it was supposed to debut has been postponed without a set date. Thus, the SUV is expected to make its official debut at the Chengdu Auto Show in late August.

See Also: New Ford Equator Sport Debuts In China As A Smaller Sibling To The Equator

The 2023 Explorer is instantly recognizable from the side view due to the carry-over body panels, but everything else has changed. At the front, there is a significantly larger grille flanked by slimmer bumper intakes, and new LED headlights that are connected through an LED strip. There is also an Explorer lettering on the bonnet.

The rear end is also tweaked, with a new set of LED taillights mounted horizontally. Between them, there is a chrome strip, while the revised rear bumper got a more prominent skid-plate with dual exhaust pipes. The grille pattern and the bumpers will be different depending on the trim level, with the ST-Line version getting the sportiest treatment. Due to the redesigned front and rear ends, the Explorer is slightly longer than before, measuring 5,063 mm (199.3 inches).

The most important update happened inside the cabin, where the dashboard has been overhauled inspired by the “high-tech cockpit of yachts”. The highlight is the new horizontally-arranged 27-inch infotainment touchscreen which replaces the portrait-orientation unit found in the US-spec Explorer. The screen looks smaller than in the Mondeo and Evos but this might have to do with the increased width of the SUV.

Ford designers made the climate vents slimmer and brought the center console higher, while creating a more premium atmosphere thanks to the ambient lighting and the leather upholstery. Besides the 27-inch infotainment touchscreen that comes standard in all trims, equipment includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heads-up display, a B&O audio system, tri-zone climate control, plus an array of ADAS giving it L2+ autonomous capability.

The Chinese-spec Ford Explorer retains the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that produces 272 hp (203 kW / 276 PS) and 425 Nm (313 lb-ft) of torque, just like in the outgoing model. A 10-speed automatic gearbox sends power to either the rear wheels or to all four through an intelligent AWD system. Ford didn’t go into specifics about any updates on the CD6 platform which is shared with the Lincoln Aviator.

The Explorer is produced by Changan Ford in China, with a market launch expected in the coming months. We don’t know if the styling and tech updates will find their way into the US- and EU-spec models in the future, but there are some reports suggesting that they will be reserved for the Chinese-spec model bringing greater differentiation than before.

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