In a surprising turn of events, Ford's upcoming 2024 Explorer has been spotted roaming the streets without any camouflage, leaving little doubt that its official debut is imminent. Unveiled in a series of revealing spy shots, the mid-cycle refreshed SUV showcases a fresh design while also introducing a new trim level called the Explorer Active.
The prominent chrome Active badge on the liftgate leaves no room for speculation regarding the identity of this new Explorer variant. Ford appears to have abandoned any attempt at secrecy, and if the trim hierarchy follows the pattern set by the smaller Ford Escape, the Active version will likely occupy a lower-spec position between the Base and XLT trims in the Explorer lineup.
Upon examining the spy shots, the unassuming appearance of the Explorer Active becomes apparent. Sporting modest aluminum wheels and a lack of flashy accents, it seems to echo the design cues of the Base and XLT trims, both featuring similar spoked 18-inch wheels.
Notably, the absence of the 4WD badging indicates that this particular version might be rear-wheel drive, unlike previous Explorer prototypes.
Refreshed Design: Chinese Inspiration, Distinct Rear
Visible changes to the front fascia are evident and draw parallels to the 2023 Chinese-market Explorer model.
Ford's decision to forego camouflage could be attributed to the resemblance between the upcoming Explorer and its Chinese counterpart. The 2024 model boasts slightly smaller headlights, a larger grille with a rectangular shape, and distinct differences in the lower fascias and taillight structures compared to the Chinese variant.
However, the overall rear redesign seems to mirror that of the overseas model. One aspect that remains shrouded in mystery is the interior of the 2024 Explorer. Limited glimpses of the cabin have made it challenging to discern any significant changes.
The disparity between the Chinese Explorer, which features an expansive 27-inch center display spanning the dashboard, and the anticipated layout for the US model is of particular interest. Until an official debut clarifies, the American market's exact interior configuration remains unknown.
With the unveiling of the 2024 Explorer seemingly imminent, speculation surrounding its official launch date intensifies. Considering we are already well into 2023 and Ford has left the vehicle completely uncovered, an announcement is expected within the next few weeks.
Enthusiasts and prospective buyers eagerly await further details about the Explorer's enhanced design and features, eagerly anticipating its arrival in showrooms.