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Ford Looks To Battle Jeep On Multiple Fronts

2021 Ford Explorer Timberline Off road SUV
Image via Ford

We mentioned this before at MC&T: Ford Motor Company is currently offering or is planning to offer more off-road trucks and SUVs than anybody else. Be it a package like the Ford Super Duty Tremor, or a dedicated machine like the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, it’s clear that Jeep can no longer enjoy its empty table with a full spread. There’s data that points to this. One big detail is that forty percent of all Americans surveyed say they have spent more time outdoors since the 2020 Covid pandemic began, while Ford Explorer owners report a 56 percent increase in off-road use over the last three years. With that in mind, the first-ever 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline looks to deliver on customer demands to go on off-road adventures, before they jump ship for a new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L.

2021 Ford Explorer Timberline Off Road SUV Interior
Image via Ford

2021 Ford Explorer Timberline: Mechanical Details

Mechanically, the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system that automatically adjusts torque between the wheels based on conditions and driver inputs to deliver the best traction – providing pre-emptive torque before wheel slip occurs. This system is highlighted by a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, and a standard Terrain Management System featuring seven drive modes, such as Trail and Deep Snow/Sand. Hill Descent Control is also standard allows the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline to maintain a constant speed between 2 and 12 mph going downhill. Making contact with the gravel and dirt is a set of high-sidewall Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 all-terrain tires.

Steering calibration, stabilizer bars and springs are specially tuned for 2021 Ford Explore Timberline, which includes an exclusive front rebound spring that helps prevent sudden jarring off-road. Compared to the standard model, the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline raises its ride height 0.8 inch, featuring a set of off-road-capable heavy-duty shocks that were originally developed for Explorer Police Interceptor.

Image via Ford

The ride height adjustments on the new Explorer Timberline package translate to an approach angle of 23.5 degrees and maximum departure angle of 23.7 degrees, plus minimum ground clearance of 8.7 inches.

More Capability Means More Protection

All of this off-road use demands more protection of the vital underbody bits of the Ford SUV. So the 2021 Explorer Timberline comes with a set of standard steel skid plates, starting at the front bumper, running underneath the engine and transmission.  Of which, the Timberline comes standard with a light and space efficient 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine producing 300 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. For customers who need to tow RVs, ATVs and boats to their adventures, the standard Class III Trailer Tow Package brings 5,300 pounds of towing capability. However, the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is rated to pull 6,200 pounds, and offers a V8.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is available to order now and arrives at dealers this summer. Pricing is not yet immediately available, so watch this space for the latest updates on Ford’s exciting new off-road SUV.

2021 Ford Explorer TImberline Payload Towing Price
Image via Ford

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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