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: 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.
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.