The Ford Explorer ST Is Selling Like Hotcakes

It turns out moms and dads want a piece of that 400-horsepower pie.

Say what you will about slapping a Ford Performance ST badge onto family crossovers like the Edge and Explorer, but just don’t expect the big-and-fast Fords to go away any time soon. Why? Because according to the Blue Oval, they’re selling pretty darn well.

In a release announcing the return of the Explorer’s XLT Sport Appearance Package, Ford wants us all to know that the 400-horsepower Explorer ST is selling just fine, thank you very much. Actually, ST sales are more than fine, accounting for a healthy 21 percent of all Explorer transactions, even higher than Ford itself expected. 


Yep, more than one-in-five Explorer buyers felt like they needed one with a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 making 400 freakin’ horsepower. Travel back in time 20 years with this piece of information and you’d likely raise more than a few eyebrows. In the pantheon of strangeness that is 2020 so far, however, this sounds about right.  Just for the sake of context, the Ferrari 360 Modena produced 400 horsepower when it debuted in 1999.

What’s more, Ford boasts that the Explorer ST is helping it steal customers from brands higher up the automotive caste system, claiming 28 percent of the ST’s non-Ford trade-ins to be from European luxury brands. We guess if all you want is speed, size, and ground clearance, there are now cheaper alternatives to your Nürburgring-tuned Mercedes GLCs and hopped-up Jaguar F-Paces

If all you want is for your family SUV to look fast, however, Ford is taking the democratization of performance one step further by reintroducing a Sport Appearance Package available on the base XLT Explorer. The pack includes unique, carbon-gray 20-inch wheels, a gray grille, skid plate, and hood badging, as well as chrome, dual-exit exhaust tips, and two-tone ActiveX seats. 

We’re not so sure if this slightly darker-badged Explorer will help Ford steal even more sales from the uppity Europeans but, then again, stranger things have happened.

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