It seems Ford has given up trying to hide the refreshed 2024 Explorer. Previous spy shots of the three-row SUV have captured the model without any camouflage, and the latest pics show the Explorer Timberline joining the club with fully exposed sheet metal.
However, the 2024 Timberline doesn’t feature the redesigned face spotted on other test vehicles and trims, retaining the current fascia’s styling. The SUV features the narrow grille and the old headlights, with the rugged lower bumper of the current model. However, the rear taillights and hatch are new on this off-road-oriented Explorer trim, so we know this is the refreshed variant.
The other Explorer test vehicles our spy photographers have spotted show the SUV with a taller grille, new headlights, and a boxier lower bumper design. The overall redesign looks tougher than the styling of the current vehicles. The Timberline might get the new fascia, and this is just be an early development mode, or Ford might have a design reason for keeping the familiar face.
Our spy photographers have only captured one version of the cabin, showing off a larger, landscape-oriented infotainment screen and repositioned vents on the dashboard. It will sit next to a digital instrument cluster. The current Explorer is available with a portrait-oriented screen, which should make a return for 2024 with its own revamped dash layout.
We don’t know if Ford will make any updates to the powertrain. Ford launched the 2021 Explorer Timberline with the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine as the only powertrain option. It makes 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque and pairs with the brand’s 10-speed automatic transmission, and we don’t expect Ford to make any big changes.
It’s the same with the Explorer’s other two powertrain choices. The 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 makes 400 hp and 415 pound-feet of torque, while the 3.3-liter hybrid V6 churns out 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of twist. Ford could make all three options more efficient or eke out more power, but we don’t expect any surprises under the hood.
Ford hasn’t said when it would reveal the revamped Explorer. We expect a debut to happen before the end of the year, with the new SUV hitting dealers in early 2024 that we hope that includes the Timberline. The sixth-generation Explorer entered production in 2019 for the 2020 model year, but sales were slow to start, with Ford citing production woes as the cause of the hiccup.