Ford’s lineup of King Ranch models has become very potent sellers for the Blue Oval. There’s no denying that it’s a trendy upgrade for buyers from the massive Expedition to the mighty F-Series pickups. But what if you want the King Ranch experience in a smaller package? Ford might have the answer with the 2021 Explorer King Ranch.
Ford’s brief teaser video didn’t reveal too much with only a fleeting glimpse of the exterior as the Explorer thundered its way down a lonely dirt road out of camera range. We know it’s the Explorer based on the faint headlight shape visible for a brief moment in the clip.
This would be the first time that the King Ranch moniker makes its way to the Explorer, but it’s far from being the first time the Explorer has had a luxury-focused trim like this. Older models were known for offering the Eddie Bauer trim. Like the King Ranch, it was designed to be a luxury-focused special with collaboration from the iconic clothing designer. As such, it was based around a modern design theme like you would see on high-end clothes. The Eddie Bauer trim was discontinued some time ago, and the King Ranch would give the Explorer a similar alternative for those that don’t want to go all-in on the Platinum. Like other trim family models, we expect the Explorer version also to embrace some of the two-tone paint schemes that have become almost synonymous with it, including the white-on-brown motif for the exterior.
King Ranch Interior Sets The Tone
The current generation Explorer has received its fair share of criticism regarding interior quality, but it appears that the King Ranch will try its best to resolve this flaw. Like the exterior, Ford limited our view to a brief glimpse. But there’s certainly a lot to process here. The familiar brown leather accents and prominent King Ranch logo are present and accounted for in the teaser video. If this model is based on the Platinum trim, the wood trim will be replaced with open-pore accents (another signature touch.)
Other than that, expect the King Ranch to retain the bulk of its Explorer DNA with family-focused three-row seating, impressive versatility, and the range-topping 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6. We will have to wait until Ford fully reveals the model in a few days to get all the details, but we look forward to seeing the interior from all angles when that happens.
When Will We See The 2021 Explorer King Ranch?
Thankfully, the wait will not be too long, with Ford poised to reveal the 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch on February 24th. There’s still a chance that Ford could potentially pull a surprise play and put the moniker on something completely different. Still, when you factor in the circumstantial evidence as well as sightings of lightly camouflaged Explorer testers roaming the streets of Dearborn with King Ranch badges, things do start to fall into place.
The appearance of a King Ranch equipped Explorer will also please dealerships looking to maximize sales potential on the Explorer lineup, especially with the trim serving as a very compelling carrot to lure in buyers with. Pricing could also reflect what’s seen with the Expedition and allow the Explorer to sit roughly in the middle of the $56,495 ST and the $56,370 Platinum in terms of its spot on the pricing ladder.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.