The current generation Ford Explorer is proving to be a very profitable cash cow for the Dearborn-based automaker, with the recently launched King Ranch variant adding a new dimension of luxury to the model. However, the company is also listening to consumer feedback and is using the opportunity to address a potential roadblock for Explorer ST buyers, the price. It plans to achieve this with the introduction of the all-new Explorer Enthusiast ST.
Lowering The Cost Of Explorer ST Admission
When the standard Explorer ST model appeared on the road, it promised to be a true performance offering for those who still want to recreate the fun of their favorite muscle car and have a growing family to haul around. In theory, the ST was a promising blend of both worlds thanks to its 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6, which produced 400 horsepower and was complimented by the Explorer’s rear-wheel drive-based platform. However, the steep $52,830 base price played a role in perhaps not allowing some buyers the chance to experience it.
That’s where the all-new ST Enthusiast Package comes in. As the name implies, the package lowers the base price of the Explorer ST to $49,995. It achieves this by reducing the amount of standard equipment, but Ford is not ready to reveal what pieces were left on the shelf for the Enthusiast Package. Thankfully neither the 400 horsepower V6 nor the 10-speed automatic were tampered with, and they work together with the sport-tuned suspension to help the SUV achieve a top speed of 143 mph. Ford reps claim that this figure is unheard of in this price bracket and is part of the charm that makes the Enthusiast ST stand out.
An Interior Loaded With Technology
It also appears that the interior still retains its edge in offering buyers sport-focused style and technology. The Enthusiast ST comes with leather seats, but here they are covered in Miko micro-perforated inserts and City silver-hued accent stitching. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and heated steering wheel also come along for the ride, and it’s nice to see that the shift paddles are carried over, too (they are the best way to drive this particular flavor of Explorer.)
Other goodies include Ford’s Co-Pilot360 technology and its impressive suite of driver-assist features such as Blind Spot Monitoring, Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist, Hill Start Assist, and Pre-Collision Alert.
When Can I Buy A 2021 Enthusiast ST?
If the idea of a lower-priced Explorer ST sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll be pleased to hear that Ford is not making buyers wait too long for the chance to own one. Ordering for the Enthusiast ST is now live, and the company revealed that the first models will make their way to dealerships this summer. This seems fitting since the Enthusiast ST will be a very potent reason to emerge from your COVID-19 imposed lockdown.
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.