Explorer ST Selling Big, Capturing Luxury Brand Customers

This isn’t going to be much of a surprise, but Ford is selling a whole load of the largest ST model they make. And so they’re bringing a more sporting appearance package to the XLT to help spread some of that love to more buyers.

The 400 hp Explorer ST is making up a whopping 21 percent of sales for the new RWD-based Explorer model. More importantly for Ford, 28 percent of those buyers are coming from luxury brands. Think trading the X5 for a fast Explorer and you’ve got the idea.

“Ford ST stands for performance for enthusiasts, and Explorer ST is no exception,” said Craig Patterson, Ford SUV marketing manager. “We believe once drivers feel the power and refinement of our first-ever Explorer ST, performance bred from racetracks around the world, demand will only grow stronger.”

Showing how successful the new Explorer is, Ford says that they’ve now topped 8 million sold, keeping its place as America’s all-time best-selling SUV. Can we get a new Eddie Bauer trim to celebrate? Probably not.

What we are going to get is a new XLT Sport Appearance package, showing up this supper. It’ll add special grey-painted 20-inch alloys, a matching grille, skid plates, and hood letters. Plus dual chrome tips. Inside, it will have Ford’s ActiveX seat material, a synthetic that’s designed for durability and stain resistance for active buyers. On the previous Explorer, 1 in 4 XLT buyers ticked this box.

Not included is the 400 hp, 415 lb-ft version of the 3.0L EcoBoost found in the Explorer ST. It’s an appearance package, after all.

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