SEMA eNews Vol. 17, No. 42, October 16, 2014

Spy Shots—2016 Ford Explorer Uncovered

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Here’s one of the first uncovered looks at a prototype for the ’16 Ford Explorer facelift. Shot by the pros at KGP photography, these images reveal some of the design changes involved in the mid-cycle update.

The first prototypes for the facelifted Explorers have been running with heavy camo for about six months now. These new shots are a significant step forward, and despite the remaining graphic wrap and paint affixed to the prototypes, new details are visible.  

Range Rover Overtones No More

This unshrouded Explorer's new headlights and taillights seem to have a simple shape, a departure from the current "eyebrow" treatments that mimic the headlight designs of most Range Rovers. The new headlights clearly get a more angular shape, while the taillight design looks more simplified and cohesive. The new front fascia appears to get a smaller grille than the current model, with the additional air intakes integrated more subtly into the front bumper design.

New Front Fascia Details

The current Explorer’s low-set round fog lights will go away in favor of new LED fog lights placed higher up on the front bumper, framed in with new air slits that will sit prominently at the outer corners of the front fascia. The new look brings the Explorer more in line with the look of the ’15 Ford Edge.

D-Pillar Changes in the Works

The changes applied to the Explorer's rear end look a bit more understated, although there are some interesting details around the new Explorer's D-pillar. With the vinyl camouflage removed, it appears that Ford has tacked on a fake pillar over the glass work in an effort to mimic the current design. Looking closely at the rear pillar, the backlight glass appears to reach further back than the current model, suggesting either a slightly larger rear cargo bay, or, more likely, a cleaner glass-to-glass treatment that does away with the external pillar visible on the current model.  

The current Explorer was the first Ford model to offer capacitive touch buttons on the dashboard, which have fallen out of favor over recent years. The mid-cycle revamp will give the Explorer an all-new interior, which will utilize Ford's latest technologies in conjunction with a more tactile passenger interface. The new 2.3L ecoboost engine is expected to replace the current 2.0L turbo.

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Photo credit: KGP Photography

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