Ford Explorer, America’s all-time best-selling SUV1, adds the first-ever King Ranch edition to its stable, giving midsize SUV customers an all-new rugged, premium appearance with the uncompromising quality, craftsmanship and authenticity of the iconic Texas ranch.
“In 1853, Captain Richard King bootstrapped the King Ranch in the harsh landscape of southern Texas until it became a shining example of agricultural and livestock innovation and success,” said Lee Newcombe, Ford Explorer marketing manager. “Ford Explorer families can now enjoy a piece of the King Ranch’s renowned craftsmanship and the multigeneration legacy that still thrives 168 years after its founding.”
Customer feedback and market insights have demanded a more refined interior for Explorer. Explorer King Ranch will now deliver with premium touches and mahogany-colored Mesa Del Rio leather seats with perforated front and second rows with the legendary King Ranch Running W logo. The center console is crafted with a Mesa Del Rio leather armrest and King Ranch logo insert.
The refinement continues in the cockpit with leather door trim rollovers, a leather-wrapped and stitched instrument panel combined with Sapele wood appliqués as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel with Norias stitching and a Sapele wood insert.
“Introducing King Ranch’s specialty leather, genuine wood, crafted details and signature colors to Ford Explorer elevates the SUV’s brand,” said Janet Seymour, Ford color and materials manager. “The warm, earthy Norias colorway, natural open pore wood appliqués and rope perforation design on the seats are just a couple ways we were able to bring the King Ranch lifestyle to a whole new group of customers.”
Complementing the refined interior is an available Premium Technology Package featuring multi-contour seats with active motion massaging functionality, a 10.1-inch center stack portrait touch screen with swipe and pinch-to-zoom capability as well as a 14-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen specially tuned to Explorer’s interior.
Outside, Explorer King Ranch comes decked out with a unique Stone Gray-painted mesh grille insert, 20-inch aluminum wheels with Running W center cap, liftgate scuff plate and quad chrome exhaust tips. Capping it all off is signature King Ranch badging.
The standard 3.0-liter EcoBoost® under the hood produces 365 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque with four-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive configurations offered, combined with a 10-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift® capability. A standard Class III Trailer Tow Package enables towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.
In addition to Ford Co-Pilot360™ technology2 standard on all Explorer models, Explorer King Ranch comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+, featuring Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering, Evasive Steering Assist, a voice-activated touch screen navigation system with pinch-to-zoom capability, SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link® and Speed Sign Recognition.
Improving America’s all-time best-selling SUV
Ford has engaged with owners to constantly innovate Explorer and move America’s all-time best-selling SUV forward. For 2021, the company is responding to customer demands with not only the King Ranch edition but the introduction of the available XLT Sport Appearance Package, new interior trim finishes and new exterior colors, with numerous enhancements to the interior including brighter paints, elevated finishes and higher-quality materials for a brightened, more premium ambience.
Two decades of rugged luxury
The introduction of Explorer King Ranch marks 20 years of Ford’s relationship with the iconic Texas cattle ranch, beginning with the 2001 F-150 King Ranch, when Ford and King Ranch teamed up to build a more upscale western-themed truck.
The 2001 F-150 King Ranch was based on the newly introduced F-150 SuperCrew. It featured a leather-covered front console with the King Ranch brand, and front and rear King Ranch leather captain’s chairs, as well as F-150 King Ranch branding throughout the interior and exterior.
Since then, five generations of Ford F-150, four generations of Ford F-Series Super Duty and three generations of Ford Expedition have worn the King Ranch badge. Today, workers at the Texas ranch use a fleet of more than 300 Ford trucks to get the job done every day.
The Explorer King Ranch edition will start at $52,350 MSRP for rear-wheel-drive configuration and $54,350 MSRP for four-wheel drive. It will be available in dealerships this spring.