Why Is Ford Dropping the V6 Hybrid Engine Option for the 2024 Explorer?
With Ford pushing back the refreshed Explorer until 2025, it will carry through the 2024 model year with essentially the 2023 version of the Explorer. With one big exception. Ford is dropping the Limited Hybrid and Platinum Hybrid engines. That means the 3.3-liter naturally aspirated V6 hybrid engine is gone.
Hybrids are becoming the engine of choice for many buyers, with some saying it fits their needs better than EV power. To give an example, 73% of 2022 Ford Maverick orders were for the hybrid version. Unfortunately, the Dearborn automaker was only able to produce around 35% of total Maverick production with the hybrid powerplant.
Is the hybrid V6 engine selling well in the 2023 Explorer?
When it comes to comparisons between the standard Explorer powertrain and the hybrid version, the hybrid outranks its gasser brother in many categories. This covers everything from fuel economy to towing and resale value, according to iSeeCars. Plus, the 2023 Explorer hybrid is only more expensive than the conventional in the base models. Moving up to the pricier trims, the two see parity, topping out at under $62,000.
But looking at 2022 Explorer hybrid numbers, they are not good. For the first three quarters of 2022, hybrid Explorer sales were down by almost one-third. Through September 2022, Ford sold only 5,732 hybrids. Market share was down as well, taking just 0.84%, well below the 1.27% numbers for 2021.
So obviously, Ford has made the choice to drop the 2024 hybrid engine Explorer, with such low uptake. What does it leave going into 2024? Base, XLT, ST-Line, and Timberline trims all get the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. It pounds out 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
What engines are still available in the 2024 Explorer?
Moving up to the King Ranch, Platinum, and ST trims, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 takes charge. With 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque, it significantly improves on the four-banger’s power. How do these numbers compare to the departing hybrid V6?
The 3.3-liter, in conjunction with an electric motor, makes 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. No matter which trim or engine, all Explorers come with a 10-speed automatic transmission. There is, however, one way the 2024 Explorer gets the hybrid layout. Police Interceptor models will still be available with the hybrid power when municipalities order it.
This generation of the Ford Explorer crossover came out in 2019. Running through 2024 means Ford has gotten six model years out of it. What was to be a revised version in 2024 will feature front and rear fascia freshening and a gang of updates inside, starting with a larger infotainment touchscreen. And we may also see a return to the hybrid option in 2025.