A prototype for what appears to be the 2019 Ford Explorer has recently been spotted testing and according to the spy shots, the next generation Explorer seems to be heading towards a redesign. This upcoming redesign will be Ford’s first attempt at updating the Explorer since 2011, when the unibody construction and the inline-4 as the base powertrain were first introduced.

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Although heavily-camouflaged, the test mule reveals some indispensable new details. For instance, the new Explorer looks to be increasing its size for the 2019 model year. Although the 2019 model will be sticking with the car-like unibody construction, boxy shape and the three-row cabin, the spy shots appear to be hinting at evolutionary changes in terms of design. Particularly in the bumper and head and taillight area. However, the at first glance the light treatments and greenhouse look very similar to the outgoing model.

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But perhaps the biggest change will be the one we won’t be able to see. According to rumors, the 2019 Ford Explorer will be Ford’s premier model to ride on the company’s brand-new platform for larger models, the D6 platform. The D3 reportedly features a front-wheel-drive-based design, but an AWD should still be offered. This platform is apparently already set to underpin some of the Ford and Lincoln models.

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Engine and Powertrain

What we expect from this redesign is for the new Explorer to feature a predominantly aluminum and lightweight exterior that will help the new model shed some significant weight and in turn improve the fuel economy and performance. While we don’t have any official information regarding the powertrain, as of yet, we predict that the 2019 model will retain its turbocharged inline-4 powertrain. However, if this is the case, the old 6 speed gearbox could very well get replaced with something more current, like a 9-speed automatic. As for the superior performance option, the turbocharged V6 engine is our best bet. Additionally, a hybrid powered model might join the Explorer lineup sometime in the near future as well.

image credit: netcarshow

2019 Ford Explorer Release Date and Price

Ford is yet to reveal the release date for the 2019 Ford Explorer, but it is expected to go on sale sometime near the end of the 2018 model year. As for the pricing, we don’t expect the new model to cost any more that the current model’s $32.000. But we’ll know for sure when Ford releases the official information sometime down the line.