2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST offers the same thrills for less

Ford has made a couple of announcements to make your wallets sing. Although late, Ford is expanding its Explorer lineup with the 2021 Explorer Enthusiast ST RWD, Explorer Platinum RWD, and Explorer Platinum Hybrid models.

"The market continues to grow for performance SUVs, and the ST currently accounts for nearly 20-percent of sales," said Craig Patterson, Ford SUV marketing manager. "With our new Explorer Enthusiast ST, we've made this Explorer performance SUV an even better value for more customers to enjoy."

The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST RWD starts at $49,995 (including destination charges) and is $4,000 less than the AWD version. Despite this, it has all the delectable hardware from a standard AWD Explorer ST.

It has the same 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine pumping out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It also has a sport-tuned suspension and a top speed of 143 mph. Ford's Class III Trailer Tow Package is also standard for a maximum towing capacity of 5,600 pounds.

Ford's newest Explorer Enthusiast ST RWD inherits the aggressive styling cues of its AWD brethren. It has sportier front and rear bumpers, a blacked-out front grille, 20-inch aluminum wheels, quad chrome exhaust tailpipes, and ST wing mirrors with projection lamps. Inside, it gets a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, leather seating with silver accent stitching and micro-perforated inserts, and a heated steering wheel with an ST logo and paddle shifters.

Standard in the 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST is the brand's Co-Pilot360 featuring an array of active and passive features, including blind-spot assist, lane-keeping assist, hill start assist, automatic headlamps with automatic high beams, forward collision assist, a rearview camera, and many more.

Meanwhile, the Explorer Platinum RWD starts at $52,480. And for the first time, you can get an Explorer Platinum hybrid model starting at $53,085. The former has all the luxurious amenities from Explorer Platinum AWD, like a leather steering wheel, unique leather upholstery, leather interior trimmings, and a twin-panel moonroof, to name a few.

The newest Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST, Explorer Platinum RWD, and Platinum Hybrid are available to order now. The first deliveries are arriving this summer.