Ford introduces the first King Ranch Edition of the Explorer SUV. The Explorer, one of America’s best-selling SUV lines, now gets the rugged yet refined King Ranch fittings that F-150 buyers have known since 2001. Ford Explorer King Ranch 2021 continues the brand’s long relationship with the legendary South Texas cattle ranch.
See, this is news to me. As a sports car guy, I always thought Ford’s King Ranch pickups were just a name. There is the “King” and then the “King Ranch”. Similar to the “Vente” and the “Grande”.
It turns out the name comes from an actual place called The King Ranch. It’s in Texas (of course). A guy named Ctain Richard King (he was a river boat) the place started in the 1850s. And while the story is fascinating, what we have here at the Ford Explorer King Ranch 2021 is a very nice and swanky family haulier for the modern age.
The King Ranch treatment
The 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch is all about meticulous attention to detail.
Ford, after doing a lot of customer research, found that people wanted a more sophisticated interior for the Explorer. And for 2021, Explorer King Ranch is delivering mahogany-colored Mesa Del Rio leather seats with perforated front and second rows. To really overdo things, the seats have the nifty, old-fashioned King Ranch Running W logo on them. The center console is made with a leather armrest from Mesa Del Rio and contains a King Ranch logo insert.
The cockpit offers more elegance with rollover door panels made of leather, an instrument panel made of leather and stitching in combination with Sele wood pliqués as well as a steering wheel made of leather with Norias stitching and a beautiful Sele wood insert.
Outwardly, the Explorer King Ranch is also classy; All are equipped with a unique grating painted in stone gray, 20-inch aluminum wheels with running W center c, tailgate wear plate and four chrome-plated exhaust trims. Cping it all off is the characteristic outside badge of the King Ranch.
Technical and security features
Technology? Come on, partner; that’s 2021, not 1851! The available premium technology package includes seats with multiple contours and massage function as well as a 10.1-inch touchscreen with center stack and swipe and zoom function. Also included is a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 14 speakers that kind of works Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys even sounds better.
Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist + is also available as standard equipment. The package includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane centering, an evasive steering assistant and voice-activated touchscreen navigation (also with zoom function). SiriusXM Traffic, Travel Link and Speed Sign Recognition are also included.
Explorer King Ranch: Engine & Powertrain
The motivation is provided by the latest 3.0-liter EcoBoost under the hood, which makes 365 hp and 380 lb-ft. of the torque. The EcoBoost engine is connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission. A standard Class III towbar package allows for a maximum towing capacity of up to 5,600 pounds. The Explorer King Ranch can be equipped with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Prices & availability
Ford Explorer King Ranch starts at $ 52,350 for rear-wheel drive models and $ 54,350 for all-wheel drive. It will be available from Ford dealers this spring.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life driving antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in Perback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @ TonyBorroz.
Photos & Source: Ford Motor Company.