This might not be what you think about when you sign on the dotted line and drive your new car home، but engineers spend a ton of time figuring out the right herbs and spices for the metals that surround you. In an effort to drop weight، Ford is using more aluminum and high-strength steel throughout the Explorer. The real star of the 2020 Explorer’s body is its 25-percent ultra-high-strength boron steel. The steel is so hard in the Explorer’s A-pillar (the windshield frame area)، that Ford had to consult twist drill manufacturers to find a way to drill through it for police spotlights. While you probably won’t need to have a spotlight، it translates to a narrower A-pillar that’s still plenty strong، as the Car News said. 2. Flood of new standard equipment
In the past، base models of cars and trucks meant that you got the bare minimum of what automakers could roll out of the factory. (Power windows? Not on my Ford Escort!) Well، the times have changed and Ford’s base Explorer is getting a host of new creature comfort and safety additions. Namely، the Explorer is getting a standard suite of driver assist tech that Ford calls Co-Pilot360. That includes pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking، blind spot information with cross-traffic alert، lane-keeping، a rearview camera with a lens washer and automatic headlights with auto high beams. The Explorer also gets a standard 8-inch touch screen that runs the Sync 3 infotainment system plus a power liftgate. 3. 10.1-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen
The Explorer follows the trend of massive، vertical touchscreens with its 10.1-inch dash-mounted monster. The screen is optional، of course، but it should help you better see maps as you're navigating through unfamiliar streets. Like the new Ram 1500's infotainment screen، you can also split the screen into، essentially، two screens -- with part of the screen handling your entertainment needs and the other part taking care of navigation. The screen should feel like massive iPad stuck to the dash، considering Ford designed it to feel like our smartphones and tablets. Like the smaller standard screen، the 10.1-inch screen will also run Sync 3. 4. Rear-wheel-drive platform
Bucking the trend toward front-wheel-drive crossovers، the Explorer returns to a rear-wheel-drive format. While talking with engineers، folks at Ford claim that this change allowed the Explorer to become longer without penalizing the SUV’s turning circle. Regardless of the reasons why it’s exciting that Ford is bringing back the beloved-by-enthusiasts rear-drive format. Of course، an all-wheel-drive system is available for those who need extra traction. 5. Active Park Assist 2.0 and reverse brake assist
You might be familiar with Ford’s Active Park Assist -- the feature that، well، assists you in your parking needs. With the old system، you’d still operate the accelerator and brake، while the vehicle claimed control of the steering wheel -- neat stuff. With the advanced Park Assist 2.0 -- you now delegate throttle and braking to the vehicle، which means you press a button and the car parks for you. We’re interested to see how this works in the wild، but it’s intriguing if you live in densely packed cities. The Explorer also gets another new option -- reverse brake assist. Basically، it’s the same as front brake assist، but for the rear. So، if you weren’t paying as much attention as you should -- or if something gets in your way unexpectedly، the 2020 Explorer should brake for you and hopefully avoid an accident.