New Package

Ford is making new XLT Sport Appearance Package available on 2021 Explorer

Ford is bringing back the XLT Sport Appearance Package

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

Buyers will soon be able to get their Ford Explorer with a sportier appearance. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker is adding the XLT Sport Appearance Package to its options menu this summer.

"Our Sport Appearance Package offers a new styling dimension for Explorer XLT customers," said Craig Patterson, Ford SUV marketing manager. "It has always been a favorite among our younger customers looking for a more energetic design and feel at a great value."

2020 Ford Explorer XLTFord is giving the Explorer XLT interior enhancements with its new Sport Appearance Package.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The package includes a number of exterior and interior enhancements. including Carbonized Gray-painted 20-inch wheels with matching grille, skid plates and hood lettering, and finished with dual chrome exhaust tips. The cabin gets ActiveX Light Slate two-tone seats with accent stitching, matching the center console lid and door trim panels.

In previous Explorer editions, the XLT Sport Appearance Package was added to 25 percent of Explorer XLT trim level models that were sold. Ford says that the appearance package entices more young SUV buyers to shop at their dealerships.

The Explorer isn't the only model Ford is adding packages to. It's Super Duty pickup now is available with a Tremor Off-Road Package, there's a new FX4 Off-Road Package for the Expedition, and Rangers with two-wheel drive can now be equipped with the FX2 Package to increase their off-roading prowess.

The 2020 Ford Explorer XLT starts at $36,675. Pricing for the package is likely to be over $1,000. Models with the package will arrive on dealership lots later this summer.

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New electric SUV

Honda teases its first EV

The Prologue will go on sale as a 2024 model.

Honda

Honda is nearing the unveiling of its first electric vehicle, the Prologue, and today the automaker gave us our first glimps of the new vehicle. It's just a sketch, but Honda did share some production details and information on its product roadmap.

Honda DealerHonda plans to sell half a million EVs by the end of the decade. Honda

Honda says the Prologue will be an adventure-ready SUV "capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia." The SUV was developed in Honda's Design Studio in Los Angeles, and was designed with an eye on Honda's global EV models. Honda said it focused on aerodynamics and fine-tuning the body to reducelines and improve range.

The Japanese automaker developed the Prologue alongside GM, but it has other EVs coming to market by 2026. By 2030, Honda says it will release 30 new EVs globally with a production volume of two million units. The co-developed vehicle is the first, but the rest will be built on Honda e:Architecture. In 2027, the automaker will begin building and selling a line of affordable EVs using the architecture developed with General Motors. Honda says it plans to sell half a million EVs in North America by the end of hte decade.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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