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Ford Explorer

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Tech specs

Price range: $45,000-$60,000 (estimated).

Engine: 2.3-litre inline four turbo or 3.0-litre V6.

Transmission/drive: Ten-speed automatic/all-wheel.

Why it matters: Fresh from its official debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month, the all-new 2020 Explorer SUV will now have an ST performance version and a hybrid version. It shares a platform with the Lincoln Aviator – it’s not quite as powerful in its standard trim, but it’s about as smart.

This is where the money is for Ford, which is phasing out sales of most of its cars. The Explorer is a popular nameplate, second only in Ford’s SUV sales to the smaller Edge, and the new vehicle is a bit larger and more capable than before. Its platform is now rear-wheel-based, instead of the previous front-wheel-drive-based platform, and the wheelbase is stretched 12 centimetres for more passenger space.

It may be bigger but the whole vehicle is more than 80 kilograms lighter. You’ll be hard-pressed to see the difference – the weight is saved by using aluminum and high-strength steel. This is the direction SUVs are headed, and it’s where Ford is putting much of its investment in the future.

Mustang Shelby GT500

Nobody needs to drive a 700-plus horsepower muscle car, but Ford needs to make one to prove it’s just as fast as the Dodge Challenger Hellcat or the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The Shelby GT500 is also fresh from its debut at the Detroit auto show – bring on the horsepower wars!

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