Ford readies new off-road trim with 2021 Explorer Timberline

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DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is expanding its off-road utility lineup with a new Timberline variant as it seeks to cash in on a growing segment even beyond the new Bronco family of vehicles.

The automaker on Wednesday unveiled the 2021 Explorer Timberline, which will start at $47,010, including shipping, and arrive at dealerships this summer. The vehicle features steel skid plates and unique shocks, springs and stabilizer bars that, along with all-terrain tires, boost the Timberline’s ride height by 0.8 inch over the base model.

It comes in a unique green color with red tow hook accents and space on the grille for auxiliary lighting to better illuminate trails or other off-road courses.

Ford says there’s a market for such capability; internal data show 56 percent of Explorer owners reported an increase in off-road use over the past three years.

“Consumer data has shown us that now more than ever, customers want to get outside and explore nature with friends and family,” Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president, Americas & International Markets Group, said in a statement. “Timberline hits a new sweet spot with these customers who want an ideal combination of passenger space, moderate off-road capability and great manners around town.”

The company has greatly expanded its off-road lineup in recent years. Aside from the Bronco Sport crossover and upcoming Bronco SUV, Ford has added Tremor off-road variants to the Ranger, F-150 and Super Duty pickup lineups.

Ford will announce additional Timberline-badged vehicles this year, according to a spokeswoman.

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