Not to be left out after the Ford Explorer Timberline debuted in the spring, the current fourth-generation Expedition is receiving an ultra-rugged makeover of its own with a Timberline version on the way — as well as a sporty Stealth Edition Performance Package — boasting a number of hardware and technology enhancements designed for fun away from the beaten path.
“We have two new models this year as we expand the Expedition lineup. Timberline is one of those — it is the most off-road capable Expedition ever,” says chief engineer Mike Kipley, as he introduced the refreshed full-size SUV in a virtual press conference late last week. “[It’s} a great addition to our lineup that will help bring even buyers into the Expedition family.”
Elevating the vehicle to new heights, quite literally, is a higher ground clearance of 10.6 inches that should be plenty to clear most obstacles encountered. And check out these impressive approach and departure angles making deeper penetration into the backcountry possible: 28.5 degrees for the former and 23.7 the latter.
A fully-boxed, body-on-frame construction keeps the ride quality solid and handling sharp, and the Goodyear Wrangler AT tires provide welcome traction in a variety of surface conditions. As seen on the Bronco SUV, Trail Turn Assist is a neat function enabling a tighter turn radius needed to navigate hairpin trails. Maximum towing capacity is rated at 9,300 pounds.
“[Other] features include intelligent four-wheel drive, seven selectable drive modes, our standard limited-slip rear differential, revised steering calibration, larger stabilizer bars and revised spring rates. And the steel skid plates protecting the underbody including the same front plate as the F-150 raptor,” adds Kipley.
Complementing all the capability is some seriously cool styling. Painted in Timberline green, the grille has a dark carbonized treatment and is flanked by signature C-clamp LED daytime running lights. Granting a pop of colour are red amber accents found on the front bumper and rear liftgate. There is also special badging applied in multiple spots and laser-etched logos on the 18-inch alloy wheels.
An available massive 15.5-inch portrait SYNC 4A infotainment display anchors the interior (12-inch touchscreen is standard), utilizing innovative tailored digital “cards” to access the digital infrastructure rather than traditional menus. To truly unlock a premium auditory experience, customers can opt for the 22-speaker Bang & Olufsen Unleashed Sound System.
Rounding out the vehicle is Ford’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine producing 440 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, which is 48 and 106 more, respectively, compared to competitor the Jeep Wagoneer with a 5.7-litre V8.
A lot of driver assist tech has been implemented here, for example BlueCruise hands-free highway cruising (Platinum grade), Intersection Assist using cameras to detect oncoming traffic during left turns, and Reverse Brake Assist able to automatically braking to avoid collisions during backup manoeuvres.
Enthusiasts seeking on-road rather than off ability and aesthetics need look no further than the aforementioned Stealth Edition Performance Package. Not only does it bundle a sport-tuned suspension, but a host of exterior upgrades like smoked head and tail lamps, and a gloss-black finish applied to the grille, mirror caps, roof rails, running boards, tailgate trim, rear bumper skid plate and fog lamp bezels.
Elsewhere, red brake calipers peek out from behind the black 22-inch aluminum wheels, and everything from the Ford oval emblem to Expedition and Limited lettering are darkened.
The 2022 Ford Expedition is built at the automaker’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville and slated for arrival in the first quarter of 2022.