Everyone knows that throwing on some racing stripes and slapping on some stickers results in a race car, right? Of course, the crew at the Ford Performance Racing School knows that’s not the case, but with its exterior vibes, its Ford Explorer ST sure looks like the meanest kid-hauling machine to ever hit the track. We’d love to see this thing hard on the brakes as it hits the pits for a kid drop-off in front of school amidst a sea of Siennas, Odysseys, Priuses, and Camrys.
The Ford Performance Racing School’s Explorer ST is a beefed-up version of the already-sporty Explorer ST, one of about a dozen vehicles that carry Ford Performance prestige. One of the main elements that set it apart is the MIG-welded safety cage made of 1.8-inch OD DOM tubing; hopefully, this safety feature will not be tested. Along with the cage comes four Recaro Cross Sportster CS seats equipped with Safecraft four-point safety harnesses, keeping occupants confidently planted during launches and high-speed cornering.
Above-and-beyond stopping power comes courtesy of Brembo-sourced six-piston monobloc aluminum front calipers and Shelby GT500 16.5-inch vented front rotors. Surrounding the all-business brakes are Signature Wheels SV503 Track Series wheels wrapped in Michelin 315/30ZR21 Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for maximum grip on the track.
The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 has a performance tune by HP Tuners that should up the factory Explorer ST’s 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque ratings. Ford engineers will continue to perfect the tune once the Explorer ST sees more track time.
And indeed, track time it will see. In case the graphics package from Lue Creative wasn’t clear, this Ford Explorer ST is a rolling billboard for the Ford Performance Racing School, which was established in 2006. Through the school, owners of Explorer ST and Edge ST SUVs have the option to attend the Ford ST SUV Experience where they have the opportunity to get driving, handling, and informational instruction from professionals—and maybe a ride in this Explorer. Other programs offered to first owners of new Ford Performance vehicles include the Raptor Assault, GT350 Track Attack, GT500 Track Attack, and the new Mach 1 Track Attack.
The Ford Performance Racing School’s four-door tracks-ready Explorer ST will be unveiled in the racing school’s display booth (located in the middle of Mustang Alley) during the 2021 Woodward Dream Cruise.
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