Ford Explorer to Join F-Series Trucks, Expedition With King Ranch Trim?

It’s been twenty years since Ford first introduced the cowboy-themed King Ranch trim, named after the King Ranch in Texas and featuring liberal use of the ranch’s W-shaped brand. King Ranch has since become staple of the Ford F-150 and Super Duty pickups, slotted above the XLTs and Lariats but below the high-end Limited and Platinum models.

Last year Ford expanded the King Ranch franchise to include the full-size Expedition SUV—which, unlike the F-Series models, is based on the Platinum trim, making it the highest trim for Expedition. Now, according to an exceedingly abrupt teaser video that Ford posted to Twitter, there’s a new King Ranch model coming.

On what model will Ford base the new King Ranch? The video makes it nearly impossible to tell, but after much freezing of frames and displaying of geekiness, careful consideration of the shape of the center stack and the ruling out whimsical ideas like a Mustang Mach E King Ranch or that new Fusion-based crossover we spotted this winter, we figure it’s probably a Ford Explorer.

From a marketing perspective, a King Ranch Explorer makes sense. It’s possible Ford would pattern such an Explorer after the pickup trucks, slotting it between the $35,890 Explorer XLT and the $46,895 Explorer Limited. We think it’s more likely that a theoretical King Ranch Explorer would follow the Expedition’s lead and be based on the top-of-the-line Platinum model. If that’s the case, a Kind Ranch Explorer would likely be priced between the $54,495 hot-rod Ford Explorer ST and the $56,370 Explorer Platinum.

What might a Ford Explorer King Ranch look like? For the exterior, we don’t expect anything radical; our guess is that it would be similar in appearance the Platinum with some additional badging. Most of the differentiation would be inside the cabin, where King Ranch models generally get brown leather embossed or embroidered with the King Ranch logo and open-pore wood. In terms of features, we imagine the level of equipment would likely rival the Explorer Platinum.

However, all of this is mere speculation on our part. We could be wrong about the adornment and we could be wrong about the Explorer. According to Ford, we’ll only be in the dark for a couple of days, as the new King Ranch model will be announced in two days’ time.

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