Unfortunately, the original Explorer Sport Trac rode on ancient underpinnings, with a frame, suspensions, and interior that dated back to the early 1990s. This concept vehicle, a thinly veiled version of the 2006 Ford Explorer Sport Trac that arrives later this year, is based upon the next-generation Explorer SUV platform, instantly modernizing what Ford calls "the first SUT."
Wider, longer, and with a 30-percent larger bed than before, Ford jazzed the Explorer Sport Trac Concept up with a custom street truck appearance, including a lowered suspension, 21-inch wheels painted gunmetal gray, red brake calipers, a mesh milled-aluminum front grille, and a number of decorative scoops and vents. The rear bumper and all door handles are shaved off the body, and the rocker panels receive integrated running boards that double to provide the appearance of ground effects. The concept's bed includes saddlebag storage wells and recesses to create a tiered load floor for large, flat cargo. Like the original, an extender is included to increase cargo-toting capacity.
What the Ford Explorer Sport Trac Concept lacks is a feature that could ultimately doom the production truck. This vehicle should come to market with a pass-through to the cabin, like the Chevrolet Avalanche. But with the passenger cab a distinctly separate component from the cargo bed, a design that mimics GM's brilliant Midgate is not in the cards for the Sport Trac.
Nevertheless, the 2006 Ford Explorer Sport Trac is sure to be a major improvement over the current model, and this alleged concept truck gives you an extremely clear look at what's coming soon to a Ford dealership near you.
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company