The Ford Explorer has been a staple SUV lineup in the American market since the early 1990s. The automaker is now working on the sixth-generation model, slated for release as a 2019 model. Early prototypes have been captured on camera on test roads. Here is some tentative information we know so far based on spy photos.

It’s believed the 2019 Ford Explorer will ride on a new platform that has been dubbed D6. This platform is expected to incorporate lightweight material like aluminum, thereby following the footsteps of the 2017 Ford F-150 series.

It has been speculated that the naturally aspirated V6 engine in use for the current 2017 Ford Explorer will be replaced with a 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine. There may be slight tweaks to this engine to boost its fuel economy.

As for the release date, expect a summer 2018 release. It will, however, likely make its debut at either the 2017 LA Auto Show or the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

When it comes to aesthetics, we don’t expect major styling changes and instead anticipate more functional modifications. This includes milking every advantage out of the D6 platform and using more aluminum.

Finally, we expect the 2019 Ford Explorer to continue to be a popular seller. The 2016 Ford Explorer, after all, sold close to 250,000 units, making it the 14th best-selling car in the U.S. for that year. It should also be noted that the Ford Explorer is a seven-seater, which has seen a rise in popularity.

Instead of waiting until mid-2018 for the 2019 model, visit Folsom Lake Ford today to check out the current Ford Explorer. Our Ford dealers near Sacramento, CA, will introduce you to the various trims and available add-ons. We hope to see you soon!