Ford Explorer is a Super Sleeper with V6 Power: Truckin’ Fast Wednesday

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Explorer runs high 12s, making this 4.0-liter-powered a worthy adversary for many stock muscle cars.

This week’s “Truckin’ Fast Wednesday” video comes to us from the BigKleib34 YouTube channel and it features a second generation Ford Explorer turning in impressive times at Cecil County Dragway. This SUV isn’t as quick as some of the vehicles that we showcase in our Wednesday segment, but in running 12-second elapsed times and looking like a run-of-the-mill daily driver, this slick sleeper is worth a few minutes of our time.

The Machine

All that we know about this Ford Explorer is that it is from the second generation, it is powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine, that engine is fitted with a supercharger and this particular SUV is the smaller, lighter two-door version. It is remarkably clean for an SUV that is at least 16-years old, right down to the original wheels, but this Explorer is far-quicker than anything like it in factory form.

Ford Explorer Sleeper in the Box

In standard form, this Explorer likely packed 210 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque from the overhead camshaft version of the Cologne V6. However, adding the supercharger clearly boosts the power levels significantly, allowing this spotless SUV to run in the high-12s and low-13s on the drag strip.

Track Passes

Now, try to ignore the fact that this Explorer is racing against considerably quicker cars. For some reason, every run is against some variety of modified Corvette, all of which run in the 11-second range. This isn’t about the actual races, but rather the track times being laid down by this average-looking SUV.

Explorer Launching Against C6

On the first run, the Explorer takes on a C6 Corvette that spends forever waiting to launch while the SUV left early, giving the Chevy the red-light win. On the top end, the V6-powered Ford ran a 13.15 at 102.56 miles per hour.

Explorer Beats Corvette

On the second run, it is a C7 Corvette in the near lane and on this run, the Explorer red-lights again, running a 13.16 at 102.5 miles per hour. This same Chevy is in the near lane for the final run as well and once again, it ran in the 10-second range, but this last run was the best for the SUV. The stock-looking Explorer runs a 12.98 at 103.21 miles per hour, making this one quick sleeper.

Explorer Loses to C7 Corvette

Crank up your speakers and enjoy!

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"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

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