What Is The Point Of The Ford Explorer Sport?S

We've known for a while that Ford is unleashing a higher performance version of the Explorer this fall.

Dubbed the Explorer Sport, it has 365 horsepower from its twin turbo V6 and gets 22 MPG on the highway, the best of any seven-passenger SUV. It's basically an Explorer SHO. But what's the point?

The Taurus SHO and Explorer Sport share so much in common that it isn't funny. It has the same underpinnings and engine. It just gets worse gas mileage and is higher, which means it handles worse.

This is a Taurus SHO wagon with a lift kit. The biggest issue is that the off road cred that the Explorer used to have is further tarnished due to the gigantic wheels and the unibody construction.

Why does it exist? It's simple: Sales. Ford will sell tons of these to people that want power but not a lame Taurus sedan. They want something bigger that will handle and stop worse, and the Explorer Sport will fill that niche.

On the other hand, if you'd told us a few years ago we'd be able to get something AWD with room for seven, gets 22 MPG and has 365 horsepower we'd have said: in your dreams.

What do you think of it?