Ford rolled out another modified SUV that builds on its upcoming Timberline off-road models. Ford’s Off-Grid concept just debuted at Overland Expo East, and it’s set to show up at SEMA. The build starts with a 2022 Ford Expedition Timberline, which the carmaker insists is the most off-road capable version of its SUV ever.
Jeep expressed doubt over the claim, and while I wouldn’t take either an Expedition or a Wagoneer on anything tougher than a fire road, the business case for Ford’s newest off-road lineup is obvious. Ford says this is a glimpse into how its newest Expedition can be configured for folks who want to hit the trails.
This concept is a riff on the Expedition Timberline, which is set to go on sale early next year. The Timberline model will be powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, making 440 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. It’ll have 10.6 inches of ground clearance and a slightly wider track than the standard Expedition.
It’ll also feature the same Trail Turn assist system as the one found in the Bronco, and similar underbody protection to the F-150 Raptor. It’ll have a two-speed transfer case, selectable 4L, 4H — on top of different drive modes accessed via rotary selector. It’ll come with 18-inch wheels and 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain tires. The Off-Grid concept takes that formula and dials it up even more.
It adds about what you’d expect to the standard Timberline trim. The Off-Grid gets a skid plate for the transmission. Ground clearance gets a 2.5-inch boost (13.1-inches total,) courtesy of a custom Fox damper-equipped suspension. The tires go up in size from the Goodyear A/Ts mentioned above to 35-inch General Grabbers. But the wheels go down in size by an inch, to 17-inches, and I’m all for it! Sidewall.
The downside is that the Off-Grid concept does away with the third-row seats, which means less room for passengers, unless they’re asleep.
Of course, one of the main features here is the Turtleback trailer. Ford put it on matching wheels and tires, along with a matching vinyl wrap depicting a topographic map scheme — just in case we missed the off-road focus. The trailer has a stove, sink, and drop-down tables. There’s storage for other campground goods, too, both on the trailer and in the SUV’s custom drawers. A full size-spare rides out back on the trailer, but I’d want two spares if I were towing.
Ford emphasizes the towing capacity of its new Expedition, which is up to 9,300 pounds. The Off-Grid concept is powered by the same V6 EcoBoost as the Timberline. It’ll likely be a decent machine for the few times customers actually need its off-roady bits.