The Ford Expedition name will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2022, and the appearance of camouflaged Expeditions on Michigan roads this summer hinted that Dearborn was working on upgrades to celebrate. Sure enough, the refreshed 2022 Ford Expedition will bring new tech features and a new Timberline trim with added off-road ability.
Ford takes the wraps off of the refreshed Expedition today at Detroit’s Motor Bella show, revealing the SUV’s first visual refresh since the current generation model’s introduction in late 2017. All 2022 Expeditions will get more standard safety features, larger infotainment screens integrated into a redesigned dashboard and more ornate front and rear end designs, but the most extensive additions are concentrated at the top end of the lineup.
The automaker’s CoPilot-360 system already offered a good array of standard active-safety extras, but redesigned electronics architecture for 2022 adds even more. A new intersection alert senses oncoming traffic and applies the brakes to prevent the vehicle from being hit. It’s joined by evasive steering assist, a redesigned surround-view system and rear automatic emergency braking.
Inside the Expedition’s cabin, drivers will be greeted by a revised dashboard featuring a standard 12-inch infotainment screen, replacing an 8-inch unit. A vast 15.5-inch portrait style screen shared with the Mustang Mach-E will be optional and standard on the top-tier Platinum. A new 12.4-inch digital driver display is also optional.
Beyond these changes the biggest news is the Timberline, an all-new trim which will receive significant hardware upgrades for its off-road mission, but the Platinum trim will add even more driver-assist gear and a new Stealth Performance package brings a high-output engine.
Expedition Timberline Targets Tahoe Z71 and Wagoneer
With interest in off-road activities surging and Americans hitting camping grounds in record numbers, Ford unveiled its Timberline sub-brand of extra-capable off-road SUVs earlier this year with the Explorer Timberline.
Ford isn’t alone in crafting a sub-brand for outdoor adventurers, with Subaru also launching its “Wilderness” line this year, but the Expedition Timberline is the first such offering among traditional full-size, body-on frame SUVs. This new version is aimed at the Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, GMC Yukon AT4 and Jeep’s all-new Wagoneer.
Like the GM twins, the big Ford has always been able to comport itself well off-road but it’s sheer size and the requirement that it serve many on-road needs mean it’s never been a rock crawler or dune basher. The Expedition Timberline follows the pattern of the Tahoe Z71, equipped with extra ground clearance, heavier duty running gear and revised front-end styling that improves approach angles. On paper, at least, it matches its opponents well and beats them on a few stats.
A longer-travel suspension gives the Expedition 10.6 inches of ground clearance. That’s up from the regular Expedition’s 9.8 and better than the 10-inch maximums of its GM and Jeep rivals. It should also help absorb the impact of deep ruts and rough back-country terrain a little better.
The new front-end styling allows for an approach angle of 28.5 degrees, up from 23.3 on the regular Expedition. That compares with 24 degrees on the Wagoneer but 31.5 on the Tahoe Z71. The Timberline’s 23.7-degree departure angle falls evenly between the Z71’s 21.5 and the Wagoneer’s 25 degrees. The Timberline will only be offered on the regular Expedition and not the stretched Expedition MAX, with its even-longer rear overhang.
In addition to its taller stature and model-specific front-end look, featuring a blacked-out grille with red accents and two red tow hooks like the Explorer Timberline, the Expedition Timberline will feature front skid plates and underbody cladding from the F-150 Raptor. Further leveraging tech from Ford’s other SUVs, the model will also receive the Bronco’s trail turn assist technology, a real advantage in a vehicle this large.
Although serious off-roading usually happens at slow speeds, the Timberline will get a hefty increase in power. While the regular 2022 Expeditions will retain 2021’s twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, the Timberline will get a high-output version of the engine rated at 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, up from 375 and 470, respectively. It’s also more than the Tahoe or Wagoneer V8s, although the pricier Grand Wagoneer offers even more juice.
Timberlines get an upgraded interior in keeping with the Explorer Timberline, black with reddish-orange stitching and accents. It’ll also get special badging and Forged Green paint now associated with Timberline debuts. As on the Explorer, other colors will be available after launch.
The Timberline isn’t the only mechanically special Expedition for 2022. The Timberline’s high-output engine will be shared with the Stealth performance package, which is an on-road focused variation. In addition to the potent powertrain, this new package will come standard with the automaker’s Continuously Controlled Damping adaptive suspension and road preview. This latter system uses sensors to examine the road ahead and pre-emptively brace the suspension for whatever bumps are coming.
Ford’s performance-oriented SUVs, on the Edge and Explorer, have traditionally used the ST badge inherited from older performance cars, but not in this case, says Ford Expedition brand manager Devon McParlane.
The Stealth performance package isn’t a stand-alone model but an expansion of the existing Stealth appearance package launched in 2019, primarily consisting of blackout trim, 20-inch painted black wheels, and a black interior with red stitching. “Our customers love the design cues and it’s been really successful,” McParlane said a Q&A session about the new Expedition. “So we felt strongly about continuing the Stealth brand and adding a performance variant.”
Chevrolet and GMC’s top-trim versions of the Tahoe and Yukon both offer potent 6.2-liter V8s and adaptive suspensions, against which the Stealth performance package may be more powerful, but similarly-priced alternative. Their adaptive suspensions also don’t have functions similar to road preview.
The Stealth Edition is a nearly $6,000 extra on the 2021 Expedition, and the performance package will likely cost more. Pricing on the 2022 Expedition won’t be announced until closer to the on-sale date, however.
Top-trim Expedition Platinum models already came with even more standard driver-assist gear in 2021, but for 2022 the Platinum gets another competitive boost. In an answer to GM’s SuperCruise, the poshest Expedition gets Blue Cruise, Ford’s similar system that enables hands-free driving on certain sections of divided highway called “blue zones.”
Blue Cruise also incorporates a driver monitoring system to make sure their eyes are on the road and their hands ready to take over in an emergency or when transitioning into a non-blue zone.
The system will be standard on the Platinum but available in some of the other Expedition trims. The hardware that makes it work will be included in every Expedition that comes with adaptive cruise control, but the system will be available by subscription. “The future will be subscription based,” said Ford SUV Program Director Bill Gubing in the Expedition Q&A.
Curiously, one piece of hardware many Ford observers were expecting is not included in the updated SUV. Ford’s hybrid powertrain from the F-150, a closely related vehicle, won’t be offered in the 2022 Expedition. “We’re looking at electrifying our entire portfolio in time,” said Expedition chief engineer Mike Kipley, but he added that the team felt the current powerplant was sufficient and didn’t opine on a possible timeline for hybrid or electric power.
2022 Expeditions will arrive at dealerships early in the first quarter of next year.