I love the deception of the Ford Explorer ST’s deranged exhaust tips

I love the deception of the Ford Explorer ST’s deranged exhaust tips

Image for article titled I Love the Deception of Ford Explorer ST's Deranged Exhaust Tips

Photo: Ford

Probably half of you already know what I’m talking about just from the title. For the other half: Buckle up, friends. Because if you’ve never looked closely at the exhaust tips on Ford Explorer STyou’re about to enter a liminal space between truth and falsity, a zone occupied fully and exclusively by the four rings of chrome-plated deception installed on the back of every Explorer ST Ford has built since the high performance variant launched in 2020.

Image for article titled I Love the Deception of Ford Explorer ST's Deranged Exhaust Tips

Photo: Bob Sorokanich

I was inspired to write this after a visit to my local Lowe’s yesterday afternoon, when I saw a 2020-ish Explorer ST in the parking lot. Somehow this must have been the first time in my life I got close enough to an ST to understand what’s going on with those exhaust tips – and again, I know I’m late on this subject and Explorer superfans have all had their laugh and moved on. But this blew my mind, and now I’m sharing it with you.

Image for article titled I Love the Deception of Ford Explorer ST's Deranged Exhaust Tips

Photo: Bob Sorokanich

Take a closer look at what’s going on here. The tips are polished dress-up bits connected to a downward facing exhaust. Here’s another angle to give you a better understanding of what’s going on.

Image for article titled I Love the Deception of Ford Explorer ST's Deranged Exhaust Tips

Photo: Bob Sorokanich

And another angle:

Image for article titled I Love the Deception of Ford Explorer ST's Deranged Exhaust Tips

Photo: Bob Sorokanich

Fraud! Fraud! A lying insult to all things exhaust! And yet, like…. not.

We can’t call these “fake exhaust tips”, like what we’re looking at certain Lamborghini Miuras and most modern VW Group products. Unlike these examples, exhaust actually flows through the tips installed on the Ford Explorer ST! Only in the most confused, unexpected way possible.

I’m struggling to think of an analogy here. It’s like having a dustbin where the lid is permanently glued on and everything goes in and out through a hatch at the bottom. Or a house where the key to the front door opened a secret portal in a blank wall a few meters away.

I do not know. My brain is completely blown by the Explorer ST’s exhaust tips.

POV: You're the parking lot of Lowe's in Brooklyn, NY.

POV: You’re the parking lot of Lowe’s in Brooklyn, NY.
Photo: Bob Sorokanich

So they aren’t “fake”, but they certainly don’t work the way their picture would lead you to believe they would. They aren’t “functional” either – the car would work exactly the same if you removed them. But then again, that’s true for any decorative ring of polished metal that an automaker might attach to the end of the tailpipes themselves. Definitely, this is a real, working exhaust tip. One who just happens to engage in delightful, totally unexpected subterfuge.

I thought I would hate it, but I love it. God bless you, sneaky exhaust tips.

Image for article titled I Love the Deception of Ford Explorer ST's Deranged Exhaust Tips

Photo: Bob Sorokanich

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