We take Ford’s hot-rodded SUV, the Explorer ST, and prepare it for off-road and snow life with the help of ALPHAequipt Grenade wheels and General Tire’s Grabber A/TX.
The Explorer ST is Ford’s 400 horsepower, 415 lb-ft of torque performance SUV powered by a 3.0L twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 that features a 10-speed transmission, (optional) All-Wheel-Drive, and a handling-focused suspension tuning.
Ford’s ST (Sports Technologies) vehicles have built a reputation for being extremely engaging and fun to drive vehicles, like the Ford Fiesta and Focus ST. The Explorer ST adds to the lineup and is meant to provide a lot of versatility for any occasion and destination. We must admit that this is one great-handling, fast, and fun to drive SUV worthy of the “ST” badging.
We know that defining the use of the tire is the first step when Sizing and Selecting a Tire for PERFORMANCE. We plan on taking our Explorer ST into heavy off-roading and snow conditions, so we are going to need an “On-/Off Road All-Terrain Tire” with a Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) rating.
Since our tire requirements called for a tire category that was not offered in the 21-inch stock wheel size, we were on the hunt for a smaller performance off-road wheel to be used with a tire with a fatter sidewall. Fortunately, ALPHAequipt’s Grenade wheels are available in Explorer-specific fitment of 18×9 +35 offset and a 5×114.3 lug pattern. This is the same fitment as the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Mustang, and is the same width and only 2.5mm more offset than the stock Explorer ST wheel, so we were confident that there would not be any issues with clearance or drivability.
ALPHAequipt has been around since 2019 and are often found on many Ford F150s and Raptors in addition to Toyotas, Jeep 4X4s as well as niche vehicles like the Mercedes G-Wagon, Porsche Cayenne and Subaru crowds in the off-road and “overlanding” communities. We are one of the first Explorers to use ALPHAequipt wheels which have a great size and application for this model. 17×7.5 wheel options are also available with +35 and +15 offsets for Explorers with smaller brakes looking for even larger sidewall tire options.
All ALPHAequipt wheels feature dual-valve stems, one of which is heavily shrouded to protect expensive TPMS sensors from damage during extreme rock-crawling. The Grenade’s lip features an aggressive pattern that adds a lot of character to the wheel.