I like the deception of the deranged exhaust tips of the Ford Explorer ST

Image for article titled I love the deceit of the 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, folks. Because if you’ve never looked closely at exhaust tips on the Ford Explorer STyou’re about to enter a liminal space between truth and falsehood, an area occupied entirely and exclusively by the four chrome deception rings fitted to the rear of every Explorer ST Ford has built since the high-performance variant launched in 2020.

Image for article titled I love the deceit of the 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 spotted a 2020 Explorer ST in the parking lot. Somehow this must have been the first time in my life that I’ve gotten close enough to an ST to figure out what’s going on with those exhaust tips – and again, I know that I’m behind on this, and the Explorer superfans all had their laughs and moved on. But it blew my mind, and now I’m sharing it with you.

Image for article titled I love the deceit of the Ford Explorer ST's deranged exhaust tips

Photo: Bob Sorokanich

Take a close look at what is happening here. The tips are polished trim tips connected to a swept-back exhaust. Here’s another angle to give you a better understanding of what’s going on.

Image for article titled I love the deceit of the Ford Explorer ST's deranged exhaust tips

Photo: Bob Sorokanich

And another angle:

Image for article titled I love the deceit of the Ford Explorer ST's deranged exhaust tips

Photo: Bob Sorokanich

Fraud! Deception! A lying affront to all that exhausts! And yet, somehow…. not.

We can’t call these “fake exhaust tips”, like what we see on certain Lamborghinis Miura and the most modern products from the VW Group. Unlike these examples, the exhaust actually flows through the tips fitted to the Ford Explorer ST! Just in the most deranged and unexpected way possible.

I’m having trouble finding an analogy here. It’s like having a trash can where the lid is permanently stuck on and everything goes in and out through a trap door at the bottom. Or a house where the front door key opened a secret portal in a white wall a few feet away.

I do not know. My brain is completely shattered by the Explorer ST exhaust tips.

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

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

So they’re not “fake”, but they certainly don’t work the way their picture makes you think. They’re also not “working” – the car would run exactly the same if you took them off. But again, that’s true of any polished metal decorative ring that an automaker might attach to the end of actual exhaust pipes. By definition, it is therefore a real functional exhaust tip. The one who engages in a delicious and totally unexpected subterfuge.

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

Image for article titled I love the deceit of the Ford Explorer ST's deranged exhaust tips

Photo: Bob Sorokanich

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