SEMA 2019

Ford's 10 best SEMA builds show that what happens in Vegas doesn't have to stay in Vegas

Competitive off-road racing prodigy Christopher Polvoorde has put together an all-wheel-drive Ford Transit cargo van to keep up with his extreme adventure lifestyle.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

It all started five decades ago under the grandstand at Dodger Stadium. What is now the grandeur of the SEMA Show takes over Las Vegas for one week each year, bringing together automotive industry companies and buyers from around the globe in a showcase of the best the aftermarket industry has to offer.

Ford's 2019 SEMA display is the largest original equipment manufacturer exhibit at this year's show.

"It wouldn't be a SEMA show without some F-150 and Mustang love from our builder partners," said Eric Cin, global director, Ford Vehicle Personalization and Accessories. "These two iconic nameplates-the are always the most popular Ford vehicles throughout the show and each of these builds gives a refreshed glimpse at some of the latest trends in customization. There's a growing hunger for consumers to personalize their SUVs, which have a huge range of possibilities from lowered street rides to off-road overlanding."

AutomotiveMap chose the 10 best customized vehicles the automaker showcased, out of the more than 50 displayed, that highlight the myriad of different flavors that everyday vehicles can be customized or personalized for current or future owners who have different needs, interests and passions.

J Robert Marketing and Attitude Performance Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew FX4

J Robert Marketing and Attitude Performance Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew FX4

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Just in time for Veteran's Day, this bad-boy off-roader pumps up the patriot theme. The build platoon incorporated the talents of veteran-owned and operated Black Rifle Coffee Co. and Kryptek Outdoor Group plus J Robert Marketing and Attitude Performance, who joined forces with CPV Paint & Graphics and Soundz Plus to create this 4WD monster.

Upgrades include a Ford Performance cat-back exhaust with black chrome tips by Borla; a BDS Suspension 6-inch lift kit with Fox 2.5 remote reservoir coil-overs; Warn Industries front and rear bumpers with winch and fender flares; Yakima Load Warrior basket roof rack with accessories; Rigid off-road LED lighting; an A.R.E. truck cap and Obskura-Nox Kryptek camouflage vinyl graphics. KMC XD DemoDog 20-inch wheels and Interco SS M-16 tires move the tricked-out truck with Katzkin leather seats, Rockford Fosgate sound system, Indel B fridge, Switch Pros eight switch panel power and Cobra Electronics radios and electronic accessories inside.

MAD Industries Ford Escape

MAD Industries Ford Escape

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Surf's up! Or, would you rather head to the mountains with your fat tires this weekend? This compact 2020 Ford Escape will provide the four wheels to escape the city, plus carry your boards or bikes on the Ford Accessories roof rack crossbars and Yakima bike carrier round. There's room for extra gear and goods inside the cabin that is tricked out with a Miko ultra-suede headliner, custom trim in matte gray and a kicking Rockford Fosgate audio system. Head-turning 21-inch Rotiform OZR wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires and Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs add low-riding style, along with Custom BASF RM paint.

DRAGG Ford F-150 Lariat Sport SuperCrew 4x4

DRAGG Ford F-150 Lariat Sport SuperCrew 4x4

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

"The Desert Defender" clearly is no drag! This 4WD pickup is set up to protect and serve in the backcountry and first-responder world. Upgrades include a Ford Performance supercharger with TVS technology, cold-air intake and Borla's cat-back exhaust sporting black chrome tips; BDS Suspension's 6-inch lift kit; Fox race series shocks; Wilwood Performance brakes; and DSM&T's harnesses and fasteners. It rides on 20-inch Fifteen52 TurboMac heavy-duty wheels and BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 rubber.

There's a Warn Industries recovery kit, chase rack, and rock slider side steps, along with Ford Accessories Black Appearance Package components. Its exterior features a body wrap designed by Ford Vehicle Personalization.

Addictive Desert Design contributed stealth fighter bumpers and a honey badger rear spare tire rack comes from American Truck. Other exterior features include: Bushwhacker fender flares, Rigid front bumper LED light bar, rock lighting and chase rack light bar, a Federal Signal police lighting package by West Coast Lights & Sirens, and Mohave Parts' Diablo bumper shackles.

Inside are Ford Accessories subwoofer and amp by Kicker Audio, body colored trim accents, and a police radio system by West Coast Lights & Sirens.

Drag Racing Against Gangs & Graffiti (DRAGG)'s nonprofit youth-oriented automotive after-school program encourages youth to consider a future in the automotive industry.

MAD Industries Ford Expedition Stealth

MAD Industries Ford Expedition Stealth

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

MAD Industries has turned the daily-driver, family-hauler 2019 Ford Expedition into a serious weekend adventure ride. A Whipple EcoBoost air induction system with Icon Dynamics Stage 2 coilover suspension insures ride performance on road and off, while Fuel Forged FF-45 22-inch monoblock wheels with Nitto Ridge Grappler tires will turn eyeballs in the city and add assurance on the trail. Serious stopping power comes from PowerStop Z36 high-performance rotors and ceramic formula extreme brake pads. Added lighting of the land comes from an Adapt 50-inch lightbar by Rigid and SR-L series spreader with halos that illuminate the landscape. Yakima's SkyRise rooftop tent provides shelter.

LGE-CTS Motorsports Baja Forged Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab XLT

LGE-CTS Motorsports Baja Forged Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab XLT

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Chase the race or camp on-the-run? A veritable Swiss army knife of add-ons enables the LGE-CTS Motorsports Baja Forged to function as a mobile command center, campsite and workshop. The Pronghorn modular utility flatbed paired with LGE-CTS Motorsports rear custom canopy nixes the standard bed for flexible storage and adds private camping space beyond the Tepui rooftop tent. The build features a roof rack illuminated by integrated Rigid LED lighting, an Icon 4.5-inch Stage 7 suspension lift, and 18-inch Method Race 304 NV HD bronze wheels wrapped in 37-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires.

On board for the ride are a Warn Industries 10S winch, ARB USA 6.5-foot awning with LED lights, Element refrigerator with freezer, and touring camp chairs. A Ford Accessories vehicle safe is located in the floor console by Console Vault, and Pelican Case protective gear and BOXO tools on BuiltRight Industries tool and tech panels add value.

Blood Type Racing Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid

Blood Type Racing Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A walk on the wild side can also be fuel efficient. This Blood Type Racing concept uses the platform of the 2020 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid to blend the company's 3.3-liter hybrid engine with a Borla cat-back exhaust punctuated by black chrome tips to enhance looks and add a more enthusiastic sound. Other black chrome trim elements include the front grille and rear bumper accents by Lacks Trim Systems, door handle accents, and lower door moldings. A half-inch suspension leveling kit plus Ford Performance skid plate paired with 20-inch Ace Alloy AFF09 black chrome wheels wrapped in Toyo Tires Open Country A/T II rubber bump ups off-road capabilities.

Winter sports enthusiasts will be charmed by the two custom BTR Edition snowboards by Blank Snowboards that ride on a Yakima carrier mounted to Ford Accessories roof rack crossbars. A Ford Accessories rear seat entertainment system by Voxx adds entertainment in the cabin.

BDS Suspension Ford F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab XLT

BDS Suspension Ford F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab XLT

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Taj Mahal of Super Dutys for the job site or overlanding is motivated by Ford's 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel. BDS Suspension's Go Beyond project outfits this brawny beast as an ultimate off-road adventurer for work and play. Upfits include a BDS Suspension 4-inch radius arm lift with Fox 2.5 factory race Dual Speed Compression coilovers and shocks; enlarged wheel openings with 40-inch Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3 tires mounted on 20-inch Method Race 605 NV-series wheels; Addictive Desert Designs stealth fighter front bumper with Warn Industries Zeon 12S winch; and Rigid LED lights for 4WD trekking at night.

In the rear is a Knapheide aluminum service box for storage and a hard-shell tent and awning; Dometic CFX-75DZW electric refrigerator, two-burner gas grill, and propane tank with custom mount; Ridetech air compressor kit with air tank; and power inverter. A collapsible aluminum table and camp chairs take care of domestic duties. Custom agate black and chroma elite copper paint outside is paired with custom Katzkin black and mahogany leather seats and Kicker VSS audio system in the cabin.

Prefix Ford Explorer

Prefix Ford Explorer

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

If race support is your thing, Prefix's 2020 Ford Explorer will make you king! Built to honor to the men and women who toil behind the scenes on the safety and support side of motorsports, this customized midsized sport ute has a lowered suspension, Ford Performance skid plate, and 20-inch GWG wheels with Michelin tires.

Added value comes from the Whelen emergency siren/signal system, Ford Performance recovery kit, and Ford Accessories first-aid and roadside assistance kit by DC Safety.

Already on the job for the 2020 Trans Am race season, it will perform parade laps and pace vehicle duties.

Additional customization includes Recaro Cross Sportster ORV race seats inside while the exterior gets a two-tone red paint finish with white racing stripes, Ford Performance skid plate, Whelen emergency signal, and 20-inch GWG wheels wrapped in Michelin tires.

California Pony Cars Ford Mustang GT Fastback

California Pony Cars Ford Mustang GT Fastback

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Designers at California Pony Cars joined with Ford's performance engineers to enhance the styling statement and thrill factor of this 2019 Ford Mustang GT. A Ford Performance supercharger with TVS technology and cat-back exhaust with Borla's black chrome tips boost the 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine's power, while Ford Performance lowering springs combine with forged multi-piece 21-inch wheels by Triumph Performance with TOYO Proxes T1R tires to embolden the stance.

Ensuring safe and modulated stopping power are Baer EradiSpeed 15-inch front and 13-inch rear two-piece rotors.

California Pony Cars custom tailored the hood, decklid, side skirts, grille, front chin spoiler, rear diffuser, and wing with wicker bill, rear blackout panel, mirror covers, wheel arches, front bumper air duct panels, and an aluminum splitter kit. LED lighting is from Diode Dynamics.

Ford Performance inserted Recaro leather seats for the 'Stang's riders, while California Pony Cars added a customized carbon fiber center console, dashboard trim kit and window switch plates, CPC armrest covers, door sill plates, and coin tray. A 1,500-watt Kicker Audio system, LinksWell GEN II 11.8-inch high definition touch screen, and Diode Dynamics LED strip accent lighting finish the cockpit.

2019 Ford Performance Parts Ford Ranger

2019 Ford Performance Parts Ford Ranger

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Small can be big! This midsize Ranger is overflowing with a collection of Ford Performance Parts and other aftermarket goodies that will let adventure-minded enthusiasts journey further into the backcountry for a night, weekend or even longer.

Ride enhancements from Ford Performance are the specially-tuned Fox off-road suspension leveling kit providing 2-inches of front lift, Ranger Raptor wheels with BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires, and a hood-hinge light kit with Rigid DSS-Series light.

It's loaded with extras from Rigid that include an underbody rock light kit, 30-inch SR-Series Pro lightbar on top of front bumper, two 6-inch SR-Series Pro lightbars for the front bumper's lower opening, and D-Series 2x2 LED cube lights in the fog light openings.

Other goodies include a Warn 9.5 XP winch mounted on a winch-capable front bumper, Ford Performance by Warn Industries heavy-duty recovery kit and red tow hooks, Tepui HyBox rooftop tent, a decked truck bed storage system, RSI Smart Cap, ARB Elements refrigerator/freezer, and ActionTrax recovery boards.

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New SUV Review

2021 Ford Bronco review: Return of a legend

Several of the Bronco's body panels are removable.

Ford

Ford says its 2021 Bronco is 'Built Wild' like its wild-horse namesake and, as this iconic model returns to the U.S. market after a 25-year hiatus, it's ready to gallop to glory once again. Released from the Ford stables in 1965, the Bronco was America's first-ever "sport ute" and heralded as the first "4WD sports car" with both off-road capability and on-road competency; it was also dubbed the "G.O.A.T." (goes over any terrain). The all-new model is reincarnated as a modern-day midsize SUV with heritage-inspired styling; rugged engineering; and a collection of smart technologies for the backcountry and four-wheeling, as well as for a smoothish ride around town and on the highway. It marries the tough attributes of Ford's F-Series trucks with a fully-boxed steel-ladder frame and advanced 4WD systems to the performance spirit of the Mustang—and, once again, is nicknamed G.O.A.T! Larger than its stablemate, the Bronco Sport competes with vehicles like the Jeep Cherokee, while the Bronco is a direct competitor to the Jeep Wrangler. It goes on sale this summer starting at $29,995

Bronco Trims and Configurations


2021 Ford Bronco Two- and four-door versions of the Bronco are available.Ford


The new Bronco comes in 4WD only, and is available in a two-door version that seats four people or a four-door model with room for five, plus hard-top and soft-top options. There are two engine choices: A turbocharged 2.3-liter I-4 that offers up to 300 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque (best-in-class) is standard. It pairs with either a 10-speed auto or a 7-speed manual. The optional engine is a 2.7-liter V6 with a twin turbo that produces 330 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque, which is also best-in-class. The V6 is available only with the ten-speed automatic transmission.

The manual transmission has six traditional gears, plus a "crawler gear" that has a best-in-class gear ratio of 94.75:1. There are seven Bronco models that include Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, Wildtrak and a limited First Edition that quickly sold out when order banks opened.

Bronco Features and Styling

The Bronco comes in a staggering number of exclusive color combinations that vary between models. The highly configurable off-roader is designed for both novice and hard-core 4WD experts, with easily removable roof panels, bumper sections and doors that can be stored in the trunk.

Though all-new, the latest Bronco takes its design cues from the proportions, square, boxy looks and flat sides of the original model. Large, open wheel wells are amplified by removeable bolt-on front and rear fenders, while the Bronco's fender flares sport quick-release fasteners to help with customization. Interior appointments vary by model but are designed to appeal to the heart and lifestyle of weekend warriors and 4WD adventurers with durable, with waterproof surfaces, an off-road performance app, and an available 12-inch LCD touchscreen paired with Ford's SYNC4 system touchscreen (an 8-inch is standard), among other communication and audio features. A 12-volt hook-up and USB power connections are at-the-ready to mount cameras, navigation units, phones or other devices.

Bronco First Drive Impressions


2021 Ford Bronco Several color combinations are available with various Bronco trims.Ford


We tried out 5 different models during our test drive that began in the urban environment of Austin, TX and took us to Ford's first Off Roadeo 4WD playground in Marble Falls. Our road-going drive was in a 2-door Outer Banks model with the manual transmission. On the plus side, the manual shifts smoothly, and we had the opportunity to use the crawler gear at a local boat launch. On a steep uphill over loose-surface terrain-we found it suitably impressive.

In general, there was good power, plenty of torque, and competent steering that carved the twisty roads with ease. The Bronco offers surprisingly smooth braking, although we'd like the brakes to be a bit "taller" for more aggressive stopping. Notable is the quietness of the cabin and comfort of the seats. Our only complaints were seatbelts that are not height-adjustable and a couple of ergonomics complaints for our 5'2" driver (although Ford is looking into making changes for both!).

We navigated our way through three off-road courses designed by 4WD experts that included rocky terrain, muddy motoring and dirt two-track with up and downhill climbs. We were impressed with Ford's Terrain Management System with G.O.A.T. (goes over any terrain) modes, which allow up to seven driver-selectable settings (Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, plus Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-roading). Two 4WD systems include a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case and an optional two-speed electromechanical transfer case with an auto mode for on-demand selection between 2H and 4H. A Dana 44 solid rear axle and Dana independent front differential unit are both available, as electronic locking differentials-provide more grunt. Bead-lock 17-inch wheels compliment aggressive off-road tires.

We also tested the Bronco's Trail Toolbox, which is a suite of off-road technologies that includes Trail Control (cruise control for low-speed trail driving), class-exclusive Trail Turn Assist (tightens off-road turning radiuses through torque vectoring), and Trail One-Pedal Drive (aids in acceleration/braking control for precise and confident low-speed rock crawling).

The Bronco's four-wheel-drive attributes include:

  • Up to 11.5-inches of ground clearance
  • 43.2-degree approach, 26.3-degree breakover and 37.0-degree departure angles
  • Best-in-class water fording of up to 33.5 inches (w/ optional 35-inch tires that are available on every series)
  • Steel underbody armor to protect vulnerable parts and an available front bash plate
  • Heavy-duty modular steel front bumper w/ an integrated accessory winch mount
  • Side rock rails
  • Standard front and rear tow hooks
  • Sway bar disconnect
  • A 360-degree camera system with class-exclusive off-road spotter views for additional visibility in technical off-road terrain
  • Trail sites (a styling cue from the first Broncos) on the front fenders that also serve as tie-downs with a 150-lb. capacity for securing longer items, such as canoes.

The Bronco moves with ease at both slow- and high-speeds as a result of its class-leading front and rear suspension travel with a high-performance off-road stability suspension system (HOSS). Up front is an independent front suspension set-up with a solid rear axle with long-travel coil springs; suspension systems vary by model-for instance, the Sasquatch off-road package (available on all models) and standard on Badlands is long-travel position-sensitive Bilstein dampers, with end-stop control valves that allow more articulation, reduce harshness and bring durability.


2021 Ford Bronco The Bronco can be ordered with either a hard or soft top.Ford


After years of buildup and speculation, the Ford Bronco had to be good, and for the most part it accomplishes that goal. The combination of technology and off-road prowess, combined with a mostly reasonable price tag, should be enough for the Ford to put up serious competition against the Jeep Wrangler and other off-road SUVs.

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New SUV

New Jeep Compass Coming Soon

The Compass gets a major update for 2022.

Stellantis/Jeep

The Chicago Auto Show is happening now, which means we've already seen a few new models and concepts. Just yesterday, Jeep introduced the new 2022 Compass compact SUV. It gets a new design inside and out, updated tech, and a load of new available driver aids. The Compass' refresh comes as new models from Ford, Subaru and others could cut into Jeep's off-road dominance.

As it was in previous model years, the new Compass is powered by a 2.4-liter "Tigershark" four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. It's good for up to 31 mpg on the highway in 2WD models and can deliver a max towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds in 4WD models. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for Compass Sport and Latitude 4X2 models, while all others get a nine-speed automatic transmission that can handle the 20:1 crawl ratio setting in the Trailhawk model.

An all-new Latitude LUX trim joins the Compass lineup for 2022 as well. It features leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, a seven-inch full-color gauge cluster, and the larger 10.1-inch screen.


2022 Jeep Compass The new Compass is more upscale than its predecessor.Stellantis/Jeep


The Compass comes with a class-leading 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, but higher trims get an even larger 10.1-inch unit. It offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and runs Uconnect 5, a colorful, responsive infotainment system with advanced features and tech.

Several new safety features make an appearance, but most are added-cost options. The highway assist system offers a semi-autonomous driving feature, which Jeep says will become available later. Other tech includes traffic sign recognition, standard pedestrian/cyclist automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and a long list of more traditional advanced driver aids like blind spot monitoring and parking sensors.

The Compass lineup for 2022 includes five trims: Sport, Latitude, Latitude LUX, Limited, and Trailhawk. Pricing for the new Compass starts at $26,490, including a $1,495 destination charge. At the top of the lineup, the Trailhawk and Limited models both start at $32,890. It's expected to start arriving on dealers' lots in fall 2021.


2022 Jeep Compass New color schemes highlight the Compass' interior.Stellantis/Jeep

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