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.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is here.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

After years of development, test mules, and spy shots, Ford has finally pulled the wraps off its long-awaited Mach E all-electric crossover. Set to go on sale in late 2020 and early 2021, the Mach-E made its debut in Los Angeles just days before the 2019 L.A. Auto Show. Here's a quick look at everything you need to know.

There will be five variants (and lots of numbers).

Select: Available in early 2021, this base model will start at $43,895 (all prices exclude $1,100 destination and any state or federal tax incentives). The Select will come with rear-wheel-drive and 230 miles of range, while the AWD will have 210 miles of range. Both versions will have 255 horsepower; RWD will have 306 pound-feet of torque and AWD will have 417 pound-feet of torque. It's worth noting that this is the only Mach E variant that will not allow for 150kW DC fast-charging so beware if fast-charging is your jam.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E The rear of the Mustang Mach-E has some of the design hallmarks of the Mustang coupe.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Premium: This second-tier version will be available in late 2020 and will start at $50,600. It will come in standard range or extended range as well as RWD or AWD. Standard range will have 230 miles of range in RWD guise; 210 miles in AWD. Extended range will have 300 miles of range in RWD, 270 miles in AWD. Standard-range models will have 255 horsepower, extended-range RWD will have 282 horsepower and extended-range AWD will have 332 horsepower.

California Route 1: This trim level is essentially the Premium Extended Range RWD plus some added options, so its number line up: 300 miles of range and 282 pound-feet of torque. It will start at $52,400 when it goes on sale in early 2021.

First Edition: This limited-edition model starts at $59,900 and will be available in late 2020 (order soon). It features similar specs as the Premium Extended Range AWD: 270 miles of range and 332 horsepower. It also adds a variety of interior and exterior trim upgrades and limited availability to the mix.

GT: It's the big daddy of the Mustang coupe lineup (excluding Shelby versions) so it's the big daddy here. For $60,500 buyers get AWD, 235 miles of range and a healthy 459 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque, good for 0-60 runs in the mid-three-second range. This version adds the requisite 20-inch forged wheels, Brembo brakes, an adaptive Magnaride suspension, and exterior trim upgrades.

Gobs of tech will be standard.

This includes a 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system (ala Tesla) that will run Ford's Next-Generation Sync operating system and will feature over-the-air updates (also ala Tesla). Drivers will have the option of using their smartphone as a key; the Mach E will detect phones paired via its bluetooth system and unlock and adjust settings to that driver's preference.

The Mach E Premium and GT models also come pre-hardwired with a driver-monitoring system, which Ford will activate at a later date to provide a hands-free driving system. The system uses an infrared camera mounted on top of the steering column to watch the driver's attentiveness.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E The interior is sparse in design but full of high-tech features.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Three drive modes are included.

Here's another Tesla-inspired feature: three drive modes that alter the nature of the Mach E's performance. 'Whisper,' 'Engage' and 'Unbridled' will each allow increasingly aggressive performance and handling features. Not unlike Tesla's well-documented Ludicrous mode. Fun fact: the 'Unbridled' mode in the Mach E was originally to be called 'Stampede' and one of the test-mules we rode in on a media briefing in LA last week still had this setting name. Within each drive mode, numerous elements of the Mach E will be configurable, including regen levels for one-foot driving, if drivers so choose.

Yes, there's a Frunk.

Would it be an EV without one? But Ford says theirs is better since it has a drain plug at the bottom; apparently owners of other EVs told Ford researchers that they often found themselves wanting this.

Room for everyone.

The Mach E seats five adults comfortably, with plenty of legroom and headroom for the six-footers out there (we know since we've sat inside). This, despite the sloping, coupe-like profile of the crossover. Most models also come with a fixed panoramic glass roof that does wonders for opening up the cabin.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

There are no coincidences in the automotive world, so it was no surprise that I found myself riding shotgun in a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle prototype in front of SpaceX and Tesla's offices in Los Angeles. Ford's all-electric crossover is their most ambitious electric vehicle project to date. With styling, range, and debut location, they proved that they are targeting Tesla and their customers.

The Mustang Mach-E is, according to Ford, 100-percent Mustang. For those who are used to seeing the Mustang as a sports coupe with rear-wheel drive, an electric crossover with available all-wheel drive bearing the Mustang name might be eyebrow raising.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mustang Mach-E has many exterior design attributes usually reserved for the Mustang coupe.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

That skepticism is one of the many reasons why, during a secret reveal ahead of the global debut, Ford shuttled me around Hawthorne, California in one of the Mustang Mach-E prototypes. The company was out to prove to me that they built a vehicle worthy of the Mustang name.

The model Ford put me in was the Mustang Mach-E Premium all-wheel drive, extended range model. That EV runs to 60 mph from a standstill in a hair over 5 seconds. Because electric motors make torque immediately, the car pushes the driver and passengers relentlessly back in their seat as they make that run. The torque makes the car feel faster than it is.

For folks who want to go faster, the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance trim should do that same run in around 3 seconds. When the GT Performance goes on sale in early 2021 (late 2020 for the other models), the quickest accelerating Mustang you'll be able to buy will likely be electric.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E interior seats cabin The cabin of the new model is spacious.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

On a route around Hawthorne, I was able to experience the car's on-road manners. Even though it was an early prototype, the cabin was quiet. That's in part due to the lack of a motor but also because of the car's three performance modes for the Mach-E – Whisper, Engaged and Unbridled. In Unbridled mode, which is what I experienced, the car allows computer-generated internal combustion engine-like sounds to flow into the cabin when accelerating hard.

Unlike the Jaguar I-Pace's piped-in growl, the Mach-E's sounds natural for a performance car. It doesn't exactly sound like a gasoline-powered car, but it adds a soundtrack to the spirited drive that this author doesn't find obtrusive. In Whisper mode, the car is relatively silent.

Cornering, at least from the passenger seat, felt relatively flat. The low center of gravity of the battery pack helps a ton. Right now, there is no adjustable suspension system, like MagneRide, that is available on other Mustang models.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E infotainment screen steering wheel dashboard Ford has simplified the interior of the car in a very Tesla-esque fashion.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Mustang Mach-E takes many interior cues from Tesla design though many elements are unmistakably from the Ford team. There is a large, center-mounted screen that handles most of the controls of the infotainment system and vehicle functionality. Interestingly, while the center screen handles most of it, there still is an instrument cluster to provide vitals – something Tesla has done away with.

Display vehicles had gobs of space inside, including numerous of storage cubbies for nearly everything. Fit and finish were solid for vehicles this far along in the process and it felt more Tesla Model 3 inside than Mustang.

The new infotainment system supports routing based on how long you'll sit at a charger and which chargers you need to stop at – basically what a Tesla does. Another first for Ford is support for both wireless Apple Car Play and wireless Android Auto.

Additionally, the Mustang Mach-E has truly hands-off Level 2 semi-autonomous driving. It'll be an over-the-air update after launch for customers, but there are cameras in the car that watch the driver to make sure they are paying attention. If they are, and the roads are digitally mapped, the Mach-E will handle most of the driving duties for the driver. The system is very similar to how Cadillac's Super Cruise technology works and is not hands-off.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E rear seat back sunroof moonroof panoramic vegan leather The rear seats of the Mustang Mach-E offer more legroom than what you'll find in the Jaguar I-Pace.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

It's difficult to determine how good a car is going to be based on a ten-minute ride in the passenger seat. However, it is obvious even after that little time that Ford checked all the right boxes during the development of their new EV. This is likely the first viable mainstream competitor to Tesla, and Tesla should consider themselves put on notice.

In short, the Mustang Mach-E should have performance similar to the Jaguar I-Pace or Tesla Model 3, but with more rear seat headroom than the I-Pace, and better reliability. It looks far more attractive than the Nissan Leaf or anything the Korean automakers are doing, and since it'll be available in all 50 states, you'll be able to purchase and repair it in a town near you, just like what you could do with an F-150.