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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Ford dealerships will be adding Bronco showrooms to their portfolio in the coming year.

Photo courtesy of Ford via Automotive News

Reporting by Automotive News reveals that Ford is enabling its dealership network to opt-in to build Bronco-specific showrooms. The stores are designed to be near or connected to existing Ford dealer locations, but will feature the Bronco horse logo rather than the traditional Ford Blue Oval.

Ford currently has two Bronco models: Bronco and Bronco Sport. All this for two models? Not quite. Ford is reportedly working on a Bronco-based pickup truck. Could it be Ranger Raptor-like? We'll have to wait and see.

Renderings of Bronco storefronts feature those models and vintage versions of the beloved off-roader alongside 3,800 square feet of building space that includes an outdoor fire pit and room to display three vehicles. There's also a wall that showcases Bronco merchandise including some of the over 200 accessories Ford is promising will be available for Bronco models.

Ford Bronco standalone showroom renderings

Photo courtesy of Ford via Automotive News

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The overall aesthetic is very much in line with what you'll see at your local REI. There's back-painted ceiling lining, exposed concrete, a gray stone entryway, and wood accents throughout the modern structure as well as plenty of windows that show it all off.

Dealers are able to modify the design that Ford has come up with. One dealer, in Arizona, told Automotive News that he is planning to build out a 12,000-square-foot space but hasn't included a fire pit in the plans because of the location's desert climate.

If dealerships don't opt for a separate showroom, dealerships can choose from other Ford-backed options to display the Bronco that are more traditional in nature. Andrew Frick, the head of Ford sales in the U.S. said that there are three options: a standalone showroom, an expansion of existing showrooms or displays that can be added to a showroom. All the options are available and recommended, but not required, kind of like the Sasquatch Package on the Bronco itself.

"It's an announcement to the world we're back; the Bronco is back," Tim Hovik, owner of San Tan Ford in Gilbert, Ariz., and chairman of Ford's national dealer council, told Automotive News. "It's such an iconic product that in an absolute way, we feel a Ford dealer is really adding almost an additional franchise."

Last month, Ford revealed that of its 190,000 reservations for either the two- or four-door Bronco, two-thirds of those have turned into firm orders. Deliveries of the redesigned Bronco are slated to begin in June. Early models are already making their way out onto the streets under the car of Ford employees.

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut next week but ahead of that, the design department is giving a closer look at the truck in a new video.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

We'll see the Hyundai Santa Cruz in full for the first time when it debuts on April 15 but ahead of time, Hyundai is setting the stage for expectations with the model. To help with that, the company released a video today featuring the truck's design manager discussing the inspiration for the utility vehicle.

The quick one-minute video is hosted by Brad Arnold, design manager at Hyundai North America. The Southern California native is the leader of the team that created the Santa Cruz, a project that began years ago. He's joined in the video by Senon Franco, the lead designer at Hyundai North America.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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As Arnold explains in the video, the design of the Santa Cruz started with a simple premise: "this is not a typical truck". Based on how Arnold describes the capabilities of the truck, that sounds true. It is meant to "thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors". One could argue that no full-size truck on the market today does that. Neither do most of the midsize models, though their sizing is better for that landscape.

Arnold says that the Santa Cruz is "small in size", a call that serves to remind viewers that the Santa Cruz isn't a big truck. It's more similar in size to the forthcoming Ford Maverick, a small truck that slots below the Ranger in Ford's lineup.

However, the company isn't even calling it a truck. The new model is being referred to as the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. This sounds a lot like how Kia is referring to the new generation of its Carnival minivan as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Arnold says that the design is meant to make the Santa Cruz not look like a truck. Rather, it's supposed to look "like a Santa Cruz". Part of that includes the front end, which looks like a carryover from the fascia of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Among the other secrets Hyundai is giving away ahead of the product's reveal is that there will be more than one "efficient" powertrain, a flexible bed, "cutting-edge" connectivity, and all-wheel drive.

Watch the video for yourself below.

Design Inspiration | 2022 Santa Cruz | Hyundai www.youtube.com

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