Ford’s SEMA-Bound SUV Lineup Will Feature Portable Fridges, Camping Tents, and Video Cameras
It’s a full lineup of Ford Escapes, Explorers, and Expeditionsby Kirby Garlitos, on LISTEN 08:44
The 2019 Ford Escape, 2019 Ford Explorer, and 2019 Ford Expedition are all fresh in the eyes of many, making them ideal candidates to get showcased at the 2019 SEMA Auto Show. In keeping with form, that’s exactly what Ford is doing. The Blue Oval is bringing eight custom SUVs to SEMA, including three Escapes, three Explorers, and a pair of Expeditions. Each of these SUVs come with different flavors of personalization that showcases the variety of ways current and future owners can customize their rides. There are some interesting creations among the eight SUVs, some of which are more interesting than others.
Ford LGE-CTS Motorsports Urban Escape
There are three different versions of the Ford Escape that’s headed to the 2019 SEMA Auto Show. One of them is called the LGE-CTS Motorsports Urban Escape. Despite the fancy name, the LGE-CTS Motorsports Urban Escape is the plainest-looking among the three SEMA-bound Escapes.
It wears a two-tone black and silver paint finish with orange trim throughout the body.
There’s a Ford Accessories roof rack up top with Yakima mounts and the crossover sits on a set of spiffy-looking 20-inch TSW Petrol P6A wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport tires. A Borla cat-back exhaust rounds out the upgrades in the Urban Escape. The bronze wheels are the highlight of this custom-tuned Escape and the new exhaust ensures that the Escape’s 250-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides an extra pop in exhaust noise.
Ford Air Design USA Escape Sport Hybrid
This is the best-looking — in my mind, at least — of the three custom-built, SEMA-bound Ford Escape models. It’s a lot like the Urban Escape in that it wears a two-tone white and black paint scheme.
The big difference is that Air Design USA complimented the visuals with a series of aero parts that help create a more aggressive-looking crossover.
The flared fenders, for example, gives the Escape a more robust look. The silver skid plates add some flashiness to the proceedings while the set of 20-inch Forgiato Flow 001 wheels look downright mesmerizing, with or without the Pirelli Scorpion Verde tires. There are a lot of things to like about this custom-built Escape, not the least of which is its overall appearance. It doesn’t look like a standard Escape anymore; it looks, well, muscular. But the best part about this Escape? There’s a portable fridge inside that can store whatever beverage your body desires. That’s pretty cool.
Ford MAD Industries Escape
I’m not a fan of vertical bike racks so my first impression of the Ford MAD Industries Escape as gleaming as the other two custom-built Escapes.
The bike racks make the crossover look weird, and if you think about, having those bikes in place when you’re driving on the road makes for some serious drag issues.
I’ll pass on that for the more traditional bike racks. Fortunately, MAD Industries’ Ford Escape isn’t defined by the Yakima bike carrier that’s connected to the Ford Accessories roof rack. There are also several important features, not the least of which includes functional upgrades like the Eibach lowering spring and the set of 21-inch Rotiform OZR wheels wrapped in a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. The all-black look is a nice touch, too, but it doesn’t really do anything to make the Escape stand out as well as it probably should.
Ford Blood Type Racing Explorer Hybrid
The trio of SEMA-bound Ford Escapes left a lot to be desired. None of them were bad, but none were mind-blowing, either. Fortunately, the three custom-built Ford Explorers that you’re about to see more than made up for the Escape’s lack of meaningful personality. The first of these three Explorers comes to us by way of Blood Type Racing.
Based on the Explorer Hybrid, this custom SUV ironically shines with the dark chrome accents on the exterior that blend well with the all-white body.
Throw in the Ford Accessories roof racks, the Yakima carrier, and the Ford Performance skid plates, and you have a striking Explorer that’s hard to miss. Extra props to Blood Type Racing, too, for outfitting the Explorer with a set of 20-inch Ace Ally AFF-9 wheels wrapped in Toyo Tires Open Country A/T II tires. And yes, just because this is an Explorer Hybrid underneath all these upgrades, it’s not immune from receiving a Borla cat-back exhaust.
Ford CGS Performance Explorer
CGS Performance gets my vote for the best-looking, SEMA-bound, custom-built Ford SUV. Its interpretation of the Ford Explorer ST is top-notch. From the gray paint finish to the subtle but striking red trim details along the roof and lower body sides of the SUV, everything about the SUV’s aesthetic treatment works.
This Explorer looks completely badass, and that doesn’t even take into account the massive — and I mean massive — 24-inch Savini wheels wrapped in an equally large set of Pirelli P-Zero tires.
And in keeping with the theme of all these aftermarket-built SUVs, the CGS Performance Ford Explorer ST also comes with a Borla cat-back exhaust, which should come in handy considering that this particular Explorer, by virtue of being an ST variant, is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that produces a stout 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque.
Ford Prefix Explorer ST
The Ford Prefix Explorer ST doesn’t really count as an aftermarket Explorer, does it? Sure, it comes with a nice two-tone red paint finish with white racing stripes, a Ford Performance skid plate, a Whelen emergency signal, and it sits on a set of 20-inch GWG wheels wrapped in Michelin tires.
It also sits closer to the ground, thanks to a lowered ride height, and the interior is even blessed with Recaro Cross Sportster ORV seats.
There’s a lot to like with regards to the looks of the Prefix Explorer ST. The only caveat is that it’s not exactly a road-going Explorer like the other two custom-tuned versions from Blood Type Racing and CGS Performance. This particular Explorer is a pace car. Yes, it’s a pace car for the 2020 Trans Am racing series.
Ford MAD Industries and Good Boy Daisy Lifestyle Explorer MAX
The SEMA Auto Show wouldn’t be complete without the presence of the Ford Expedition. The Blue Oval’s big-boy SUV will arrive in Las Vegas in two forms, beginning with this interesting creation by MAD Industries and Good Boy Daisy Lifestyle. It’s based on the long-wheelbase Ford Expedition Max, and it’s been kitted out with the kind of ruthless aggression we typically see from aggressive tuners at SEMA. Without diving into details, we know that MAD Industries and Good Boy Daisy Lifestyle dropped the motherlode into this Expedition.
The SUV’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine is the recipient of a Whipple performance kit that should drive the V-6’s output well beyond the standard 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.
That’s not all, too. The SUV also comes with an Icon Dynamics Stage 2 coilover suspension kit, PowerStop Z36 brake rotors, a set of carbon-ceramic brake pads, and a set of 22-inch Fuel Forged FF-45 wheels wrapped in Nitto Ridge Grappler tires. As far as extensive upgrades go, the Ford MAD Industries and Good Boy Daisy Lifestyle Explorer MAX is as good as it’s going to get.
Ford Good Boy Daisy Lifestyle Expedition
Good Boy Daisy Lifestyle double dips on the Ford Expedition with a second aftermarket build of Ford’s large SUV. This particular creation fits the mold of what you can usually see in an event like SEMA. There’s nothing off-roadish about this particular Expedition. In truth, it actually looks too civilized for an Expedition.
The blue paint finish is nice but it does remind me more of those custom vehicles from the last decade that emphasized quirky looks over functional upgrades.
That said, there are a lot of functional upgrades in this Expedition, beginning with the same Whipple performance kit that the other SEMA-bound Expedition received. A set of 24-inch Forgiato wheels are also on the menu, as is a Borla cat-back exhaust because of course it has one. This Expedition does have a trump card: a Zoom Q8 video cameras and Sennheiser microphones and a QSC TouchMix 8 digital mixer.
Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Expedition.
Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Escape.
Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Explorer.