The Ford Explorer on Massive 24-inch Wheels And Two-Tone paint job somehow manages to look radiant and positive

One of the Ford Utility Concepts scheduled to debut at the SEMA this month is a rather fashionable piece finished by MAD Industries. This California-based tuner has worked with Ford numerous times before usually tuning cars for the SEMA. This time is no different as they have revealed a custom Ford Explorer with a cool two-tone exterior paint job. Now, I have to tell you that, at first glance, the MAD Industries Explorer looks a bit like a Range Rover. Maybe the Evoque.

Nevertheless, there is much more to it than that. MAD Industries did a thorough job refreshing the Explorer inside and out.


2018 Ford Explorer Sport by MAD Industries
- image 801257

I don’t think that this is overkill. MAD Industries seems to be holding its side of the bargain by creating a car one could actually imagine owning, driving, and showing to other people without being embarrassed.

Using Ford Licensed Accessories, MAD Industries garnished the Explorer with only a handful of black decorations before actually getting to the wheels.

There, the Explorer wears massive 24-inch wheels. Called Road Wheels Alpine-style and custom finished in Candy Black, they wear a Toyo Proxes ST tires that measure 285/35ZR-24.

I once drove a BMW X5 with 22-inch wheels, and its steering wheel felt hard like it was from an 80s truck and not from a luxury SUV. I cannot imagine this being different in any form.

However, I can imagine this Explorer cornering better than the stock one. The two-tone paint job does a lot in the looks department too. See, the SUV somehow feels hunkered down. Even mean with the black roof and dark cherry red body. I kinda dig it. As I was saying above, this alarmingly drew my thoughts to the Range Rover Evoque. If you are really interested, let me tell you that BASF R-M made the custom Ruby Red and Jet Black paint. It was all, of course, finished up with a clear paint protection film.


2018 Ford Explorer Limited Luxury Edition
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Note: Standard Ford Explorer pictured here.

The Explorer isn’t exactly what one would call a luxury cruiser. It is more of a convenience-focused SUV. However, MAD Industries wanted to change this paradigm a bit. At least for the show. In that regard, the Explorer received premium leather seats with custom stitching.

Then, the interior features were finished in high-gloss black and Ruby Red.

This gave a uniquely dashing look to the interior as the color matches with the exterior. Anodized billet aluminum racing pedals add a touch of racing sophistication to it as well. Then, the Rockford Fosgate high-performance audio system sealed the deal on the interior. Obviously, changes like this increase the value of the Explorer far more than what MAD Industries did with the exterior.

Drivetrain and Chassis

2018 Ford Explorer Sport by MAD Industries
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Based on the 2018 Explorer Sport this concept features a 3.5-liter, EcoBoost, V-6 that’s paired with a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. Needless to say, MAD Industries had a lot to work with, and power upgrades did not require massive modifications under the bonnet. In fact, the JMS PedalMAX and BoostMAX plug and play performance solution did the trick. I am not sure how much power MAD Industries managed to get after an ECU remap like this, but it was a considerable amount given that the exhausts were changed as well.

In this case, the Explorer features a Borla S-Type cat-back exhaust with quad tips. Only fitting for a vehicle set to be shown among the behemoths of the SEMA.

Obviously, the wheels are new and massive, the engine produces more power, and the car looks kinda mean. The only things left to improve are the suspension and the brakes. The Eibach Pro-Plus handling package solved the suspension problem with thicker sway bars and coilovers. Then, the Power Stop provided Z36 SUV high-performance cross drilled and slotted rotors as well as Z36 Extreme brake pads. All in the name of performance. I believe that this thing is rad. It would be better if it had limited 20-inch wheels, though. 24-inches are just too much.

Final Thoughts

2018 Ford Explorer Sport by MAD Industries
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With five customized SUVs, Ford is obviously trying to tell us that the customization and aftermarket isn’t over when it finally discounts all or most of its cars. The Explorer Sport by MAD Industries feels like the most sensibly tuned up machine at the SEMA. I cannot even imagine how flamboyant and “show-offy” the other cars there will be. This Explorer is refreshing really.

All in all, Ford will reveal 50 cars at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas late this month with this Explorer Sport being one of the most sensible ones. Heck, they were so gentle with it that it received DC Safety first-aid and roadside assistance kit. Could this concept be offered as a limited run model in the future? Anything is possible!

  • Leave it
    • 24 inch wheels! C’mon, really?
    • Still not available
    • Feels a lot like a Range Rover (sometimes, that is a good thing, but I don’t think that time is now.)

Further Reading

2017 Ford Explorer – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Read our driven review on the 2017 Ford Explorer.

Safet Satara
About the author

MAD Industries Explorer blends style and athleticism

California-based MAD Industries created a high-fashion design that blends style and performance with this custom Explorer. The two-tone Explorer’s performance is upgraded with a cold-air intake, more aggressive handling tuning and more braking power. The interior features premium leather seats, custom MAD Industries steering wheel and unique touches including billet aluminum pedals, color-matched accents and LED lighting.

Base vehicle

2018 Explorer Sport
3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine
6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission

JMS® PedalMAX® and BoostMAX® plug and play performance solution
Borla S-Type cat-back exhaust with quad tips

Eibach® PRO-PLUS performance handling package
Power Stop® Z36 SUV high performance cross drilled and slotted rotors
Power Stop Z36 Extreme brake pads
Wheels and Tires

Niche Road Wheels Alpine-style forged, custom finished in Candy Black with brushed face wheels, 24 x 10 inches
TOYO Tires Proxes ST tires, 285/35ZR-24

BASF R-M® custom Ruby Red and Jet Black paint with two-tone graphic
Clear paint protection film
MAD Industries shaved roof rack

MAD Industries custom black premium leather seating with red accent stitching
Select color-matched interior parts in high-gloss black and Ruby Red
SRP anodized billet aluminum racing pedals
Rockford Fosgate® high-performance audio system
3M™ Crystalline window film

Ford Licensed Accessories
Cargo liner
Cargo Soft organizer
DC Safety first-aid and roadside assistance kit
Vehicle safe with full-floor center console by Console Vault
AL® Priority Quint laser defense and parking system

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