Technically, Ford Motor Company pulled out of SEMA this year, following the likes of General Motors, Honda, and Hyundai in a move away from the long-held aftermarket auto show. But that doesn’t mean Ford’s vehicles are missing from the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, given that Ford has released some of the most popular off-road SUVs and electric trucks of late. With the help of Ford, a number of aftermarket companies have built their ideal renditions of everything from Broncos and Mavericks to F-150 Lightnings and even a Mustang Mach-E GT.
If these SEMA builds have inspired you to start one of your own, you’re in luck. Ford’s partnership with these aftermarket manufacturers means that a number of the parts shown here will be available for purchase through Ford dealers or directly through the company’s website. Spurred on by a 40% increase in OEM-sanctioned aftermarket parts sales, Ford said that supporting aftermarket parts and car customization is an increasing and important part of its business. Over one million factory-backed accessories sold for the Bronco doesn’t hurt either.
With that in mind, here are some of the coolest Ford builds at SEMA. Be prepared for a lot of Broncos and the prerequisite lifted trucks.
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ARB Medical Support Ford Bronco
Stranded hikers and backcountry adventures can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that ARB has created the perfect off-road rescue vehicle. Using a Ford Bronco Wildtrak chassis with the 2.7-liter V6, ARB worked with Ford to make an ode to the medical service vehicles of the early 1900s, complete with Tube doors, an under-hood air compressor, and a winch. Upgraded suspension by ARB and a series of chassis protection pieces (rock sliders, traction boards, and a skid plate) mean this Bronco should be unstoppable, regardless of the terrain ahead.
Bringing the proper equipment is as important as getting to a medical emergency on time. To this effect, ARB has built and installed a first-of-its-kind roof rack with room for boxes, tires, and various other fittings. Additionally, a 47-quart fridge and freezer has been installed for, well, the worst-case scenarios, or beverage consumption. And the medical providers are sure to stay strapped in, thanks to a set of Recaro bucket seats up front. All-in-all, I wouldn’t want any other vehicle to come to save me off the side of a mountain.
Rally Support Ford F-150 Lightning by Motor City Solutions
Baja 1000 participants don’t take on the peninsula by themselves. Usually, a support truck is in tow with the racers, albeit moving quite a bit slower. In the case of this F-150 Lightning support truck, it might have a chance at keeping up, at least for a few miles. Built-in cooperation with RealTruck’s parts catalog and Motor City Solutions expertise, this Lightning is fitted with everything you’ll need to run a successful rally race support vehicle. Minus the needed long-range, of course.
While the vehicle’s performance specifications remain stock, the exterior and interior are fully redesigned. Additional storage is provided by Yakima while N-Fab supplies the rear bumper and accompanying stem system. Custom drivetrain protection, a set of Recaro Sportster GT seats, and a host of Ford Performance lighting augment the rally-ready look. Most importantly, the Pro Power Onboard system allows the truck to be a completely independent workstation, ready for whatever fabrication job you can throw at it.
LEER® Group Ford Maverick Street Truck
Ford’s Maverick has been revered since the first model rolled off the production line for its affordable price and approachable size. While getting your hands on one has proven challenging, the truck deserves its praises for balancing payload with price, and now Leer Group has shown us another potential merit of the mini truck. The era of sport trucks is long gone but this Maverick epitomizes what the movement was once about. It may not be fast like the original, Fast and Furious featured Ford Lightning, but it’s got the right look.
A sleek stance, murdered-out 20-inch wheels, and a set of fender flares make this Maverick the perfect candidate for retro-sport truck design. Leer Group’s own bed cap and BedSlide make working in and moving out of the bed a breeze and Ford has even fitted a number of solar panels to the truck in order to power all the requisite carpentry truck activities.
SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Ford Bronco
This modified Bronco owes its design and build to an all-female team of designers and builders, commemorating a decade of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network. Based on another Ford Wildtrak Bronco, the goal of the build was to facilitate off-road adventures and to increase awareness of women in the various sectors of the automotive industry. And SEMA’s Businesswomen’s Network creates a capable, good-looking car in the process.
A host of off-road parts from manufacturers like ARB and Warn allow for multi-trail capability and an interior upgrade includes a 50-quart fridge/freezer as well as tactical Molle bag storage. Camping was clearly a priority for the build, given that the model is equipped with a two-person SkyRise tent by Yakima, in addition to bolstered storage capacity from a Yakima roof rack. Power figures were almost bumped up, with a Ford Performance tune on the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. With 4.70 gearing for both axles, this truck will be quick to accelerate and should have no problem climbing even the steepest slopes. Could this be an Overlanding extraordinaire?
Tjin Edition/Thule F-150 Lightning
Slammed pickup trucks are common, but this modified electric pickup is the first of this type we’ve seen. Don’t worry though, there’s likely to be many more, given that builders from Tjin Edition have opened the floodgates. Using a Ford F-150 Lightning SuperCrew Lariat with the extended-range battery and all-wheel drive, the folks at Tjin Edition worked with Thule to create a practical yet stylish stance truck out of the new electric F-150 Lightning.
It’s about as modern as a pickup truck can get: Solar charging, a portable air compressor, refrigerator, console vault, and Recaro front and rear seats included. Thule also provided a host of cargo accessories, such as bed crossbars, an Approach M tent, a Vector Alpine low procargo box, and a bike rack with two Super 73 e-bikes in tow. Mint green 5-spoke wheels with a turbine edge complement the Army green paint scheme. Ford calls this truck a jack-of-all-trades, and joining the stance scene is a surprisingly effective way to make the point.
Tucci Hot Rods Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
The Mustang Mach-E has become a popular model for Ford, slotting well into its crossover and SUV lineup despite its controversial name. But now the EV might actually live up to its namesake, thanks to Dom Tucci of Tucci Hot Rods. It might be hard for some to call an EV a true hotrod, but the framework for this one starts off right with a 480-hp dual-motor 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT.
ISC coilovers join the party, dropping the ride height for a more wagon-like stature. Dom Tucci adds his magic to the exterior, adding 3D-printed fender flares, vacuum-formed transparent wheel covers, transparent front lip extensions, and a rear spoiler extension. True to hot-rodding history, a few performance upgrades have been hidden inside the frunk, including a custom ice box
to chill the drivetrain. This was Tucci’s first foray into electrification, and the result is true to Mustang lineage while keeping a modern profile.
Yakima®/Hypertech® Ford Bronco Sport
The Bronco Sport is the little sibling of the full-sized Bronco, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in capability. As Overlanding takes hold of the automotive industry, Ford’s Bronco Sport is actually well positioned to take on trails, camping, and the major highways that led there. At a cheaper price point, it’s a worthwhile option for space-conscious commuters too, but this LeachCo-built model isn’t made for traffic jams.
Based on a 2022 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands, the model is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost and fed through an 8-speed automatic, and the powertrain is pretty much the only thing left stock. Yakima threw its entire rack, storage, and camping catalog at the car while Rigid Industries added a slew of lighting both front and rear. ARB also pitched in with the 47-quart fridge and portable air compressor kit, while Warn provided the off-road recovery kit. The builders used a significant portion of the Ford accessories catalog as well, including the jump start kit and two safes. And while it’s clear that a parts catalog was often consulted, the model still retains an OEM plus look to it.
BDS Suspension Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid
Lifted trucks are part of the SEMA experience—there’s no way around it. And the engineering behind these behemoth vehicles is truly something to behold. The mission behind this F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid ushers in the next generation of clean(er) motorsports tow vehicles. With a focus on suspension work, the model was built by none other than BDS Suspension.
The chassis modifications start with a set of BDS PE coilovers paired with a set of FOX 2.5 Performance Elite shocks. BDS parts are rounded out by performance UCAs and recoil traction bars. Despite its tall ride height, a number of chassis protectors are needed for low-hanging drivetrain components, and BDS makes a skid plate for the model to this effect. Lighting upgrades are a mix of Ford catalog parts and Rigid Industries mounts, while interior changes are all direct from Ford’s performance catalog. Equipped with a 7.2-kW Pro Power Onboard generator, this model can also be used for heating, cooling, and trail-side repairs thanks to its hybrid powertrain.
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