Since SEMA 2020 isn’t happening as a live, in-person show due to the global pandemic, automakers have been strutting their best customized off-roaders and hot rods on various digital channels instead. We already covered Toyota’s custom-built Tacoma and trio of Supras, and we even dug through the honorable mentions of the Battle of the Builders to find some unsung custom builds. Now, it’s Ford’s turn in the limelight.
The Blue Oval revealed four concepts in a special SEMA broadcast tonight dubbed Ford Auto Nights. It’s also making quite a big deal of its Mach-E 1400 but, since we’ve covered that be-winged, tire-shredding SUV, we’ll focus on the never-seen-before builds in this list.
2021 Ford Ranger XLT Tremor SuperCrew
We’ll start with the tamest of the quartet. Though Ford let its Vehicle Personalization team go nuts customizing this Ranger—the snorkel and bed rack are conspicuous—the biggest hardware upgrades come from the more mainstream Tremor package.
As long as you’re speccing an XLT or Lariat Ranger (the middle and top trim levels for this truck), the $4290 Tremor upgrade bundles an off-road-focused suspension kit with 32-inch General Grabber all-terrain tires for a total of 9.7-inches of ground clearance. Ford also throws in some steel underbody skid plates and an electric-locking rear diff alongside a trail-tuned “cruise control” called Trail Control. To spice up the tune from the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-banger, Ford’s team also added a Borla cat-back exhaust. We’re a little skeptical of that last change, but hey—when your boss tells you to spec out a Ranger to your heart’s content for SEMA, budget isn’t usually a concern.
2021 MAD Bronco Sport Badlands
Next up is a Bronco Sport in Badlands configuration that’s been shown some love by MAD Industries—a custom automotive design firm whose resume is stuffed with Ford products—and Boreas Campers.
As a Badlands-spec model, this Bronco Sport relies on the beefier, 245-hp 2.0-liter turbo four paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. (Again, Ford saw fit to throw in Borla exhaust.) The SUV’s been treated to a mild lift kit and fitted with 17-inch Fifteen52 wheels wearing 245/65 BFGoodrich KO2 rubber.
Similar to the Ranger Tremor above, this Bronco Sport’s modifications are largely aesthetic—stuck on, bolted on, or plugged into it. Still, we dig the choices: some more robust fender flares by Air Design, a Yakima roof rack with a kayak carrier (and a kayak), a bike rack (with two bikes), a Rigid 40-inch light bar, and some extra fuel and water containers just in case.
That camper behind the Bronco Sport is a $33,450 model from Boreas, boasting independent suspension and up to 20 inches of ground clearance. It sleeps two—unless you order an additional roof-top or side-mounted room—and even boasts 110W of solar power.
2021 Ford F-150 Limited Hybrid SuperCrew
Given that the F-150 Limited starts above 70 grand, and that the PowerBoost hybrid drivetrain adds $4495, this tricked-out truck is probably the most expensive build on this list. (Definitely so, if you don’t count the $33,000 trailer along with the Bronco Sport.) However, if any of the builds on this list promise to earn their keep, it’s this one.
Thanks to its onboard generator, the F-150 Hybrid can serve as a mobile work station—and we’re not simply talking about charging your laptop. To emphasize this truck’s capability, Ford set up this F-150 as a mobile metal fabrication shop. Air plasma cutter? Check. Folding welding table and 220V welder? Check. Band saw, grinder, drill press, impact gun, hammer drill, twin air compressor? Ford really went all out.
To fit all this kit, Ford’s engineers thought of some pretty nifty storage systems. Beneath the bed-mounted rack, there’s a shelf that extends the entire area of the bed and conceals two sliding drawers. Even the interior surface of the tailgate has slots for pencils, trenches for tablets, and divots for drink cups.
Of course, that’s just for the work week. Should you want to swap the tools for outdoor toys, the truck is more than capable of hauling a paddle board, bike, grille, camping chairs, and a tent. And thanks to a four-inch lift, Fox shocks, and Mickey Thompson 35-inch M/T rubber, the truck is more than a city-slick machine.
2021 Ford Bronco Badlands Sasquatch 2-Door Concept
Here’s the beast that’s got us most excited. Sure, you could have a cushy commuter car and a dedicated off-roader for weekend dirt-flinging jaunts, but we love the hands-on process of converting this Bronco from mild to wild, as Ford’s envisions.
The basic ingredients: the 2.7-liter V-6 and 10-speed auto, plus a two-inch lift and the Sasquatch package’s 315/70 Nitto Trail Grapplers. The expected garnishes: a Warn 10S winch, Rigid lights, a GoPro, and lots of exterior graphics (and a flag, which seems a bit dramatic). The custom bits: two sets of fender flares—one for the week and a more “robust and impact-ready set” for the trail-hunting weekend—and step-over pseudo-doors for “maximum thrill and open-air feeling.” Of course, you could remove your work-week doors and, y’know, just leave them off, but we’ll indulge Ford here—these low-profile ones look pretty sick.
Which of these four, given your pick, would you drive? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, check out these in-progress photos from Ford: