Ford Edge ST gets its first tuning job, Ecosport tries on off-roading gear
The 2018 Special Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas is coming up next month, and car companies are falling over themselves to prove how cool they are. First Ford shipped out five Mustangs to tuners around the country for them to get hot-rodded up, and now we’re getting teasers of five SUVs and crossovers that have been lifted or lowered and seriously geared up.
Expect a few more rounds of these as Ford has promised to bring more than 50 rides to Vegas.
First up is a car with very little info shared with the preview sketch, but I must confess that I kind of dig it. Blood Type Racing seriously dropped the Ford Edge ST with an air suspension and goes with two-piece, silver-edge 22-inch Y-Spoke rims that are a bit too big for those wheel wells. A speed-bump scraping body kit finishes the exterior, but with just a high-flow intake, upgraded intercooler and a dual exhaust system, it won’t even take a bite out of the Grand Cherokee SRT, never mind eat a Trackhawk’s lunch.
To me, it’s a 21st-century chopped hot rod wagon that works with the Edge’s modern lines and sporty intentions of the ST, especially with their take on the Grabber Blue that is perfection on the Mustang.
Ford sent California-based MAD Industries an Explorer to play with and it came back with this “high-fashion” red-and-black street tune that also works with the more urban nature of crossovers. Mad industries gave it some mild upgrades under the hood, too, with cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust for the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, more aggressive suspension tuning, bigger brakes, and fat, fat 24-inch wheels and tires. The tuner also dressed up the interior with premium leather seats, aluminum pedals, plus custom steering wheel and LED lighting.
The third street special is a Ford Expedition tweaked by Hulst Customs. It’s pretty subtle, the black-on-gray two-tone paint job evokes a bit of a Range Rover vibe, the 26-inch Lexani color-matched rims fill out the wheel wells perfectly, and a drop visor with slim LED lights visually chop the top of the windshield.
The look is finished by a custom hood and grille in front, a low-profile roof rack is sporting some snowboards, and the Borla exhaust gets custom exhaust tips.
Taking an Expedition to its opposite extreme was LGE*CTS, preppie perhaps for some overloading with big, chunky BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires, ReadyLIFT self-leveling suspension, and Yakima OffGrid roof rack. Designer/builder Theresa Contreras went with a vintage look for the rims and matte, two-tone silver and brown paint.
The last project seems to have gone off the rails a bit. The Tucci Designs Big Adventures EcoSport seems in complete conflict with the type of vehicle it is. C’mon, this is a subcompact crossover for city living, and just seeing a rock bigger than a basketball, the Ecosport’s six-speed automatic would probably piss its transmission fluid. Huge fender flares wrap around chunky Maxxis Bravo AT tires on an adjustable coilover suspension, and hopefully there’s an upgraded differential and four-wheel-drive system, or it’s going to need that winch every time the trail gets tricky.