As new mid-size SUVs continue rolling off the factory floors in unprecedented numbers, aftermarket parts from the top tuners is simply the next step for buyers looking to customize their new family haulers.
And why not? Ford is ditching cars in favour of sport utilities and crossovers, and slammed SUVs are absolutely badass — they look awesome, perform better, and will still haul your kids to soccer practice with all their crap in the back, without a breaking a sweat.
As Ford’s global director, Eric Cin, puts it, “There’s a growing hunger for consumers to personalize their SUVs, which have a huge range of possibilities from lowered street rides to off-road overlanding.” He continues, “As the latest versions of Escape and Explorer continue to provide buyers with even more options for what they want, the aftermarket is a great place to see just how much more there is out there.”
New Explorer is primed for the aftermarket
The new, redesigned Ford Explorer is no exception, entering its 6th-generation for 2020 sporting a leaner design, more cabin tech, and improved performance efficiencies. Along with the Blue Oval’s fastest, most powerful SUV to date — the new Ford Explorer ST (our First Drive review here) making 400-hp and 415 lb.-ft. of torque while sprinting 0-60 mph in a respectable 5.5-seconds.
But for those looking for inspiration with aftermarket Ford Explorer parts to build their own versions, Ford Performance will display their own tricked-out builds highlighting the latest trends in customization at this year’s SEMA show, with over 50 customized vehicles in the booth — the most of any automaker at the massive show held in Las Vegas each year.
1) Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid by Blood Type Racing
Based out of Illinois, Blood Type Racing (BTR) has an impressive portfolio of tuned vehicles, cars mostly. But this new Explorer is perhaps their best SUV flossing a pair of custom BTR Edition snowboards by Blank Snowboards strapped to a Yakima carrier mounted to Ford Accessories roof rack crossbars.
Everything on this one is custom. Riding on 20-inch Ace Alloy AFF09 black chrome wheels wrapped in Toyo Tires Open Country A/T II tires, this 2020 Explorer sits half-inch higher courtesy a suspension levelling kit paired to a Ford Performance skid plate.
A clean, crisp look, the Explorer Hybrid powered by Ford’s 3.3L hybrid V6 engine finds a cat-back exhaust with black chrome tips from Borla.
Styling upgrades include door handle accents and lower door moldings, along with front grille and rear bumper accents by Lacks Trim Systems — a company that’s been in the aftermarket game a long time, based out of West Michigan.
Hitting the slopes in style, this black-on-white hybrid hauler belongs in our garage, straight up. The Ford Accessories Ford play rear seat entertainment system by Voxx is a nice touch, too.
2) Ford Explorer ST by CGS Performance Products
As we mentioned, the Explorer gets the ST treatment for the first-time ever for 2020, joining its smaller Edge ST sibling. But that specially tuned 3.0L EcoBoost V6 needs some aftermarket love. That’s where CGS Performance Products came in.
The California-based tuner didn’t touch the performance too much, nor should they, but did increase things a little via a custom cat-back exhaust by Borla.
They added a healthy dose of other Explorer aftermarket parts worthy to hold its own at SEMA, including carbon fiber tips that enhance this ST’s look riding on huge 24-inch Savini wheels fitted with Pirelli P-Zero rubber.
In contrast to the crisp white model highlighted above, this aftermarket Explorer looks equally as sharp with a Sikkens gray paint job and contrasting red accents along the roofline and side skirts.
Inside, Alea Leather handled the Explorer’s custom cabin appointments.
On display at SEMA
2019 SEMA Show runs from November 5 to 8, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Despite being an absurdly massive show taking up enough floor space to accommodate a small city, SEMA isn’t open to the public, unfortunately. But if you’re planning to go, and plan to tune out your new Ford Explorer, hit up the Ford Performance booth where 5 other aftermarket models will be on display.
Up next, check out our tuner car features here.