SEMA 2021: Ford and Toyota Sweep SEMA Awards For Best Trucks and SUVs to Customize

SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association. The trade organization’s 6,000 companies build aftermarket components for cars and trucks. Its yearly Vegas convention is a showcase of the newest truck accessories and custom builds. Its members also vote on that year’s best trucks and SUVs to modify. In 2021, Ford and Toyota swept these awards.

The 2021 Ford Bronco won SEMA 4×4/SUV of the year

This is a render of the Tucci Hot Rods Ford Bronco build with Mattracks. Builds such as this earned the new Ford Bronco the SEMA SUV of the year award. | Ford
The Tucci Hot Rod built Bronco on Mattracks is ready for the slopes | Ford

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Ford originally introduced the Bronco as a compact 4×4 in 1966. The Bronco Sport returned in 2021 as both a two-door and four-door model. The new Bronco offers several technological upgrades. All engine options are fuel-efficient, turbocharged EcoBoost powerplants. The Bronco also features an advanced AWD system and an 8-speed automatic. Manual transmission enthusiasts can order a three-pedal Bronco as well. The Ford Bronco starts at $28,500. The Bronco is the SEMA SUV of the year.

2021 is the new Bronco’s first year at SEMA. Many customizers debuted unique Ford Bronco builds. However, Tucci Hot Rods stood out for its unforgettable custom. The Tucci Bronco rides on four 88-Series Mattracks engineered for snow or ice. The 4×4 began life as a Bronco Badlands with the 2.3-Liter engine and 7-Speed manual. In addition to tracks, Tucci upgraded it with light bars and a Yakima platform roof rack for snowboards.

The 2021 Ford F-Series won full-size SEMA truck of the year

This is a render of MAD Industries diesel powered F-450 custom. Custom F-Series trucks earned Ford the full-size SEMA truck of the year designation for 2021. | Ford
MAD Industries F-450 ‘toy hauler’ | Ford

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The F-Series has been around since 1948. The model is in its fourteenth generation. Ford loves to remind the world, the F-150 is America’s favorite truck, but it’s a classic for a reason. Customers can buy Ford F-Series trucks with two and four doors in 2WD or 4WD. Some trucks offer fuel-efficient EcoBoosts, others, Power Stroke diesels. The F-Series ranges from the half-ton F-150 to the F-750 commercial-grade truck. The Ford F-Series is the SEMA full-size truck of the year.

One of the most extreme SEMA trucks is the MAD Industries Ford F-450. MAD Industries decided to build one of the most capable “toy haulers” around. They began with a Super Duty Platinum Crew Cab 4WD with a 6.7-Liter Power Stroke diesel. MAD Industries lifted it and installed blue, forged rims. They matched all the exterior colors and accents with the same blue. To finish it off, they added a Ford Performance compressor, tonneau covers, and fridge.

The 2021 Toyota Tacoma won mid-size SEMA truck of the year

This is a promotional photo of Toyota's in-house Tacozilla custom Tacoma. The truck has a full camper instead of a bed, inspired by old Chinook campers. The Toyota Tacoma took home the mid-size SEMA truck of the year award. | Toyota
Toyota’s retro Tacozilla camper is trail-ready | Toyota

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While Toyota is a relative newcomer to the US truck market, its capable off-roaders have endeared it to American buyers. The manufacturer debuted the mid-size Toyota Tacoma in 1995. The little-truck-that-could has dominated the market segment ever since. The most recent Tacoma shares its underpinnings with the capable 4Runner and other Toyota 4x4s. It’s available with a V6 or I4 engine and automatic or manual transmissions. The Tacoma begins at $28,500. Yet again, the Tacoma won the SEMA best mid-size truck to customize.

One of Toyota’s most eye-catching builds for SEMA 2021 was its “Tacozilla” truck. This custom one-off pays tribute to Toyota Chinook camper trucks of days gone by. The team at the Toyota Motorsports Garage completed this retro project. They carefully engineered the camper’s round edges and aluminum surfaces to echo the design of its 2021 Tacoma chassis. The result offers a fridge, stove, toilet, TV, wood floors, and pass-through to the cab.

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