The build has come together nicely. We have been fortunate to work some of the top brands and leaders in the industry on this project. Taking inspiration and working with James Bond of UNDFTD we were able to incorporate a host of influences on the project based on the Undefeated ethos of sport, active lifestyle, military, and utilitarianism.
HRE Wheels produces custom forged wheels and when designing the MKX we chose a style that was new to the market and a size that would be perfect for everyday driving, whether it be through the city or up in the mountains. The P40 was chosen with a satin black finish to give the MKX an aggressive look. Falken Tires wrapped the wheels with their luxury sport line to ensure a smooth ride for the SUV.
Brembo provided the Gran Turismo big brake kit for added stopping power. With larger wheels and tires more control is needed. Yellow calipers were chosen to “pop” behind the dark wheels as well as keep with the military / urban assault theme. Race Technologies out of Costa Mesa, CA installed the brakes and we filmed the process for a video that will be released soon.
Adding to the power and giving the MKX a nice sound is a Magnaflow exhaust system. They custom proto-typed the system for this new vehicle and I think they came out nice.
Not much needed to be done to the exterior to improve the looks so we concentrated on the interior. We really wanted to keep the luxury feel inside the vehicle, but still wanted to upgrade it for the show. Everything was kept to remain functional with the MKX including the heated/cool seats. So we added a strip of khaki canvas along with new AMG style perforated leather to the seats for subtle touch of detail. We also wrapped the roof with alcantara and the perforated leather.
An active lifestyle calls for being ready for any situation and any environment. James found these really cool canvas G.E.A.R seat covers from Smittybilt to incorporate in the interior. The pockets are very functional and can come in handy whether its carrying photo equipment or even replacing a diaper bag if you have kids. We wanted the interior to accommodate the modern man for work, play, and family time. Top Stitch Upholstery was able to attach seamlessly the covers for a custom touch. There are more surprises in the interior, but I’ll save it for Part 5 during the unveil at SEMA.
The exterior of the vehicle is the most important element as that sets the tone and focal point of the build. After discussing multiple options with the team, the decision was made to wrap the MKX in Wraptivo by Meguiar’s. There are several reasons for wrapping over paint. We decided to go with a wrap simply because we wanted to make a statement and also not have the color change permanent. The satin grey was perfect and inspired by the color of helicopters. This state of the art material Wraptivo provided is truly amazing and needs to be seen in person. Also we were able to request the help of one of the top installers of wraps for this build and he did an awesome job in 2 days.
For added texture and detail and also to break up the colors on the vehicle it was decided to try out the carbon fiber material from Wraptivo for the roof and rear window wing. I feel it was a nice touch and became another subtle detail.
Of course no project build can be complete without the help of sponsors and we had some great ones for this build. To highlight them without compromising the overall design and look of the vehicle we chose to place the graphics on the INNO cargo box.
INNO creates great products and accessories. After having a custom rack installed by Rack Solid in Santa Monica, we teamed with INNO for the cargo box and surf rack. They will be also providing some snowboard racks for the winter, so we plan on getting some great use from these products throughout the year.
The design and technology used on the box and surf rack is the best I’ve seen. The surf rack uses a latching system that is super easy to use and also looks good on the car with or without the board, as many other options for surf racks look horrible and cheap without the board in place.
Of course we needed to display a board to go along with the surf rack so James called in a favor from Chris Christenson, a renown shaper based out of Carlsbad, CA. Chris custom created a 9 foot gun in a black pearl, which reminds me of a stealth bomber.
Here the INNO box and custom surfboard sit nicely atop the MKX.
As the final touches were complete on the MKX and before it was picked up by the flatbed I felt a sigh of relief and was able to take a moment to feel good about this accomplishment for another SEMA project vehicle. I could also see that James was just as excited and I know that this will be one of our best SEMA’s to date. With multiple clients at the show and 2 project vehicles being unveiled it will be a busy week. Formula Drift will be having their annual press conference and party, Forza / NOS Energy Drink will also be having a party, and the week will be complete with the Targa Trophy Triple Crown finale at ARIA directly after the show…stay tuned.