2001 Ford EX: That Time Ford Made a Concept Dune Buggy
Usually, when an automaker shows up at a trade show with a concept car, it’s a vision of a future design direction, new technologies, or a preview of an actual production vehicle. But on occasion, a concept car is simply a flight of fancy to attract attention and media buzz. Back at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show, Ford turned up with just that sort of concept car – the Ford EX. For all practical purposes, this thing was a Ford dune buggy.
The EX was an open-bodied 4×4 designed for fun and performance on any terrain. It was built on a Chromoly tube steel frame, wrapped in removable composite body panels. It also offered a perfect 50/50 weight balance and was powered by a supercharged 4.0-liter V6 engine that made 375 hp and 410 lb-ft. of torque, connected to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Well, that all sounds like good fun.
The interior of the Ford EX protected occupants with a full roll cage and bucket seats with 4-point racing harnesses. At the same time, all of the materials were designed to hold up to the extreme conditions that a buggy might encounter on the road, as well as the harsh sun. The floor was made from washable molded rubber and even had removable drain plugs for rinsing out mud and dirt.
Ford never put the car into production, but a red-tinted build of the EX concept turned up at the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction back in 2017, where it sold for $110,000. Unfortunately, the one-off concept vehicle isn’t street legal.