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What is Ford’s new GREY color?

Ford Motor Company has recently introduced a new gray paint color option called Carbonized Gray for several of its vehicle models. This unique gray tone is intended to provide a stylish, upscale look for Ford vehicles. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what exactly Carbonized Gray is, what makes it different from other gray shades, and which Ford vehicles offer this color option.

What is Carbonized Gray?

Carbonized Gray is Ford’s trademarked name for a charcoal-inspired gray color that gives off a metallic sheen. It replaces Ford’s previous popular Shadow Black paint option. Carbonized Gray aims to offer something different than a flat gray or silver tone. The idea is to provide a color that looks sleek and modern while also looking grey in some lighting conditions and black in others.

The Carbonized Gray paint uses a special chemical process to achieve its unique look. The process involves applying multiple coats of paint, with a top coat that contains a special blend of aluminum flakes. These aluminum flakes are aligned during the painting process to create the mica-like sheen that gives Carbonized Gray its depth and dimension when viewed from different angles.

In bright sunlight, the paint takes on more of a charcoal gray appearance. But in lower light conditions, the color shifts to look nearly black. This dynamic, chameleon-like quality is what makes Carbonized Gray stand out compared to other neutral gray and black vehicle colors.

How is Carbonized Gray different from other gray colors?

There are a few key differences between Carbonized Gray and other popular gray vehicle colors like silver, gunmetal, or cement:

  • Carbonized Gray changes tone based on lighting conditions. Other grays maintain a more consistent look.
  • It has a metallic flake appearance, while many common grays are flat, smooth tones.
  • Carbonized Gray is much darker than most light/medium grays and has a blackish hue.
  • The depth of color stands out next to the flat appearance of many gray paints.

Essentially, Carbonized Gray offers a more dynamic, upscale look compared to most other gray options from auto manufacturers. It references black in its tone while maintaining enough lightness to be distinct from true black. The visual interest from its color-shifting nature gives it an edge over conventional grays.

What Ford vehicles offer Carbonized Gray paint?

For the 2023 model year, Ford has made Carbonized Gray paint available on several of its most popular vehicles. Here are the Ford models that offer Carbonized Gray as a color choice:

Ford F-150

The best-selling Ford F-150 pickup truck can be customized with Carbonized Gray paint. It is available on all F-150 trim levels from the base XL to the high-end Limited.

Ford Explorer

Ford’s family SUV, the Explorer, can also be configured with Carbonized Gray. It is one of the many factory color choices available on the Explorer across its trim lineup.

Ford Mustang

The sporty Ford Mustang coupe and convertible models offer Carbonized Gray to buyers looking to give their Mustang a bold, unique look.

Ford Expedition

Carbonized Gray is one of the many color options available for Ford’s largest SUV, the Expedition. It can be chosen on all Expedition trim levels.

Ford Edge

Shoppers can select Carbonized Gray on the midsize Ford Edge SUV. It is available across the SE, SEL, and Titanium trim options.

In addition to these models, Carbonized Gray is also available on the Ford Ranger pickup, Ford EcoSport small SUV, and other models. It is one of Ford’s most widely available colors for the current model year.

How much does Carbonized Gray cost?

Carbonized Gray carries no extra cost on Ford vehicles. It is simply one of the standard factory paint color options available. Customers can choose Carbonized Gray at no additional charge over other color choices on Ford models.

Of course, certain trim levels and paint packages on Ford vehicles allow access to specialty paint colors for an added cost. But Carbonized Gray itself does not come with a higher price tag compared to other colors.

Is the Carbonized Gray color popular?

While Carbonized Gray is a relatively new offering, it has quickly grown in popularity over the last couple of model years. According to Ford, Carbonized Gray has become one of the most popular color choices on several vehicles including the Ford Explorer and Ford Ranger.

It accounted for over 20% of all Ford Explorer retail orders in early 2022, which is a significantly high attach rate for a single color option. Ford also notes that over 25% of retail orders for the Ranger pickup have been Carbonized Gray models.

These numbers indicate that Carbonized Gray has resonated very well with buyers looking for a modern, eye-catching exterior color. Its dynamic tone provides some uniqueness and customization to popular Ford SUV and truck models that tend to be purchased in more conservative colors.

Is Carbonized Gray easy to keep clean?

Like any darker-colored vehicle paint, Carbonized Gray does require some extra attention when it comes to keeping your vehicle looking clean. That said, it does not require significantly more maintenance than a black or very dark gray exterior color.

Following good wash and detailing practices is important with Carbonized Gray:

  • Rinse the vehicle often to prevent dirt buildup.
  • Use high-quality car soap and wash mitts/towels to prevent swirl marks and scratches in the paint.
  • Clean wheels and wheel wells thoroughly to prevent brake dust stains.
  • Clay bar the paint once or twice a year to remove contaminants.
  • Apply wax or paint sealant to protect the finish.

Putting some extra care into washing and detailing your Carbonized Gray vehicle will maintain its eye-catching, flawless appearance. It’s worth taking a little time to keep Carbonized Gray looking its best.

Does Carbonized Gray look good on all vehicle types?

The visual properties of Carbonized Gray do make it best suited for certain vehicle types and styles. Its metallic sheen and color-shifting traits work best on:

  • Trucks
  • SUVs
  • Muscle cars
  • Luxury vehicles

On sport coupes, smaller hatchbacks, and non-performance cars, the Carbonized Gray finish may not stand out quite as boldly. It makes most visual impact on larger, more aggressively-styled vehicles where its hints of black can enhance the strength and muscularity of the exterior form.

That said, some smaller vehicles can still pull off Carbonized Gray nicely. It simply makes the biggest statement on trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles where dark colors help create a bolder, more rugged look.

Should I consider Carbonized Gray or black paint?

For shoppers trying to decide between Carbonized Gray and basic black paint, there are some key factors to consider:

  • Black provides a more pure, true dark appearance. It doesn’t change tone.
  • Carbonized Gray has added visual dynamics from its light-shifting nature.
  • Black can look somewhat flat on some vehicles and in certain lighting.
  • Carbonized Gray adds depth while still keeping an overall dark look.
  • Black is easier to match accessories and styling colors to.
  • Carbonized Gray is a less common color that provides uniqueness.

There’s no definitively right or wrong choice between the two colors. Black has its classic, pure dark look. Carbonized Gray offers something similar but with added shades of gray and visual intrigue. It comes down to personal preference and which style best fits your vehicle.


Ford’s Carbonized Gray is an intelligently designed color that offers the best of both black and gray tones. Its metallic sheen and color-shifting traits provide customization and visual interest over plain black or silver paints. Carbonized Gray manages to be neutral while still making a strong styling statement.

This unique charcoal-inspired color is already proving highly popular on Ford trucks, SUVs, and performance models. As Ford continues expanding its availability across vehicle lines, expect Carbonized Gray to become a go-to choice for buyers who want a head-turning, upscale exterior color.

So in summary, Carbonized Gray gives you shades of black, hints of gray, excellent depth, and a color-shifting dynamic look. If you’re shopping for a new Ford vehicle and appreciate darker, distinguished colors, Carbonized Gray is absolutely worth test driving and seeing firsthand.

Ford Vehicle Trim Levels Available Visual Impact
Ford F-150 All trims High
Ford Explorer All trims High
Ford Mustang All trims High
Ford Expedition All trims High
Ford Edge SE, SEL, Titanium Medium

This table shows some key Ford vehicles that offer Carbonized Gray paint and notes the trim levels it is available on. It also rates the overall visual impact of the color on each vehicle type. As you can see, Carbonized Gray makes the strongest styling statement on Ford’s truck, SUV, and muscle car models compared to smaller sedans and crossover SUVs.