The Ford Mustang has charged to the top of the popularity stakes at the 2012 SEMA show, taking out for the first time the event’s award for the “Hottest  Car” to customize. The Mustang held back some strong competition, particularly from the Chevrolet Camaro, which has won the title for the previous two years.

The award honors the most popular vehicle chosen by aftermarket firms as the best platform for accessorizing, and with the Mustang being one of the most popular vehicles in the world to customize, the award is certainly long overdue.

The winning vehicle is judged according to the number of customized versions on display, and many of those customized Mustangs were on Ford’s own display, including the twin-turbo Mustang Cobra Jet concept and the 650-horsepower Mustang GT developed by Mothers, Autosport Dynamics and RTR.

In addition to the Hottest Car category, SEMA also gives awards for the Hottest Truck, Hottest Sport-Compact and Hottest 4x4-SUV. Ford also took out the Hottest Truck category with its F-Series pickups, while the Hottest 4x4-SUV title went to the Jeep Wrangler and the Hottest Sport-Compact went to the Scion FR-S.

Of the bevy of customized Scion FR-S coupes on display, the sinister FR-S GT racer from California’s Daniel Song was easily the pick of the bunch. It wore a body kit complete with enormous fender flares, a matte black finish and a fashionably-oversized APR Performance  rear wing.

For all the latest 2012 SEMA show coverage, be sure to check our dedicated show page.