SEMA Auto Show is organized each year by the Specialty Equipment Market Association. It takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the biggest modified cars show in the United States. The show is divided in 4 main attractions: hot rod and muscle car tuning, modified modern car, rims and finally innovative technology. It is a must see for anyone interested in car modification.
At the 2011 SEMA Show, Chevrolet unveiled the Sonic Dusk Concept and it was rather well received. Because of the positive reaction, GM decided to offer a production version Sonic Dusk and it announced said model at the 2012 SEMA Show.
The new Sonic Dusk is painted Ashen Grey, which is contrasted by matte-finished upper and lower grilles, door handle inserts, and rear license plate frame. Adding a little class to the Sonic Dusk’s exterior are stainless steel lower window moldings. The car sits on a new set of 18-inch aluminum wheels with a Pearl Nickel finish.
On the inside, the new Dusk edition includes Jet Black, leather-trimmed seats with suede accents and Mojave tan inserts. As standard equipment, the Sonic Dusk offers Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system, which integrates a smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio.
Under the hood, Chevrolet has placed an Ecotec 1.4 liter turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 138 horsepower and 148 foot-pounds of torque delivered between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
While not as ostentatious as some of the projects you’ll see at SEMA, the Accord Sedan X-Package does carry some styling cues that can translate to a production model. The aforementioned X-Package is actually made by Honda to create a sporty, low-profile custom look for the vehicle. The kit in itself includes a number of added components, including a front and side under body, rear under body spoilers, a new sports grille, and a wing spoiler.
For the show model that is at SEMA, Honda decided to give the Accord Sedan an added vista flair, thanks to a two-tone color that features a predominant white body color with a sparking blue hood, front grille, and roof.
The goal of this show car isn’t so much to drop jaws at SEMA but to give the gathered crows a chance to see what the company’ X-Package is all about when fitted into an Accord Sedan. Anybody interested in the marker can opt to add it for a price of just $2,171, excluding installation.
Judging by the showpiece model, we’d say that the price is well worth the accentuated aerodynamic styling on the Accord Sedan. That’s money well spent in our books.
Okay, we all pretty much figured that the BRZ and FR-S would likely have a strong presence in SEMA this year, as it was only one of the most talked about cars all year. To boot, with Toyota and Subaru dragging their collective feet about releasing higher-performance models, aftermarket companies have been working double-time to develop performance parts to hop up its 200-horsepower 4-banger engine.
Our colleagues over at Rides magazine managed to compile a gallery chock-full of just about every BRZ and FR-S at SEMA. We’re not too sure if this is a complete list of the examples at SEMA, but the total count in the gallery is 50 different examples – all but one or two are of the FR-S. We’re not too sure exactly how many cars showed up for SEMA this year, but we can say with some confidence that the FR-S takes the trophy for most heavily represented at the show.
Check out our gallery to see all of the examples that Rides provided us.
NASCAR legend and ESPN racing analyst, Ray Evernham, unveiled a very cool, street-legal 1964 Plymouth Belvedere at the 2012 SEMA Show. The project, called "ForPly," was brought back to life by Sherwin-Williams Automotive and was built on a 1964 Belvedere as a tribute to the year when the car won the Daytona 500 and NASCAR Grand National Championship.
The ForPly features a distinctive Radiant Red automotive matte finish with Graphite racing stripes. For the interior, the tuner opted for a Graphite Grey color combined with carbon fiber inlay and bucket race seats.
The most amazing aspect of the modification was the upgrade for the engine. The ForPly is powered by an updated Dodge R5-P7 race engine with an impressive output of 750 HP. Other special features include NASCAR Sprint Cup shocks, custom 18-inch NASCAR-style wheels, NASCAR-style front splitter and rear spoiler, and an all-digital, backlit dual-display dashboard.
The Plymouth Belvedere ForPly by Sherwin-Williams Automotive will be put on auction at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale Auction in January 2013. All proceeds will go to Evernham Family Racing - a foundation that funds the Autism Society of North Carolina.
Anybody remember the Mercedes-Benz R-Class? Long story short, it was Mercedes-Benz’s attempt to popularize the MPV-meets-SUV segment, which included the likes of the now-deceased Chrysler Pacifica.
Even with the Mercedes-Benz image, this car was a failure due to it being hideously ugly and overly expensive — a failure that Mercedes later admitted. Once sales began, the starting price of the R-Class was very close to the starting price of the flagship S-Class. So, unless you owned a 5-star hotel with airport-transfer service, the R-Class never really justified its usefulness over the S-Class.
Keeping all of that aside, the R-Class isn’t exactly the type of car that would cross most minds when it comes to modification. At SEMA, however, cars showcased don’t really bend to convention. With that thought in mind, Infinite Auto Design decided to lease some new life to the forsaken R-Class.
Underneath that AMG-esque body kit is a standard R500 that is powered by an unmodified 5.0-liter V-8 engine. This means it cranks out 302-horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque, which isn’t too bad for a minivan-SUV crossover in its era.
The exterior embraces the full blown treatment that any car at Infinite Auto Design would receive. It gets custom-built front and rear bumpers that add some eye-candy to the standard and rather boring design. The car is then wrapped in a gray matte paint job and fitted with a set of delicious looking, 20-inch Forgestar wheels.
Overall, this car can only be appreciated for its attempt at injecting a few ounces of "cool" into the R-Class, much like the nowhere-to-be-seen R63 AMG.
European auto tuners aren’t usually present in mass in a show like SEMA, but Belgian tuner Caractere Exclusive is not only making the exception, they actually went to Las Vegas to present their latest aerodynamic kit for the new Porsche 911.
Built from PU rim, Caractere Exclusive’s body kit features a number of new components, highlighted by a new front bumper with integrated air intakes and air outlets. The kit also includes a new set of side skirts with their own integrated cool air intakes and air outlets, a new rear spoiler, and a rear wing that comes with an integrated third brake light and air intake.
A new sport exhaust system with valve control and dual round tailpipes was also installed to the Porsche, improving its sound and unleashing its full-throttle fury for all to hear. From there, Caractere Exclusive fitted it with a set of either 20- or 21-inch three-piece forged wheels. These wheels not only enhance the car’s look, but they also improve its overall handling and driving characteristics by putting more rubber to the road.
Oddly named as it is, the Hyundai Service Engineering Trackday Veloster looks pretty darn awesome. The product of the company’s own Hyundai Product Quality Engineering, this Veloster Turbo concept proves that these fellas know a lot more than just "ensuring vehicle quality and customer satisfaction prior to vehicle launch and tracking the results after."
What they wanted to do with this SEMA concept was to build an honest track vehicle that could be driven to and from the track. The first thing they worked on was to make sure that the car looked the part of a track-ready racer. That involved dressing up the car in a custom Sprint Gray and Orange Rally-inspired paint scheme. From there, they customized the front fascia to include a fabricated mesh grille and four rally-inspired fog lights. Meanwhile, the rear fascia was also taken care of to include backup lights that have been integrated into the exhaust finishers. Rounding out the exterior upgrades is a carbon-wrapped sunroof and the new set of 18" custom painted Work Emotion 11R Wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires with Blox Racing Street Series forged aluminum lug nuts.
Inside, the Veloster’s interior was fully customized by Katzkin to include an integrated rear strut brace and tire rack, a carbon fiber sunshade, interior LED lighting under the dash and over the rear cargo area, and color-matched floor jack, jack stands, and tire iron. Meanwhile, audio and electronics were taken cared of courtesy of a custom-mounted Nexis 7 tablet and Palmer Performance dash command gauges.
As far as performance goes, this Veloster Turbo Concept received plenty of upgrades, highlighted by an AEM water/methanol injection kit, a custom cold air intake, and a Perma-Cool auxiliary oil cooler. Eibach Pro-Kit lowering springs, a custom steering calibration, and Sachs tuned struts and shocks were also added for stability purposes. Finally, Hawk HPS racing pads, Goodridge stainless brake lines, front camber bolts and rear CTBA spacers, an H-Fit.com custom short shift Adapter and hard mounts, and a custom cold air intake with a K&N air filter round out the pretty extensive modifications done on the Veloster Turbo’s performance credentials.
Compared to his Justice League contemporaries, Cyborg is without question the least recognizable superhero among the five that were used as inspirations on the Kia-DC collaboration that are being displayed at SEMA. Despite not having movies like Batman and Green Lantern, or not having stand-alone cartoons like Flash and Aquaman, Kia and DC Entertainment, together with RIDES Magazine, still gave the half human/half machine superhero for the modern ages an appropriate tribute.
Using the Kia Forte 5-Door as the platform, RIDES Magazine began the project by using an Aztec Silver paint job on the body of the car, a testament to the shiny chrome digs of Cyborg’s actual armor. Red LED lights were also installed into the newly added side ports because, you know, one of Cyborg’s eyes is red. Other exterior elements include a vented air scoop on the hood, a new set of 18" Rotiform TMB wheels with a chrome lip and red anodized bolts, a coil over suspension to give the Forte more aggressive maneuverability, and widened custom metal fenders that alludes to Cyborg’s ability to mechanically morph to face any adversary.
Inside, red perforated leather and red suede are visibly present throughout the cabin. The Cyborg emblem likewise features red and silver trim highlights, which is also visibly featured in the Forte’s interior design. There’s also a tablet on the center console because like Cyborg, this Forte 5-Door is always connected and ready to spring into action. The final touch inside the Forte is the JL Audio sound system.
The Scion FR-S has stolen the show at SEMA and not just because the company set up a tuning challenge for three companies to compete in. It looks like most of the tuning packages seen in Las Vegas were based on the tiny sports coupe, with some of the most impressive ones being the FR-S GT by Daniel Song and the FR-S Evasive Motorsports.
Along with the other tuning packages released, Ken Stout Racing (KSR) has unveiled the FR-S Pirelli World Challenge Race Car that will be raced in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class starting March 2013. Their FR-S has been fully equipped for the race track, receiving a full roll cage, a five-point safety harness, an OMP flat-bottom steering wheel, and a Racetech racing seat. The car sits on a new set of 18" wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires and features a huge APR carbon-fiber wing that helps improve aerodynamics.
Under the hood, the car’s standard boxer engine has received a TRD supercharger, a C&R radiator, and JE forged pistons. Other additions include a new Vertex exhaust system, a new suspension, and new racing brakes.
Back in 1978, Dodge rolled out a special edition package for its D150 pickup trucks, which were not yet named “Ram.” This new package was known internally as Package Code YH6 and featured a high-output 360-cubic-inch V-8 engine with a 4-barrel carb pumping in fuel. The engine boasted high-flow cylinder heads and an aggressive cam shave and it all hooked up to a 3.55-to-1 rear end. This package, which we all know as the L’il Red Express, only lasted two years – 1978 and 1979 – and saw only 2,188 units in 1978 and 5,118 units in 1979. This makes it one of the most sought after Dodge pickups ever built.
Well, Ram is rolling out a remake of this classic short-body pickup truck in the form of its SEMA-stationed L’il Red Express Truck. Though it is more modern than the original rendition, it certainly pays it homage rather well. It features the bright-red paint of the original, a side-stack exhaust system, and a wood-trimmed bed.
In addition, this remake of the cult classic pickup features 22-inch Mopar rims with gold inserts, a 5.7-liter HEMI engine that pumps out 390 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque, gold accent stripes, “Hyperblack” painted grille inserts, and a custom Katzkin (no, not “cat skin”) interior. Sure, it lacks the flare-side styling and the wood-outlined bed of the original, but it is bad-ass nonetheless.
There is no mention of this special edition ever coming to the Ram lineup, but don’t be too surprised to see it roll out in 2013 and 2014, as Chrysler loves running special-edition Rams – there have been plenty of them. One thing is for sure, it would definitely carry a higher premium than the $1,131 price for the original L’il Red Express package.
Stay tuned to find our of Chrysler plans to launch this model or not.