SEMA Auto Show

SEMA Auto Show

  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.

Chevrolet is set to use the 2012 SEMA Auto Show to be a kind of performance and personalization showcase for a lot of its models. We’ve already seen a couple of performance Sonics that are headed to the annual aftermarket show in Las Vegas and now Chevy has announced its intent to bring a performance version of a car that was just unveiled recently: the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo.

Called the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept, the car comes decked with a basket case full of aerodynamic and performance upgrades, turning what is already the fastest production Malibu into a meaner and more aggressive sports sedan.

On the outside, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept features a unique exterior paint finish called Berlin Blue Tricoat. Looking at the renderings of the car, the color works pretty well on the Malibu Turbo. From there, an aero package was installed that includes a new front splitter, rocker panels, a new rear diffuser, a boot-mounted wing, clear tail lamp lenses, turbo badges, and a new set of 20" alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero tires. You’ll notice that the Malibu’s front profile looks a lot more menacing than its stock counterpart. That’s because Chevrolet did a little switcheroo, fitting the concept with a custom lower grille and fog lamp grilles with red surrounds.

Inside, the modifications continue with the use of Jet Black leather and Navy Blue suede trim with matching red accent stitching on the Recaro sports seats, the flat-bottom steering wheel, the door panels, and the instrument panel.

Finally, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept also received a sizable performance upgrade, courtesy of a new cold-air intake system that improves the power from the car’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Considering the Malibu Turbo already nets 259 horsepower, it’s possible that, with these mods in tow, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept can break 300 ponies easy.

Of the four vehicles that are set to take part in the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge, NHRA Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown’s Sequoia Family Dragster Concept is just about the most ridiculous of the bunch. And we mean ridiculous in a good way.

This SEMA -bound project, aptly nicknamed the "DragQuoia" was built with one goal in mind: straight line speed.

So Antron Brown went to work to make sure that no stones were left unturned in making this vehicle the fastest of the four in the competition. The first and most important order of business was to give the Sequoia a TRD-supercharged engine with nitrous, netting an insane output of over 650 horsepower. From there, Brown and his team fitted a new set of 21.5" rear tires and worked on customizing the chassis fabrication to remove well over 1,600 lbs in what they describe as "non-essential" weight.

From there, the team took the interior to fit the Sequoia with four individual racing seats, each coming with its own five-point racing harness. There’s also a child-size version with its own harness in the back for the little one, further illustrating the massive irony of this build. Finally, to enhance the vehicle’s safety credentials, Brown added a full custom roll cage and a tail-mounted parachute.

"It’s...a special vehicle with a little hint of NHRA twisted all the way in it, with a lot of horsepower,” Brown said. “It’s fast…from my house to the grocery store!”

The man isn’t exaggerating.

The DragQuoia will be one of four vehicles that are part of the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge. Fans will get the chance to vote once per day on their favorite model via Toyota Racing’s Facebook page from October 20 to 29. The winning vehicle will take home $50,000, which will go to the driver’s charity of choice.

UPDATE 11/03/12: The Toyota Sequoia Family Dragster didn’t take home the hardware of the Toyota Racing Dream Challenge, but it did walk away with the Sony Computer Entertainment America’s Gran Turismo Award for Best Truck or SUV at the 2012 SEMA Show. Big ups to the "DragQuoia" for the achievement!

NHRA Alcohol Funny Car race car driver Alexis Dejoria is the only woman competing in the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge. To make a splash in the competition, Dejoria took the challenge of building a custom-tuned vehicle using the biggest vehicle in the lot, a stock, full-sized Toyota Tundra.

Not lacking confidence one bit, Dejoria enlisted the help of Dale Dondel and his team at Racer Engineering to built the meanest vehicle at SEMA .

The first order of business was to make extensive modifications to the chassis and body of the Tundra. Dejoria and Racer Engineering made use of fabricated long A-arms, trailing arms, while also installing massive racing shocks, a new front and rear bumper, a new brush guard, fiberglass front and rear fenders, a dual spare tire carrier in the bed, and a new set of 17" Mehod racing wheels wrapped in Maxxis tires.

All told, the result is 20" of wheel travel in front and 24" in the rear, enough to allow the Tundra Pre-Runner to run roughshod over just about any navigable stretch of desert race territory.

Inside, the modifications include NRG racing seats with custom Hooker 7-point harnesses, a full leather-wrapped roll cage, and a high-powered JBL sound system.

Under its hood, the Tundra Pre-Runner received a 5.7-liter TRD-supercharged V8 engine fed by a custom rear-mounted fuel cell.

“I wanted to do the best possible off-road vehicle we could,” DeJoria said. “I think this is going to be the baddest vehicle at SEMA.”

Not one to make bold exaggerations, DeJoria could be on to something here, especially if her Tundra Pre-Runner somehow wins the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge. Voting for your favorite project is now open at the Toyota Racing Facebook page until October 29, 2012. The winner will receive $50,000, money that will go to their chosen charity. In Dejoria’s case, that charity would be Safety Harbor Kids.

One of the most eagerly anticipated events at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show , at least in our book, is the presentation of the three cars competing in Scion’s annual Tuner Challenge. This year, the Toyota -owned automaker decided to give three of the country’s best builders a chance to create their own custom FR-S in time for SEMA.

The three - John Toca from Chicago, Illinois, Daniel Song from Orange County, California, and Chris Basselgia from Lebanon, Pennsylvania - were each given a stock FR-S model to work with. On top of that, they were allocated a budget of $15,000 and three months to finish their project.

Needless to say, with SEMA less than two weeks away, we expect all three custom FR-S models to be on the last stages of their development before heading over to Las Vegas. We’re pretty excited to see what these three talented builders did with their respective FR-S models.

But before we get a chance to look at each one of them, we’ll have to settle for this teaser video that Scion presented of the FR-S Tuner Challenge 2012.

If the Z-Spec 2.5 Concept is a little too much, then you’ll be happy to know that Chevrolet has another Sonic -based concept prepared for the 2012 SEMA Auto Show: the Sonic Z-Spec 1 Concept. This latest concept combines the Z-Spec’s exterior look with a more capable driving experience.

The Z-Spec 1 Concept is painted in a custom Synergy Green color combined with an Ashen Grey Sonic RS rear spoiler and Z-Spec stripe, as well as logos and Piano Black mesh-style upper and lower grilles with Ashen Grey surrounds. The final piece of the exterior is a new set of 18" wheels in a split-spoke design with Synergy Green inserts.

To improve the driving experience, Chevrolet has lowered the ride height with a Chevrolet Performance concept suspension kit, including lowering sprints, performance dampers, and a new concept brake kit featuring four-piston front disc brake calipers with 16-inch rotors. A new Borla exhaust system enhances the sound of the engine.

For the interior, Chevrolet combined Jet Black and Titanium with Chevrolet Accessories stainless steel pedal covers and sill plates. The concept also received some cool technologies like a MyLink color touch screen and Sub and Amp Kit, with a KICKER 200-watt DSP amp and a 200-watt powered subwoofer.

Some may think that the 2012 SEMA Auto Show is just for sports cars getting a boost here and there, but in reality, every car segment is represented at this tuning free-for-all, including the Ford Escape . Ford is showing up to Las Vegas with the Urban Escape Adventurer developed by VACCAR. According to Ford, this project aims to "visually express the potential of the all-new Ford Escape . It represents the ideal balance of rugged off-road attitude, upscale comfort and potent EcoBoost engine."

Not many details have been provided for the Escape just yet, but it looks like the Urban Escape Adventurer will feature a very cool body kit, a gray exterior paint finish, and a new set of wheels.

As far as power is concerned, the Urban Escape Adventurer is run by a 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine combined with a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. Nothing has been said on whether or not this engine will bring some boosted power or not, but we’ll find out as soon as the 2012 SEMA Auto Show opens its doors.

Let’s be fair, when someone buys a Chevrolet Sonic , they do it because they want a small car for their family, not because they want to update its looks at some point with some crazy tuning packages. That being said, the Sonic will still be well-represented at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, allowing Chevrolet to prove to all of us that even a small car like the Sonic has an infinite number of personalizing possibilities.

One of these possibilities is the Z-Spec 2.5 Concept, which displays a number of parts from Chevrolet Performance and GM Accessories. The concept is painted in a very cool Abalone White Tricoat exterior paint combined with Z-Spec graphics and a very cool set of 18" wheels in Galvano Silver with Signal Red edges. The same Galvano Silver paint was used for the grille surround, fog lamp bezels, and door trims. The exterior updates continue with a very cool aerodynamic package, lower fascia extensions, and a rear spoiler. The company’s attention to detail is prevalent in the tinted windows and fog lamps, which combined with the other exterior add-ons, make the little Sonic almost unrecognizable.

The concept’s interior combines a Jet Black leather trim with Orange Crust leather inserts and orange accent stitching. There is also a leather-wrapped steering wheel, stainless steel pedal covers, and a very cool MyLink color touch screen. Chevrolet also threw in a Sub and Amp Kit with a KICKER 200-watt DSP amp and a 200-watt powered subwoofer for good measure.

To make the Sonic look mean with its small stature, the company lowered its ride using aChevrolet Performance concept suspension kit with lowering sprints and performance dampers. We’re not sure if the concept is now more powerful than the standard model, but we do know it has also received a cold-air intake kit and a Borla exhaust system.

We are getting closer and closer to the official launch date of the 2012 SEMA Show, so the number of packages announced for the event keeps growing. The newest kit is from Misha Design and it’s a very cool GTM body kit based on a Porsche Panamera provided by JC Custom.

The GTM kit will actually be available in two options: a GTM kit for the regular Panamera body and another kit with wide body rear fender flares. The rest of the kit will be the same regardless of the width chosen. It will include a new front bumper with a gloss black lip and large air intakes, new front wings, new side skirts, flared rear arches, a big rear diffuser, a new roof spoiler, and a new decklid spoiler.

The final version of the Panamera will be painted by JC Customs in a matte gray metallic, not the white seen in these preliminary images. The gray finish will then be combined with a new set of 22" Govanna MECCA wheels provided by WTW Corp and new tailpipes.

More details on the Porsche Panamera GTM by Misha Designs will be released during the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, so stay tuned!

Kia’s partnership with DC Entertainment to raise awareness for the latter’s We Can Be Heroes campaign against hunger in the Horn of Africa apparently extends further than the recent Optima "Batmobile" we saw a week ago.

Turns out, the Korean automaker has another superhero-inspired model headed to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show . Together with the fellas over at West Coast Customs, Kia brought the Forte Koup "Flash" at Las Vegas.

Considering that there’s no car in the automaker’s entire line-up that can really give justice to The Flash and his lightning speed super powers, we’re not going to hold it against Kia. After all, the Forte Koup Flash actually looks sizzling. The red, orange, and yellow airbrushed exterior color is a trademark of Flash’s costume. The hood also bears the iconic Flash logo with a cutout right in the middle, allowing everybody to see the kind of engine this bad boy packs. A custom coil over suspension was also added, effectively improving the Forte Koup Flash’s handling while a new set of 20" Asanti color-matched wheels wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires.

Inside, the Forte Koup Flash’s seats have been reupholstered in black nappa leather with contrasting red suede and yellow stitching. Character artwork has also been embroidered into the seats. Likewise, the headliner also gets black suede upholstery with custom stitching and custom-painted pieces. West Coast Customs also installed two, 10" sub woofers and two sets of coaxial component speakers with a Quart four-channel amp. Finally, a pair of 7" Rosen Entertainment monitors plays a "We Can Be Heroes" campaign video in the front headrests.

Steeda is one of the tuners with the most impressive tuning packages presented at the SEMA Show. And this year is no exception from that rule: the tuner has prepared a very cool Focus ST for those of you who will take a trip to Las Vegas for the show.

Their project has been inspired by the European version of the Focus ST and according to the first details is the perfect car for both street and track. Steeda has worked on improving both performances and handling, but in the same time their ST features a very aggressive look.

The first details we have on the car suggest that the Focus ST has received Steeda G-Trac suspension modifications, Brembo brakes, a new set of 19" custom wheel and tire package takes power to the tarmac. There is also a pretty impressive aerodynamic package and looks like carbon fiber is a big part of it.

More details will be unveiled at the upcoming SEMA Show.


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