2017 SEMA Show – Preview
A blank check for aftermarket creativityby Jonathan Lopez, on
We’re about a month away from the glitz and glamour that is the Los Angeles Auto Show, but before we get there, we must first turn our gaze north east, out towards the desert sands of Las Vegas for the 2017 SEMA Show. In case you were unaware, SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, a group that hosts an annual trade show which attracts thousands of parts suppliers, car builders, restoration shops, tuners, dealers, and big OEM automakers, all of whom arrive in Sin City to participate in one of the biggest custom car shows in the world. It’s an aftermarket extravaganza, a cornucopia of modified rides that compete for the attention of some of the most discerning eyes in the industry. Prepare yourself – SEMA is the place to be if wild and crazy four-wheeled creations are what you’re after.
To give you a flavor of what it’s like to attend (SEMA is closed to the public), we’ve compiled several of the major builds slated to show in the following preview, listed here for your viewing and reading pleasure. Keep on eye on TopSpeed as the official show date approaches (October 31st through November 3rd), as we’ll be reviewing all the good stuff as it’s revealed. So without further ado…
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 SEMA Show.
First in our preview list of SEMA builds is this one-off upgraded Ford Bronco, an example from 1966 representing the first of five generations for the nameplate. Outside, we find a yellow and blue paint job that’s in line with the famous lubricant producer that lends its namesake, while under the hood is a turbocharged EcoBoost engine providing the power. What’s more, this slick Bronco will go up for auction to benefit charities like Childhelp, an organization that serves neglected and abused children.
Read our full review on the Ford WD-40/SEMA Cares Boosted Bronco.
Designed to transform Hyundai’s unassuming SUV into a badass, dirt-munching trailblazer, this custom Santa Fe starts with colossal Mickey Thompson tires, perched underneath a sizable lift provided by coilovers from King. Further upgrades include LED lighting, a stereo from Kicker, and a wet nitrous system to spray on more power.
Read our full review on the Hyundai Rockstar Energy MOAB Extreme Off-Roader Santa Fe Sport Concept.
The next custom Hyundai headed to SEMA is a sleeker, more efficient version of Hyundai’s hybrid Prius fighter – the Ioniq. Pieced together by Bishimoto Engineering, the Hypereconiq gets substantial exterior upgrades with a new body kit and carbon fiber bits, plus carbon fiber wheels as well. Recaro seats are mounted inside. Powertrain upgrades include greater range thanks to a set of “e-generators” and a custom exhaust system, while coilovers set the appropriate ride height.
Read our full review on the Hyundai Hypereconiq Ioniq.
The ever-popular Focus RS hot hatch is a natural fit for SEMA, and the above example shows what happens when a variety of companies get in on the same project. For the exterior, this Blue Oval gets a bright yellow paint job (appropriately, the hue is dubbed Axalta Pennzoil), as well as 19-inch wheels and a variety of carbon fiber aerodynamic bits. Further composites were added to the interior, such as for the shifter, instrument cluster, and window switch cover. Powertrain improvements like a new exhaust and drivetrain improvements like a short-throw shifter add extra sportiness, while BC Racing coilovers provide the drop.
Read our full review on the Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, Pennzoil.
While the Focus RS is rather stout right out of the box, tuners are always looking to squeeze a bit more from what comes from the factory. Case in point – the Focus RS “Triathlete” from VMP Performance, a custom that promises improved performance at the drag strip, road course, and winding backroads. Outside, the car’s curb weight was cut thanks to oodles of carbon fiber, while a bolt-in harness bar and five-point harness keeps the driver in one spot. Making more ponies is a new exhaust, intake, and custom tune, while Air Lift provides the suspension.
Read our full review on the Ford Focus RS “Triathlete” By VMP Performance
The RS isn’t the only Focus to get some custom love at SEMA this year, as evidenced by this impressive ST model from Blood Type Racing. Rocking flared fenders, carbon fiber wings, and a shiny shade of Midnight Purple paint, the ST certainly looks the part of a SEMA special. Sabelt seats and a roll bar can be found in the cabin, while the four-cylinder engine gets a new turbo kit, plus a host of supporting mods. Sounds about right, but what really makes this thing unique is the drone landing pad mounted to the roof.
Read our full review on the Ford Focus ST By Blood Type Racing
Turning a four-door commuter sedan into a rip snorting performance machine is always appreciated around here, and this Elantra looks like it made that transition with flying colors. Built by Blood Type Racing, the Elantra comes equipped with a wide body kit, 19-inch wheels, and custom headlights, plus a carbon fiber steering wheel and new floor mats for the cabin space. Helping the 1.6-liter four-banger make more go is a custom tune and a methanol injection system.
Read our full review on the Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept.
The Bow Tie is using SEMA as an opportunity to unveil a pair of special edition models for the popular Colorado ZR2 pick-up truck. The first is the Midnight Edition, which comes equipped with black trim pieces, black badges, and new 17-inch wheels finished in (you guessed it) black. Meanwhile, the Dusk edition offers a lot of the same, but with additional color options.
Read our full review on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition And Dusk Edition.
The Kia Stinger is ripe for modification, and it looks like West Coast Customs is jumping at that opportunity with this SEMA-bound concept. All the details are still forthcoming, but for now, expect a wide body kit that plumps the car’s fenders by several inches. Custom 21-inch wheels will fill the space, while a new diffuser in back adds aggression alongside a quartet of exhaust tips.
Read our full story on the Kia Stinger By West Coast Customs.
Ford’s famous pony car will be out in full force at SEMA this year, including this fine example from Air Design. Outside, the parts company added its unique body kit, which includes a new front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser, all of which is complemented by 21-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber. Leather seats and a Kicker audio system round out the interior upgrades, while a Borla exhaust makes the rev noises.
Read our full review on the Ford Mustang By Air Design.
While more speed and more style are par for the course at SEMA, some show cars also get improved utility. Take the Traverse SUP Concept, which gets a host of Chevy accessories to help get you and your gear where you need it to be, including a stand-up paddleboard carrier mounted on the roof. Complementing it is a two-tone paint job, as well as numerous interior upgrades.
Read our full review on the Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept.
In the world of Ford Performance, the name “Roush” carries some serious weight. As such, the tuner is arriving in Vegas this year with an upgraded pony car that gives a nod to the Boss 429 from the ‘70s. Draped in Grabber Green paint, the ‘Stang gets a custom wide body kit, Vossen wheels, and carbon fiber aerodynamics, while the interior gets a roll cage and race buckets from Recaro. Making extra go for the V-8 is a new intake and exhaust, while improvements to the brakes and suspension round it out.
Read our full review on the Ford Mustang By Roush Performance
It’s crazy how much of a difference a few choice upgrades can make. Just check out this spiffy-looking Hyundai Tucson – equipped with upgrades from Vaccar, the Sport Concept gets new bumpers, side skirts, and a diffuser, as well as a new grille and BASF paint job. 20-inch wheels fill the corners, while leather and suede are spread across the interior. Rear-seated passengers also get their own 9.0-inch display screens. Under the hood, the Tucson gets a variety of power-making upgrades, including a new intercooler, intake, exhaust system, and more.
Read our full review on the Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept
Created by the non-profit organization Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti (DRAGG), this muscle car looks primed and ready to cruise the beat. Not only does it have the requisite graphics for a police car, but it’s also got the lights and ram bar you’d expect for such a vehicle. What’s more, the EcoBoost engine under the hood was upgraded with a few choice performance mods, while the suspension gets new lowering springs, sway bars, and brakes.
Read our full review on the Ford Mustang By Dragg
Shiny paint jobs and big stereos are all well and good, but what we really like is a gasoline-gulping monster motor under the hood. Tucci Hot Rods agrees, and as such, this ‘Stang is rocking a double dose of boost makers courtesy of a Helion turbo kit. G-Force upgraded the drivetrain with new rear axles and a new driveshaft, while a RideTech suspension helps to put the power down. And oh yeah – it’s got the look of a serious performance machine as well.
Read our full review on the Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods.