We obsessively covered the 2013 SEMA Show
So as we pack up and wave goodbye to Las Vegas, have a look back at our obsessive coverage of this year's SEMA show, once again presented in handy-dandy roundup format.
If you've been jonesing for some news from Icon, the release of the E-Flyer electric bicycle the other day may or may not have done the trick. But either way, the Californian company known for retrofitting and restoring classic trucks is back with the Thriftmaster, which it has helpfully displayed on the show floor at SEMA (incidentally, with an E-Flyer in the bed).
Quick, what is a car that's actually a motorcycle that can go 400 miles per hour and has 1,000 horsepower? The answer is this - the Castrol Rocket, from Hot Rod Conspiracy, Triumph and others. The bullet-shaped, carbon-fiber shell hides a motorcycle that will attempt to be the first two-wheeled vehicle to crack the 400-mph barrier and beat a record set in 2010.
Hyundai brought a pair of very yellow Velosters to this year's SEMA Show. The first is the car you see above - the Veloster Hylighter. Built in a partnership with aftermarket accessory supplier EGR Group, it's based on a Veloster Turbo, but has been extensively modified for its trip to Vegas.
We covered one of Ringbrothers' more extreme SEMA builds yesterday, the De Tomaso Pantera-based ADRNLN, but if that well-executed but over-the-top Italian-American exotic is too much for you, then perhaps this Ring Brothers 1965 Ford Mustang fastback with a carbon-fiber body suits your tastes better.
Rad Rides by Troy has unleashed upon the SEMA crowds this custom 1969 Ford Torino Talladega GT Special, and it's a beauty. The car calls to mind the classic Holman Moody stock cars that circled NASCAR tracks in the late 1960's, driven by the likes of Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney and David Pearson, who won the Grand National title in both 1968 and '69 in a Ford Torino.
If it had a bit more ground clearance and we didn't know any better, we'd ask when Forge Motorsports' first-generation Volkswagen Golf racecar competed in Group B rally, thanks to almost every one of its exterior design/aero elements and the crazy 400-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four (crank up the boost from 1.0 bar to 1.8 bar and the engine will make 500 hp easily), but Volkswagen never raced the little hatch in that World Rally Championship class.
In 2006, I bought a Scion xB (the super upright, first-generation one), and I always had this wild dream of turning the xBox into an aquarium after it had run its course in my personal test fleet. Long story short, that never happened. But apparently the folks at Toyota got wind of my idea – only, well, this isn't exactly what I had in mind.
There's a fun cliche for all-black cars based on an old Chevrolet Impala SS advertisement - "Lord Vader, your car is ready." It's been reproduced seemingly every time an automaker comes out with a menacing, black car. This Acura Street Performance ILX is for a different movie villain, though. Its advertisement should read, "Goldmember, your car is ready."
A 1951 Studebaker fastback might not be the first vehicle to come to mind when we think "Woody," but here one sits on the SEMA show floor. There's a reason for that: Studebaker didn't make a woody or a fastback in 1951, according to Hot Rod. Hill's Rod & Custom came up with the creation, hired a professional to design it and took on the challenge to build it.
According to a recent report, the Jeep Wrangler is the most popular SUV for customization, and this is backed up by the fact that the iconic off-roader was just named the Hottest 4x4-SUV at SEMA for the fourth year in a row. Looking for ways to keep its customers in-house rather than going aftermarket, Jeep and Mopar are always teaming to offer exciting new parts and pieces for the JK Wrangler.
Is there a cooler car from the 1980s and early 90s to mod than a Fox-Body Ford Mustang? No, there isn't. If you disagree with us, we suggest you have a look at this 1990 Mustang Coupe, which just might change your mind. Although considering just how extensively modified this car - the Top Notch Mustang from Creations n' Chrome - is, we wonder just how much Ford is left in this old pony.
American Expedition Vehicles showed off its simply named Ram Concept at this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Starting with a 2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab and a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel, the Michigan-based team at AEV, which has made a name for itself building ultra-capable Jeeps, promises that this Ram is a "complete vehicle package."
Jeb Greenstone, president, designer and lead fabricator of the custom hot-rod company Cutworm Specialties won the inaugural "Ride Your Hauler to SEMA" contest with his impressive Dually Hauler. The car is currently being honored with a prominent display in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas can often be a sensory overload of overwrought madness, with cars that don't even look drivable anymore. But every once in a while, a modestly modified show car graces our presence, like the customized Dodge Durango you see here, which, in addition to giving us our first glimpse at the aftermarket possibilities for the refreshed-for-2014 model, proves that a car doesn't have to be slammed, scooped, donked and Lambo-doored to have presence.
Classic Recreations, a custom coachbuilder based in Oklahoma, debuted its Coyote-powered 1967 Shelby G.T.500CR at the SEMA show this week. Like the company's previous releases, the bright red, silver striped coupe offers classic Ford Mustang styling with today's reliable mechanicals. "If you like the graceful drivability of a modern G.T.500, but prefer the classic Mustang styling, this is the car for you," said company owner, Jason Engel. "Classic Recreations combines modern technology with clas
Volkswagen brought just three vehicles to SEMA this year (compare that to Ford's 57 show cars): two Jettas and a Golf. Both Jettas showcase the automaker's new turbocharged EA888 four-cylinder engines - one of which is heavily modified - and the Golf is the first seventh-generation model tuned in North America (it launches here next year).
There are no shortage of pickup trucks at this year's SEMA Show. The popular platform has been ripe for customization for years, so it should come as no shock that Ford, General Motors and Ram are all showing a fair few trucks in Las Vegas. From the Ram camp, we have two offerings - the Ram Sun Chaser and the Ram Dually Case Work Truck.
In case you haven't heard, SRT is holding a contest to pick the name of the new, blue paint color for its flagship sportscar, the Viper. SRT has narrowed down a list of over 11,000 names for the color submitted by Viper fans to three finalists: Competition Blue, Overtaking Blue and Viral Blue. Yes, we covered this news yesterday, but we didn't have any live photos of the car wearing the new color. Now we do, and as beautiful as this blue is, we felt the photos warranted a separate post so you co
In the annals of automobile history, there have been many successful vehicles from small European automakers powered by good old-fashioned American V8 engines. Perhaps the most well-known of these Anglo-American mashups is the Shelby Cobra, but another model that figures prominently into the discussion would be the De Tomaso Pantera.
We briefly mentioned the Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver that was heading to SEMA last week when discussing the Mopar lineup set to be shown in Las Vegas. At the time, though, we weren't able to dive too deeply into details. But with SEMA in full swing, we were able to sneak over and grab some snaps of one of the first modified Cherokees we've seen. The Cherokee is, after all, kind of an unknown quantity in the modification department, being so new and featuring such a polarizing design. We were quit
Among the Stingrays, Camaros and various concept vehicles Chevrolet has setup at its massive SEMA display, the one vehicle tugging at our heart strings the most might be the fully restored 1978 Chevy Performance Classic Truck Concept. While this truck's beauty is merit enough, Chevy also tucked its E-Rod powertrain under the hood of this machine giving it the classic styling of a '70s pickup with the 50-state-legal exhaust emissions of a modern vehicle.
We like the Chevrolet Spark EV because it's a relatively affordable electric vehicle that's fun to drive, thanks to a respectable 140 horsepower and, more importantly, 400 pound-feet of torque being pumped out of its electric motor. The only major criticism we had regarding the EV in our First Drive were the brakes – they're pretty bad, folks.
The reborn Dodge Challenger might be getting a bit long in the tooth, having been on the market in its current form since 2008, but Chrysler isn't going to give up on its brutish, full-size two-door just yet. For this year's SEMA Show, the Challenger will be getting a new Mopar edition, as well as a retro-cool shaker hood on the 5.7-liter, Hemi-equipped R/T models.
If the 2014 Transit Connect is anything like it's utile current-generation predecessor, and we suspect it is, it will undoubtedly be one of the most functional vehicles in North America. Ford has used the occasion of SEMA to turn the TC in to things that both make use of that functionality, and occasionally sort of wreck it in the name of good old-fashioned fun. The Ford Hot Wheels Transit Connect most certainly falls into that second category.
The big guns are starting to roll out at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. This is the Bisimoto Hyundai Genesis Coupe, the promised 1,000-horsepower monster that was first shown at the end of September. We ventured across the SEMA floor to get an up-close look at this hugely powerful two-door.
We've talked about Pure Vision Design before, a California-based company that made waves at last year's SEMA show with its Martini-liveried, Indy-car-powered Ford Mustang. That same car later starred in a Petrolicious video we showed you just a few weeks back. The company's latest creation is a menacing car it calls the Pure Vision Design TT Camaro. Based on a 1972 model, this car shares the Martini Mustang's clean styling and obsession with details.
You know, the last time I drove a Honda Odyssey, I thought, "Man, this thing could really use another 781 horsepower." Thank goodness for the folks at Bisimoto, then, who have brought this "Power-Van" to the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. It's your standard seven-passenger Honda Odyssey with massive powertrain tuning to deliver a full 1,029 horsepower. Honda has not listed the torque output, but we imagine it's roughly eleventy billion foot-pounds.
Looking to appeal to the compact tuner crowd, Mazda brought two different flavors of its 2014 Mazda3 to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this week. The Club Sport 3 Concept hatchback (above) has more of a racing vibe to it, while the Vector 3 Concept sedan (right) looks to inject a little extra fashion into the all-new Mazda3.
SEMA has been pretty mellow this year in terms of over-the-top mod jobs. Sure, there have been some questionable choices, but none have been quite as questionable as the vehicle you see above. This is one of five versions of the redesigned Kia Soul that have been rolled out for the show, all of which take their inspiration from music.
Chevy's goal at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this week seems to be to show as much of its Performance and Accessories catalog as possible. That's why it brought three different Camaros - two with V8s and one powered by a V6 - with all of the best goodies from the catalog already fitted.
Ford, along with KISS bassist Gene Simmons and his wife, Shannon Tweed, used SEMA as a backdrop to pull the covers off Snakebit, a 1956 Ford F-100 pickup truck that's been updated with Shelby Mustang-derived styling bits and a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine. All 550 horsepower are funneled through a six-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels.
Despite the fact that the annual SEMA show is more of an exercise in what "could be" than what "will be," it gives automakers the chance to stretch the legs of some of its most important models. Take the 2014 Mazda6, for example – it's hardly new, having gone on sale early this year – but this year's SEMA expo marks the first time Mazda has been able to show off the customization possibilities for its sleek midsize sedan. To that end, the Japanese automaker has arrived in Las Vegas w
The massive 57-car SEMA showcase by Ford ranges from obvious aftermarket-friendly models like the Mustang, to the not so obvious ones, like the Transit Connect and cute-as-an-explosive-button Fiesta ST. Ford plucked several Fiesta STs for SEMA duty, and we were on the show floor today to get a closer look at some of them.
Compared to the stock Chevrolet SS sports sedan, Jeff Gordon's version looks much meaner (in a good way). Somehow it comes off as more butch than the upgrades would suggest, almost as if it has a wide-body kit (compare the Chevrolet Jeff Gordon SS Performance Sedan Concept to the near-production car). But Chevy says that the exterior upgrades are limited to a satin-red exterior, a more aggressive custom front grille, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler and custom-finished 20-inch wheels. Of course, it's
Car culture on each coast of the US has historically been markedly different, and Chevrolet aims to show some of the differences with a pair of Corvette concepts at SEMA. Representing the East Coast is the Corvette Stingray Convertible Atlantic concept, while the Corvette Stingray Coupe Pacific concept has the West Coast flair.
A couple of weeks ago we highlighted four Focus STs that Ford said it would be bringing to SEMA, and three out of the four cars have made it thus far (sorry, no Lotus-themed Focus ST yet). We were really looking forward to the Gulf-themed Focus ST built by Universal Technical Institute (below, left), so we're glad it's on display with its oddly shaped fender flares, side-exit cat-back exhaust system and, most importantly (for this writer, at least), a Vortech supercharger in place of the stock t
We weren't quite sure it was possible, but NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman and the other folks behind this Toyota Dream Build Challenge vehicle (check out the other cars in the challenge) have made the Camry, a versatile but vanilla family sedan, into a performance car to be reckoned with. And by stripping it (literally) of its versatility and injecting some spice into it, this rally-spec Camry does indeed appeal to the enthusiast crowd.
If you guessed that the C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray would be in heavy rotation at this year's SEMA show, you'd be right. The new Corvette is one of the hottest cars on the planet these days, and the halls here in Las Vegas are chocked full of modified examples that range from bananas to unholy.
Happy trails, to you... As we reported back in August, the FJ Cruiser is headed to the great automotive graveyard in the sky, and Toyota is offering a fitting eulogy in the form of the 2014 Trail Teams Ultimate Edition, which was just unveiled here at the 2013 SEMA Show.
The Ford booth here at SEMA is practically a 1970s throwback with all these customized vans sitting front and center. And we're completely fine with that. Take the black and yellow (black and yellow, black and yellow) 2014 Transit Connect from Mobsteel above. It's got a great stance, sits on steel wheels and has a pretty cool paint job and graphics package to boot.
Honda took the wraps off its 2014 Civic Coupe (red car pictured above) and 2014 Civic Si (gray car in the gallery below) at SEMA today, revealing a mid-cycle refresh for each model. The standard Civic coupe benefits from several cosmetic enhancements, while the Civic Si gets the bulk of its improvements under the hood – precisely where the enthusiasts want them.
Unveiled just blocks from the Las Vegas Strip, the 2014 Chevrolet COPO Camaro made its big debut at SEMA preparing to hit a different kind of strip. This purpose-built drag car is pretty much a carryover from recent COPO cars, with just 69 planned for production, and with the new 2014 Camaro styling.
Just a few days ago Chevy dropped the news of its Silverado Cheyenne concept truck, a high-power pickup with Camaro Z/28 parts that looks an awful lot like the spiritual successor to hot-rod trucks like the the GMC Syclone. Theoretically, a performance pickup like the Cheyenne could do serious battle with Ford's sport-oriented 2014 F-150 Tremor. Too bad it's just a concept... or is it?