Global RallyCross is an interesting motorsport. Beginning in 2010 at the X Games, the series races on short tracks made partly of asphalt and partly of dirt, along with a signature variation called the Joker Lap, in which drivers are required to take an alternate, slightly longer route that generally incorporates a 70-foot gap jump.
Party's over, folks. Despite the fact that the city of Las Vegas is a-hustlin' and a-bustlin' 24/7, the lights are officially being turned off here at the 2012 SEMA Show. Thus, our bags are packed and we're getting the heck out of here.
Scion made a huge investment in the 2012 SEMA show, and its spanking new FR-S coupe, by putting hundreds of cars in the hands of tuners. The result on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center is unmissable, as just about everywhere we turn we find another FR-S peeking out at us.
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into... the SEMA Zone.
NASCAR driver Tony Stewart is known as "Smoke" to many, and the custom Camaro ZL1 he helped create for SEMA reflects his sometimes mysterious personality. Chevy design manager Dave Ross worked with Stewart to come up with not only the flat red and silver tribal theme, but the custom gray-metallic paint and the red-haloed headlights, as well.
Who knew the Toyota Avalon could be so... sporty? SEMA isn't just about tuning no-brainers like the Ford Mustang and Scion FR-S, it's about showing what's possible for a wide variety of cars, even seemingly geriatric machines like the big Avalon.
If there's one legitimate complaint that can be hurled at the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport, it's that it has no more power than its less-sporty siblings. It's not that 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque isn't enough for good performance – as the GS 350's 5.7-second sprint to 60 can attest – it's that a separate model that's billed as a performance version could use a few bonus ponies to keep enthusiasts buyers from feeling snubbed.
It's easy to forget it was Holman & Moody that helped first put a Ford Mustang on track in competition. Well before Carroll Shelby ever spun a wrench on one of the pony cars, H&M served up a set of race engines for Alan Mann Racing. That team took four specially prepared 1964 notchback Mustang models to the 4,000-mile Tour de France Automobile and brought home first place in the Touring Car class. Holman & Moody have chosen to celebrate that milestone with a special 2014 Ford Mustang
It is unlikely that anybody has ever accused the Audi R8 GT of being a slow car, but like everything else on display at the SEMA Show – where the unofficial motto should be "if there's a will, there's a way" – Underground Racing has proven that fast can also get faster. Starting life as a 560-horsepower R8 GT, Underground Racing has developed four stages for the car ranging from a "mild" 700 hp up to a ridiculously wild 1,000-hp version... and that's just on pump gas.
Of all the many Scion FR-S models here on the SEMA floor in Las Vegas – and there are a great many of them, have no doubt – the very purpose-built car from Stout Racing is one that we may hear about again in the future.
Chevrolet Performance worked over the Chevrolet Sonic just for this year's SEMA show to create this B-Spec racecar concept. Built to conform to all of rules and regulations of the B-Spec subcompact classes in both the SCCA and the Grand-Am series, the five-door features new coilovers on all four corners with revised mounts, adjustable front stabilizer bar links and a rear axle shim kit. The requisite air inlet restrictor has also been shoved in place, and the ECM and EBCM have been recalibrated
What's so special about the customized Mustang you see above? Well, first of all, it's very well done – nicely designed and assembled with care – but that's not its main claim to fame. In an industry dominated by persons born with both X and Y chromosomes, the XXs don't want to be overlooked, and so this Ford Mustang Powered by Women came into existence.
Quality Metalcraft's CEO Michael Chetcuti has got big plans for the Jeep Wrangler – big enough to seat six, in fact. This QMC Jeep dubbed the JK Six Pak, for obvious reasons, is here at SEMA as a sort of proof of concept project.
We're all still a little taken aback at the sheer number of Scion FR-S mods we've seen at SEMA this year. Not only did the FR-S win the Best of Show award for the Sport Compact class, but based on gross tonnage the rear-drive Scion has got to be one of the most popular models in the tuner world today.
Electric carmaker Fisker has partnered with car-wrapping specialists 3M for an interesting demonstration of what could be at this year's SEMA festivities. As we reported in greater detail earlier, the folks from 3M are wrapping up the Karma in a few fairly wild shades and stripe packages, to have a little fun with the already drop-dead gorgeous Fisker.
HRE has brought some pretty excellent wheels to market in the past, such as the retro-tastic Vintage Series, bridging old and new in fantastic fashion. The wheel-maker's latest offering is the Carbon Series CF2 Concept, now on display at SEMA.
Acura has used the occasion of this year's SEMA show to unveil a 2013 ILX that is remarkably different from the road-going car that we are familiar with. A far distance from the rather mildly performing street car, this ILX Endurance Racer is actually prepped to race at the grueling 25 Hours of Thunderhill in Willows, California.
In all the talk of the zombie apocalypse, there's been little discussion of how the undead are going to provide music for their election rallies and beachfront luaus. We can't be sure since we hardly know anything about it, but the Chevrolet Spark prepared by Enemy to Fashion for SEMA could be the answer.