A quick look at the show highlights
Every November, Las Vegas opens its doors to the SEMA show that attracts the best of the tuning business from around the world. 2018 is no exception as a one-time tuner himself, editor Michele Lupini takes a quick peek at some of this year's Nevada favourites.
Perhaps the biggest news at SEMA was Chevrolet's refreshed Camaro that gets new features and performance parts, a six-pot Brembo brakes and a fresh face with new headlights and rims. Add latest-generation infotainment, Recaro pews and front collision warning; a 10-speed automatic for Camaro SS, as well as a new Turbo 1LE model. Chevrolet also showed a chic ’73 Chevelle Laguna to launch its lates LT5 6.2-liter supercharger crate engine, while Yenko flew the Bowtie tuning flag with a thousand-horse SC Camaro which LT1 V8 gains a steel crank, competition rods and pistons topped off by a supercharger for best effect.
The Ford Ranger was all the rage at SEMA with our familiar bakkie making its US bow early next year, so SEMA saw everything from myriad virtual previews to a vast selection of tricked out new midrange Ford bakkies ,from Project Nightfall with an array of floodlight across the roof and front bumper, to a BDS Suspension version ready for adventure of all kinds, while Air Design USA already has a full body kit available and Ford promises an extensive Ranger of options across the world (SA too!)
Not to be outdone, Ford's F-Series full-size ’truck’ benefited a lot of attention at SEMA too, from Nascar hero Kurt Busch's thousand-horse (750kW) rear-wheel drive F-150 drift machine, while Speedkore supercharged the usually 300kW V8 to 700kW and the Troupe of Extang boosted the 6.7-liter V8 turbodiesel F-350 Super Duty to 350kW and — wait for it — 1268Nm complete with a games table, barbecue grill, refrigerator and OLED TV!
Not to be outdone Full-Race Motorsports F-150 'Freak-O-Boosts’ that F-350 V6 to 750kW and the 680kW De Berti's F-250 carries an apparently similarly powerful lighting system its roof and the Wilderness Collective F-250 expedition gets a cow catcher, roof tent and a dirtbike across it tail. Sticking with Ford bakkies, Hennessey’s 100-0ff 630kW Velociraptor’s 630kW comes via a 2.9-liter compressor nestling atop its V8 to deliver 100km/h in 4.1 seconds.
Trick Ford Mustangs were dime a dozen from RTR’s Performance Pack that retains stock mechanicals and Ford manufacturer warranty but adds a heap of kit available at authorised Ford dealers. Galpin Auto Sport’s Mustang gets a full body kit and a Roush compressor and CJ Pony Parts’ 550kW-plus machine wears all the bits, while CGS Motorsport and Bojix Design went the other way with mild engine tweaks but aesthetics to the moon. Ken Block meanwhile showed a couple of new tyre killers in his latest Hoon devices — a wild Ford Escort and a chopped and channelled old school F150
Moving on to Mopar, Speedkore’s 1060kW Dodge Challenger SRT Demon kills the the quarter mile in just 8.77 seconds — almost a second faster than the atock Demon. Drag fans wiull appreciate that that means! Speedkore also packed a contemporary 700kW 6.2-liter supercharged Dodge Challenger SRT Demon V8 into a pared-out carbon-rich 1600kg ‘68 Dodge Charger. I'd prefer prefer a real Hemi in there! And RAM showed Rebel and Big Horn trucks packed with Mopar products.
And then the imports: Nismo’s wild orange 370Z Project Clubsport 23 ejects its regular naturally aspirated lump in favour of a brand-new 300kW three-litre biturbo V6 called VR30DDTT, while its suspension, steering, brakes and cooling system are all optimised too. Add a neat body kit and 18 inch Rays rims are shod with Hankook tyres and the revamped cabin inherits a roll cage. Nissan's other SEMA exhibits included a wacky red cross Titan XD.
Lexus RC drove a RC 350 F Sport from Miami to Los Angeles with few tweaks made at different tuning houses along the way from 20-inch Vossens in Nitti rubber to lowering springs, silencers, a wrap and underbody lights. There was also a heavily tweaked Lexus UX 250h and an ES 350 F Sport by specialist Artisan Spirit. Kia showed a Stinger GT with 22-inch rims, air suspension, improved intake system and matching exhaust system along with a red-black leather interior, alongside a K900 rolling on 24-inch rims complete with new seats and a specially developed multimedia system.
Honda celebrated motorsport at SEMA with everything from a Formula 3 racer to a TCR Touring Car, which insights isnpired a 290kW Civic Type R by Honda Research West, the power hike courtesy of a new intake system, electronics, down pipe and titanium exhaust, while the undercarriage benefited H & R springs and adjustable dampers. Honda also showed a Ridgeline Outdoor Lifestyle Project bakkie.
German tuning house Abt Sportsline’s 320kW 550Nm Audi SQ5 benefits a wide body kit complete with front bumper, door sills, fender flares and a rear skirt set and roof spoiler and a set of 22 inch Vossen wheels, while kissing cousin VW Jetta has enjoyed a little Air Design USA 80s and 90s stance including an XXL rear spoiler, 19-inch TSW wheels, an Eibach lowering kit and a new brake system, while the bike carrier on the roof is a Volkswagen accessory.