The Speciality Equipment Market Association's (SEMA) annual event in Las Vegas has earned a reputation for being a motor show like no other.
Instead of the production-ready new metal, the focus here is on outrageous concepts. Here is our round-up of the star creations manufacturers have come up with for this year's show.
Mazda has shown two concepts at SEMA: the Mazda MX-5 Speedster concept and the Mazda MX-5 Spyder concept. The Speedster pays particular attention to lightweight performance, with a nod to the lightweight roadsters of the 1950s. With weight saving in mind, even the windscreen is replaced by a wind deflector. The Spyder is also a retro-inspired concept, but with a focus on hand-made luxury elements like those found in the sports convertibles of yesteryear, including leather interior trim and a bespoke silver paint job.
Nissan has showcased its new N Attack performance package for the GT-R. Developed during Nissan’s time at the Nürburgring with the GT-R, the N Attack package offers suspension and bodywork upgrades, a larger rear spoiler and heavily bolstered bucket seats. The package will be offered in two formats: a street-friendly package and a track-dedicated set-up.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' tuning arm Mopar has unveiled an all-wheel-drive version of the Dodge Challenger muscle car. It is based on the GT version of the Challenger muscle car and is strictly billed as a one-off for now. It is one of more than a dozen models from Mopar at SEMA, with Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge and RAM models all getting the Mopar treatment.
Ford has collaborated with Ontario-based Bisimoto Engineering to create a 900bhp Mustang, powered by Ford’s 2.3-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost engine. With a host of engineering upgrades, the Bisimoto is the most powerful Mustang on display, while the matt black paintwork, aerodynamic body kit and large rear spoiler ensure that it also packs visual appeal among the eight-strong Mustang line-up planned by Ford and various other tuning companies.
Jeep Wrangler Red Rock
The Wrangler is perhaps the most common car at SEMA, and official tuning partner Mopar got in on the act with a special limited-edition version called Red Rock. The model celebrates 50 years of the Easter Jeep Safari event and is limited to just 50 units. The Red Rock is designed to be the ultimate off-road Wrangler, complete with 35in tyres, rock bars, a winch and an optional lift kit.
Ford Mustang Supercharged Convertible by Hennessey
For the HPE750 Supercharged Ford Mustang Convertible, Hennessey has bolted on a sizeable supercharger system, this time with 9psi of boost. With 774bhp on tap, the Mustang is capable of 200mph and beyond, reaching almost 208mph on a recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. Suspension, brake and carbonfibre aerodynamic upgrades have also been added into the mix, along with Hennessey’s own H10 alloys.
Hennessey has also applied its unique brand of madness to the Ford F-150 pick-up. The 2016 Hennessey VelociRaptor 650 Supercharged adds, as the name would suggest, a 7psi supercharger to the original 5.0-litre V8, upgraded suspension, heavy-duty wheels and custom, widened bodywork to the donor F-150, creating a two-ton, 650bhp pick-up capable of the 0-60mph sprint in nine seconds.
Hennessey Venom GT Spyder
Hennessey’s goal of producing the fastest car in production is still alive, with the Venom GT Spyder making an appearance at SEMA. Since Hennessey’s world record attempt in 2014, the Venom GT Spyder has gained an additional 207bhp thanks to the Venom GT’s compatibility with E85 Flexfuel, which allows boost pressure to be increased by 7psi to 26psi. It’ll also be hard to miss, as one of three canary yellow Hennessey models on display.
The Kia Optima four-door saloon has been given the SEMA treatment, transforming it into a convertible with rear suicide doors. Inspired by the Floridian A1A highway, a turquoise paint job with chrome alloys and trim are complemented by an off-white leather interior with bucket seats. Steel reinforcements keep the car rigid despite the removal of the roof, while the car maintains its 245bhp four-cylinder turbocharged engine, albeit with an upgraded performance exhaust.
Kia PacWest Adventure Sorento
Kia has showcased a hardcore version of its Sorento SUV, named the PacWest Adventure Sorento. Featuring upgrades for performance off-roading such as enlarged wheels and huge tyres, LED spotlights in the grille and above the windscreen and a snorkel for fording deep water, the PacWest Adventure Sorento has been likened to the Ford Raptor.
Chevrolet Camaro SS concepts
Two special-edition Chevrolet Camaro SSs are at SEMA. Dubbed the Black Accent and Red Accent editions, each brings a selection of aesthetic upgrades to the Camaro SS line-up. The Red Accent version adds exterior graphics, 20in alloys, a blacked-out badge and a red engine cover to a silver Camaro SS convertible. The Black Accent edition tints the rear lights, lowers the suspension and blacks out some of the bodywork of the SS coupé.
The Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing-tuned RC F is one of six Lexuses on the Japanese luxury brand's SEMA stand. Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing has also created a version of the new GS F, while the RC F GT3 racer is shown, too. Completing's Lexus's line-up are two versions of the IS and one of the CT.
Ford Fiesta ST by DSPORT
Performance and technology magazine DSPORT has given the Ford Fiesta ST a comprehensive once-over for SEMA. The result is a 400bhp, track-ready Fiesta with aerodynamic upgrades to the bodywork, numerous powertrain enhancements, chassis upgrades, an eight-point roll cage, race seats and steering wheel. The car is in fact being raced in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car class, but will be limited to 300bhp in accordance with race rules.
Ford Focus ST by CJ Pony Parts
Part of Ford’s 50-plus-model SEMA line-up is a modified Focus ST, created in collaboration with CJ Pony Parts. The ST has been given a pearlescent orange paint job akin to the Mk2 Focus ST’s orange body, while it rides on the same Fifteen52 Tremac R43 alloys as Hyundai’s Tucson by Bisimoto Engineering. Under the bonnet, the Focus ST gains an upgraded turbocharger, front-mount intercooler, AirLift adjustable suspension and a host of other performance upgrades.
Ford Focus ST by Cobb Tuning
COBB Tuning has created a Ford Focus ST with racing cyclists in mind. One of the more tame exhibits on the Ford stand, the COBB-tuned Focus offers a more day-to-day SEMA car, although it still features numerous exterior and under-the-bonnet modifications, including 18in alloys, a bodykit and roof-mounted Thule bike rack. According to COBB and Ford, the car is aimed at “cyclists looking to get into the proper mindset before a race”.
Ford Focus ST by FSWERKS
FSWERKS’ Ford Focus ST breaks rank at SEMA, offering minimal visual changes but finely tuned mechanical alterations for a more refined driving experience on both road and track. Exterior modifications are kept to a minimum, with a new front splitter and sideskirts and 19in wheels with Continental tyres being the only alterations, while upgraded suspension and brakes complement the FSWERKS engine and transmission upgrades and COBB and FSWERKS remap.
Ford Focus ST by Rally Innovations
Another Ford Focus ST to feature on the Ford stand is the Ford Focus ST by Rally Innovations. In addition to the interior modifications and deleted rear seats, upgrades to the powertrain and chassis, such as coilover suspension and Greddy plumbing, have been installed, but more notable are the exterior upgrades that have been applied in order to create a rally-ready Focus ST. These include various bodywork bolt-ons, a sizeable spoiler and rally lighting in the grille.
Hyundai Veloster Turbo BTR Edition
Among an array of Hyundai cars, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo BTR Edition will add a performance aspect to a diverse stand at SEMA. Said to offer “more than 500 horsepower” from its turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, the Veloster has also received a remapped ECU and more heavy-duty parts under the bonnet, such as reinforced pistons and an upgraded turbocharger. A black and red paint job and bodywork upgrades feature on the exterior, alongside red-highlighted ‘demon eye’ headlights.
Hyundai Tucson by Bisimoto Engineering
Bisimoto has also been busy with Hyundai, creating a “700bhp-plus” version of the Tucson. The impressive power output is down to an extensive list of engine upgrades, the most obvious of which is a Turbonetics turbo bolted to the 2.4-litre engine from the standard Tucson. The official rendering shows a considerably lower stance than that of the regular Tucson, with white alloy wheels wrapped in Toyo tyres, while a revised grille provides a suggestion as to the performance upgrades inside.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe Tjin edition
A radical aftermarket Hyundai Genesis Coupé ia also on Hyundai’s crowded SEMA stand, with a power output of more than 500bhp. The 3.8-litre V6 engine has also had the Bisimoto treatment, with a new free-flowing exhaust system and a Vortech supercharger and intercooler providing more than 200bhp of extra power over the standard Genesis Coupé. It’s easy to spot thanks to its neon green paint, ultra-low ground clearance and intricate Rotiform alloy wheels.
Hyundai Tucson Adventuremobile
Hyundai has also collaborated with tuner John Pangilinan to create a more rugged version of its Tucson SUV. The Tucson Adventuremobile is similar to Kia’s PacWest Adventure Sorento concept in that it features a body lift, with 15in wheels and off-roading tyres, but is also prepared for overnight adventures with a roof-mounted two-man tent. A new exhaust and engine upgrades give performance a boost.
Honda Ridgeline Desert Race Truck
Honda has previewed the design of its Ridgeline pick-up truck, which won't be seen in production form until next year, with the Ridgeline Desert Race Truck Concept. The high-performance pick-up plays host to a series of off-road performance upgrades created by the Honda Performance Development division, which develops high-performance Hondas for competition.
Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below: