For car modders and the aftersales market, Christmas always comes early, in the form of the SEMA Show, which is traditionally held in the first week of November.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association’s flagship event claims to be the biggest automotive specialty products trade event in the world, attracting more than 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries in the automotive, truck and SUV, powersports, and RV markets.
But what were the highlights of 2016’s event?
Americans love the Ford Mustang, so it was little surprise that this track-ready turnkey Mustang racecar was attracting so much attention.
The Mustang GT4 is the result of a design and engineering collaboration between Ford Performance and Multimatic Motorsports, and will be used to compete in sports car championship racing series around the world, including the GT4 European Series when it hits Silverstone in June 2017.
The car is driven by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V8 racing engine that was tuned specifically for GT4 competition and built by Ford Performance with the help of Roush Yates Engines.
It features some aerodynamic enhancements such as a rear wing, front splitter, hood venting, diveplanes and a rear diffuser, while the inside gets a full FIA-compliant roll cage and race-oriented dash logger.
Hyundai isn’t usually a name you’d associate with performance or modding but after the motorsport-inspired RN32 at October’s Paris Motor Show, here they were again with some refreshingly ridiculous concepts.
Developed with Rockstar Performance Garage, this nitrous-powered Santa Fe has been raised to gift it an off-road-ready stance and uses a 3.3-litre Lambda V6 engine to drive all four wheels over virtually any terrain.
Sticking with the Santa Fe, this is the 1,025bhp rear-wheel drive “Santa Fast”, developed with Bisimoto, a name often associated with awe-inspiring street, show and race vehicles. It too uses the Hyundai-based 3.8L Lambda V6.
This Jeep CJ66 is a Wrangler-based off-roader that sits on 35-inch BFG all-terrain tyres and uses Mopar Dana 44 Crate axles at the front and rear to help it make light work of crawling over rocks and boulders.
Mazda was showing off a concept of its MX-5 RF Kuro – essentially the retractable hardtop model but with charcoal styling elements and semi-matte black metallic paint. It comes on 17-inch Rays forged wheels with an OpenFlash Performance exhaust that provides a power boost of up to 7bhp. It also has Brembo dual-piston front brake calipers.
This racing-inspired Lexus LC 500 boasts aerodynamic bodywork, while suspension, brakes, wheels and tyres are all upgraded. The car’s 464bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine is transformed into a 5.6-litre beast with 517bhp.
SEMA was the first chance for Americans to see Honda’s Civic Type R prototype up-close following its Paris Motor Show unveiling and the hot hatch looked just as sinister here too.
Frequenters to the annual Bug Jam would feel right at home with this attention-demanding Beetle.
Here’s what else caught our eye…
2017’s SEMA Show will be held once again at the Las Vegas Convention Centre on October 31st until November 3rd.