Now underway is the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show, more commonly known as SEMA. While auto manufacturers have several events per year to display new products — the New York, Tokyo, Paris, Geneva, etc. car shows — SEMA is meant to showcase the smaller companies that build components for automobiles.
More often than not, these additions greatly boost the performance of the stock vehicle, and the appearance at the very least. Major automakers also take the opportunity to show off the immense potential that their cars have, and display numerous vehicles that have been constructed in conjunction with aftermarket firms. Here are a handful of notable highlights from this year’s SEMA show. The following is not ranked by any particular metric.
1. Chevrolet Silverado Cheyenne Concept
Unveiled on Monday, Chevrolet’s (NYSE:GM) lowered, tweaked, and tuned Silverado Cheyenne harkens back to the glory days of high-performance trucks, which were bred specifically for the asphalt and when towing and ground clearance weren’t the only priorities. The Cheyenne borrows several components from the new Camaro Z/28, and makes significant use of carbon fiber to help shed 200 pounds from its stock curb weight. Chevrolet didn’t stop there; the brakes have been replaced in favor of a Brembo setup, while Chevy’s EcoTec3 6.2-liter V8 engine has been enhanced with a high performance exhaust. All told, the Cheyenne should make it to 60 from a standstill in about 5.3 seconds.
2. Ford Focus ST by Green Filter
The Ford (NYSE:F) Focus ST by Green Filter recalls the days of the Ford-Lotus racing team, paying tribute with its old-school green and gold livery. Even the exhaust outlets were made in reflection of the original livery vehicle. The changes are more than skin deep, too, as a high-performance air filter with custom intake and exhaust have been added for more power and the suspension has been swapped out as well. The original 1965 Lotus-Ford race car is on permanent display in Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
The Green Filter Focus is one of a staggering 57 vehicles that Ford will have on display at SEMA this year. Head on over to the official press release to check out more of Ford’s slate.
3. Ram Sun Chaser
The Chrysler Group’s (FIATY.PK) in-house tuning firm Mopar regularly makes a splash at the annual SEMA events, and it’s done it again, almost literally, with the Sun Chaser Ram pickup. The tuned truck sports a handsome two-tone orange and black paint job, a concept Mopar roof rack (dubbed the “surf rack”), and two adjustable support rails housed within the tracks of the truck’s bed to accommodate a long surfboard, according to the company’s press release.
Further, hooks attached to the outside of the rack can hold four more surf boards if that need materializes, as the quad-cab is ready to fit at least that many surfing parties. A spray-on bed liner, orange tow hooks, a two-inch performance lift kit, and a Mopar cat-back exhaust complete the outside. The interior features Katzkin leather seats with stitching accented to match the ‘Vibrance Orange Blast’ paint, as well as the dash, display bezels, and door inserts.
4. Toyota DC Tacoma
Toyota’s (NYSE:TM) vehicle displays this year are meant to engage the avid outdoor enthusiast, as we can see from the loaded up Tacoma above. Meant for snow sports in particular (as if the plow didn’t tip you off), the Tacoma — constructed with help from the DC Shoes company and actually built by Camburg Engineering – features a plow, a 40-inch LED light bar above the cab, snowboard racks, a pop-up tent, a dashboard-mounted iPad, and Scoshe wireless speakers.
A snowmobile can be parked in the bed by means of a telescoping ramp, making the Tacoma a gold standard of sorts for avid snow and snow-based sports devotees.
5. Chevrolet COPO Camaro
In addition to its slate of trucks and compact cars, Chevrolet’s latest iteration of the COPO Camaro will be taking a bow at this year’s SEMA, as well. As per tradition, just 69 models of the COPO Camaro will be built. Each one will be built for the NHRA Stock Eliminator and Super Stock competition. The small handful of buyers have the choice of the naturally-aspirated 427 engine (that’s 7.0 liters spread over eight cylinders), or the supercharged version of the 350 engine that was introduced in 2013. On the ‘lower end,’ Chevy also offers naturally aspirated 350 and 396 engines. However, if affluent enough, buyers can also purchase all four engines, each serialized to match the car.
6. Hyundai Veloster by Fox Marketing
The Hyundai Veloster is quite the unusual car. It’s unique in the sense that it comes with two doors on the passenger side, but just one on the driver side. However, Fox Marketing got their hands on the quirky car, and spiffed it up a little. Well, a lot. You see, the Veloster pictured above boasts 370 horsepower, impressively born from Hyundai’s 1.6 liter four-banger.
The addition of a new 845 Motorsports turbo upgrade, a BorgWarner EFR turbo, a front-mounted intercooler, an AEM water/methanol injection system, VP Racing 101-octane performance fuel, and an ECU tune from SeoulfulRacing turn the little hatchback into quite the pocket rocket.
7. Volkswagen Jetta
Although Volkswagen’s Jetta got a new suit for SEMA, the added bits on the outside are merely to draw the attention to wha’ts under the hood: VW’s new engine line. The one above — the “Racers Dream in Black and White” — sports a new 2.0-liter turbo four, which has been finagled with by FMS Automotive. FMS employed a Stage 3+ turbo kit, installed new rods, wristpins and pistons, a carbon-fiber intake, and a new intercooler, all of which provides more than double the stock power at 425 horsepower.
8. Honda Civic Si Coupe
Honda (NYSE:HMC) will be bringing its refreshed 2014 Civic Si Coupe to SEMA this year, and although details are currently scarce, the teaser image above — provided in the press release — offers some cues as to what to expect from the re-tooled pocket rocket. A larger rear spoiler, tied to a restyled, more aggressive rear bumper and diffuser round out the hindquarters of the new car, though the rest will have to wait until the car is fully revealed after the time of this writing.
Don’t Miss: Coming Soon: The All-New Lexus Coupe.