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The biggest highs and lows of the 2019 SEMA Show

Motoring Research logo Motoring Research 06/11/2019 John Redfern
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This year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center looks set to be one of the biggest events in its history.

Backing from major car and truck manufacturers means there is no shortage of new concepts, whilst aftermarket specialists are out in force with their latest creations. High-riding pickups are firmly in favor, with the new Toyota Supra also receiving plenty of attention.

We have taken in some of the cars and trucks already causing a stir in Vegas, with SEMA featuring enough hot new metal to please almost any automotive taste. 

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Old and new come together at SEMA

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Demonstrating the diversity of the vehicles on offer at the 2019 SEMA Show is this pairing found outside the main exhibition hall. Surrounded by huge lifted trucks, and even an off-road ready camper, a modern Honda S2000 is placed alongside a classic Chevrolet.

The two cars do have more in common than you may first think, though. Underneath the hood of the S2000 is a highly modified Chevrolet LS7 5.3-liter V-8 engine, built with the potential for up to 1,000 horsepower!

Chevrolet E-10 Concept sparks interest

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The first-generation of Chevrolet’s C/K truck is highly collectible, proving popular with fans who look to add their own unique take on this vintage pickup. However, Chevrolet caused controversy at SEMA’s Monday Reveal event with the E-10 Concept.

On the outside it may appear like an expertly crafted restomod truck, but this one does without the typical LS V-8 engine. Instead, this classic pickup runs on electricity alone.

Demonstrating the potential of the electric crate motor

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Chevrolet has built the E-10 using a plug-and-play electric motor setup dubbed the Connect & Cruise Concept. Replacing the regular V-8 engine, the electric motor produces the equivalent of almost 450 horsepower, and sends it to the rear wheels through an automatic transmission.

Twin battery packs are hidden beneath a solid bed cover, and offer 60 kWh of power when fully charged. Chevrolet claims that the E-10 is capable of hitting 0-60 mph in just 5 seconds, and running the quarter-mile in under 14 seconds. A special sound emulator can recreate the noise of a big-block V-8 should it still be missed.

Ford Accessories F-250 Super Duty Tremor Crew Cab

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This year Ford has taken a huge variety of Super Duty truck models to SEMA, with this special Tremor edition taking to the stage on Monday. New for the 2020 F-Series range, the Tremor package is intended to aid off-road ability, but still retain normal levels of usability.

A 2-inch front suspension lift from the factory is matched with 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires for ultimate ground clearance. A locking rear differential, along with a Dana limited-slip front differential, are also fitted whilst this show truck includes a Ford Performance Warn winch. The earthquake-inspired graphics have been custom created by Ford’s Accessories division. 

Hyundai Veloster Grappler Concept

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For 2019 Hyundai has brought multiple concept versions of the Veloster to SEMA, but the Grappler version stands out from the rest. Instead of ultimate street performance, this time Hyundai has gone for all-terrain ability.

Lifted suspension has increased ground clearance, with substantial bumpers and protection plates also added. Motorsport-style wheels wear big off-road tires, with the Thule roof rack hosting a lightbar and a removable solar panel. Recaro seats, a roll cage, and even a first aid kit can be found inside.

Volkswagen Double Deluxe by Kindig It Design

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Dave Kindig is no stranger to tuning and modifying vehicles, and his latest offering is a 1967 Volkswagen which appeared at the Monday Reveal event. Major changes include the addition of a four-door cab, along with a new sliding sunroof and custom roof windows.

Also added is a full air suspension system, allowing this Volkswagen to get seriously low. A set of 17-inch chrome wheels have been installed, along with an engine producing around 140 horsepower.

2020 C8 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

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The feverish excitement around the new Chevrolet Corvette shows no sign of slowing down, and it was the convertible hardtop version that took to the SEMA stage on Monday. Chevrolet designed the mid-engined C8 Corvette to be offered as a coupe and convertible from the outset, meaning there should be no compromises.

Powered by Chevrolet’s LT2 6.2-liter V-8 engine, the regular Corvette Convertible will come with 495 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet also promises that the roof can open and close within 16 seconds, and operates at speeds of up to 30 mph.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R

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The new C8.R represents the first true mid-engined Corvette race car, and one which will hit the track early next year. Most notable is the silver and yellow livery, said to have been inspired by early mid-engined Corvette concepts like the Aerovette and CERV creations.

The racing debut for the C8.R will come at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, where Chevrolet has enjoyed previous success. In fact, with more than 100 Corvette victories since 1999, the new C8.R has a lot to prove next year.

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Best in the Desert race truck

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Chevrolet is not only looking to go racing on asphalt next year, but also on sand and rock. Designed to compete in the Best in the Desert race series, this Colorado ZR2 will line up alongside a similarly upgraded Silverado ZR2.

These two trucks are intended to work as ‘dynamic test beds’, helping Chevrolet evaluate performance parts. The Silverado ZR2 package includes lifted suspension, front and rear electronic locking differentials, position-sensitive suspension dampers, and protective skid plates.

Jay Leno 1968 Ford Bronco

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Given to Jay Leno as a joke by TV host Craig Ferguson, this 1968 Bronco was left unused and unrestored until recently. A collaborative effort between Leno, Ford Performance, and SEMA Garage was undertaken to take this Bronco back to full glory.

A new Kincer chassis was added, along with a 5.2-liter supercharged Shelby GT500 V-8 engine, mated to a five-speed Tremec transmission. New body panels have been fitted all round, and painted in a special ‘Tonight Blue’ color. Disc brakes and 18-inch wheels completed the overhaul.

Ford Bronco fever truly is in town for SEMA 2019

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Speculation about the forthcoming Ford Bronco has reached overdrive at the 2019 SEMA Show. Having Ford display several historic Bronco models is unlikely to be helping fans who just want to see the reborn version.

Nicknamed ‘Big Oly’, this Bronco was driven by Parnelli Jones in the 1972 Baja 1000 event. Big Oly led the race from start to finish, and even set a new record in the process. Ford looks keen to send the new version of the Bronco racing, with a Bronco R racing prototype also on display at SEMA.

Custom Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew FX4

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Created by J Robert Marketing and Attitude Performance, this special F-150 has been developed for use veteran-owned and operated Black Rifle Coffee Co. A number of Ford Performance options have been added, including a Borla exhaust system and a 6-inch suspension lift.

Warn Industries have supplied new winch-enabled front and rear bumpers, along with flared fenders to cover the 20-inch wheels. Obskura-Nox Kryptek camouflage vinyl graphics ensure the outside is suitably attention-grabbing, whilst the interior features leather seating and even a refrigerator.

Premier Truck Center Ford F-250

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Lifted trucks are everywhere at the 2019 SEMA Show, providing a shocking contrast to the slammed and lowered sports cars and custom rides on display. This incredible Ford F-250 is riding on Sord hydraulic suspension, and comes fitted with a set of 26-inch Hostile wheels.

What makes it even more impressive is that the builder of this truck, Mike Dockery, only completed work on this truck a week ago. He then drove it through New Mexico to make the opening of the SEMA Show.

Ekstensive Metal Works Ford F-250

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Another lifted F-250 at SEMA, with this one the product of Tim Donelson at Ekstensive Metal Works in Houston, Texas. If the name sounds familiar, it is because this shop has been the subject of the Texas Metal Velocity Channel TV show since 2017.

A new series of Texas Metal is due to air shortly, meaning an on-screen appearance from this impressive F-250 is almost guaranteed.

Dudes Fab Shop 1963 GMC

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Proving that not only modern trucks can get substantial suspension lifts is this creation by Dudes Fab Shop in Hartville, Ohio. Propertier and fabricator Dude Lovejoy was invited to SEMA in 2018, following the viral success of a previous Dodge truck build.

This year he has returned with a unique take on a classic GMC, having fitted a new engine, transmission, and made substantial modifications to the chassis. The custom roof rack is also an impressive touch.

American Honda Heritage Chevrolet

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When Honda first started in the United States, the company sold motorcycles from a small dealership in Los Angeles, California. To transport bikes to new customers, Honda used Chevrolet pickup trucks, like this 1961 example.

Earlier this year, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Honda in North America, the company recreated one of the original Chevy trucks. Even the livery and hand painted lettering are exactly as would have been seen back in the 1960s.

Polvoorde Racing Outside Van Ford Transit

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According to Ford, this is the first time a Transit van has been fitted with tracks instead of wheels. This change has been made by off-road racer Christopher Polvoorde, and is designed to allow this Transit to reach any possible location.

Aside from the dramatic addition of tracks, this van also features accommodation for up to four people, along with a workshop. Custom storage space has been designed to store mountain bikes, whilst the roof rack can take kayaks and snowboards.

Car Style Japan Suzuki Jimny

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Although American consumers cannot buy the diminutive 4×4, the Suzuki Jimny keeps making appearances Stateside. This particular version wears a custom body kit, made by Japanese tuning company Car Style.

The fourth-generation Jimny has found significant interest around the world, but Suzuki withdrew from the American car market in 2012. This leaves the unanswered question of how much U.S. buyers would really want a tiny off-roader with just 100 horsepower.

Toyota Genuine Accessory Team GR Supra Wasabi Concept

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One Japanese product which American customers certainly can buy is the all-new 2020 Toyota GR Supra. Following its debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, tuners and customizers have already got to work enhancing the new rear-wheel drive Supra.

This vivid green example has been built by Toyota’s Genuine Accessory Team. It shows off the potential of the GR Supra, with a body kit from Five Axis and a set of forged 20-inch alloy wheels. Brembo brakes and Ohlins adjustable suspension have also been added, along with an aggressive center-exit exhaust system.

Team Rutledge Wood Toyota GR Supra

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Designed by NASCAR commentator Rutledge Wood, this GR Supra wears a bespoke 20-piece body kit. Built by Rick Leos, the custom carbon fiber kit is intended to maximise the lines of the new Toyota sports car, and even includes a wing delete element.

Rutledge Wood is a self-confessed Supra fan, currently owning two previous-generation examples of the car. A carbon fiber roof has also been installed, along with custom 20-inch wheels and the engine output boosted to 750 horsepower.

Toyota TRC GR Supra 3000GT Concept

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The 2020 GR Supra may be new, but Toyota Customizing & Development took inspiration from the Supra 3000GT to create this concept. A limited-edition body kit was released for the fourth-generation Supra, following success in the 1994 All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship.

Although intended to optimize aerodynamic performance, the hood vents and rear wing are direct tributes to the 1994 original. A custom HKS exhaust, Tein adjustable suspension, and Brembo brakes also make an appearance.

Ford and Webasto Lithium Mustang Prototype

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Ford intends to reveal a Mustang-inspired electric crossover later this month but, for now, the company has created a 900 horsepower battery-powered Fastback. An 800-volt Webasto battery system is responsible for providing 1,000 lb-ft of torque instantly.

All that twist is channeled to the rear wheels through a six-speed transmission. Adjustable driving modes have been included for the one-off prototype, including the intimidating ‘Beast’ mode. Brembo brakes from the Shelby GTR350R have been added, as has the Ford Performance Track Handling Pack.

California Pony Cars Ford Mustang GT Fastback

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Using a 2019 GT Fastback as a base, the team at California Pony Cars have created an enhanced vision of the latest Mustang. Custom panels have been used extensively on the body, including the hood, rear decklid, side skirts, and front chin spoiler.

The 5.0-liter engine has been boosted by the addition of a Ford Performance supercharger kit, with a Borla exhaust system also fitted. A set of 21-inch alloy wheels wear Toyo tires, whilst large Baer EradiSpeed also make an appearance.

Shelby GT500 Dragon Snake Concept

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Few companies might think the new 2020 Mustang GT500 is too slow, but Shelby American decided that it could make it even better. Enter the Dragon Snake, named after one of the scariest versions of the original Shelby Cobra.

An upgraded supercharger pushes power to over 800 horsepower, with Shelby also fitting a new exhaust and enhancing the transmission. Lightweight glass, and different lightweight wheels, have also been used, but the big talking point is the gigantic rear wing fitted.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

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Providing a neat contrast to the lifted truck next to it, this Volkswagen Jetta GLI has been modified with suspension components from H&R. This full chassis makeover includes H&R Street Performance Coil Overs, H&R Sport Sway Bars, plus special wheel spacers to give this Jetta a harder stanced look.

Rotiform has supplied the 20-inch RSE alloy wheels, which have been painted to complement the Anthracite Gray paintwork of the GLI. Red graphics also help it stand out, as do a range of VW accessories fitted inside.

The post The biggest highs and lows of the 2019 SEMA Show appeared first on Motoring Research.


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