SEMA 2021 is here and as usual, it is packed with wild rides and exciting OEM announcements. Here’s a brief peek at some of the most exciting among them!
SEMA, which stands for Specialty Equipment Marketing Association, puts on an annual show in Las Vegas that should be on any car enthusiasts’ bucket list. For 2021, there was 1,300 exhibitors showing off everything you can think of, plus a lot you’ve never imagined, related to the automobile. Everything from the big OEMs to small shops cranking out wild builds and a litany of aftermarket products is there, not to mention all the events and activities surrounding the show.
The SEMA show is not open to the general public however, so you’ll have to find someone with an auto industry connection to get yourself a ticket next year, because this is an event not to be missed. There are so many outrageous vehicles on display during SEMA, it’s almost overwhelming. So, here are just a few of the exciting rides that were on display.
The Eluminator concept, based on a 1978 Ford-F100, is one killer looking vintage truck in its own right. Lowered on 19” custom Forgelines and sitting on a custom chassis, it features Cerakote Copper accents complementing an Avalanche Gray paint job. That scheme continues inside with two-tone leather seats and a billet aluminum dashboard. However, the real news here is the reveal of an electric crate motor from Ford that is currently on sale. In this particular truck, the dual-motor, AWD setup matches that found in the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance with 480 horsepower and 634 lb-ft of torque. On the Mach-E, Ford notes a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds, which is hard to imagine in a 1978 pickup, leaving little doubt that the electrified automotive future is already here.
Fans of the 90s MKIV Supra will be stoked to see Toyota’s tribute to that famous ride using the modern version. Finished in Absolute Zero White with a piano black finish on the body kit and canopy, this Supra features a custom, two-piece composite top that’s removable and can be stored in the trunk. Cutting that section out of the roof required a high degree of body reinforcement and it looks amazing. The panels themselves were 3D printed by Toyota and designed to follow the double-bubble roof contour. Other MKIV hat tips include the basket handle spoiler and round tail lamps. Adding to the visual flair is a centered dual exhaust, 19” HRE wheels and Brembo brakes.
Following the lead of its Grand Cherokee stablemate and taking a styling page from the vintage Land Rover Defender, Jeep created this Overlook concept with a third row of seats and stepped roof. The starting point was a four-door Wrangler Sahara that was then stretched 12” and fitted with a roof that sits 5” taller in the rear. Windows integrated into this section offer more visibility to second and third row passengers. In standard Wrangler fashion, that roof is removable while the 2” lift, Fox dampers, and 37” BFGoodrich A/T tires increase off-road capability. Bronze is the name of the game with the monochromatic paint job and interior accents like the Jeep grille-logo embroidered in the leather seats. It’s a glimpse at a possible three-row Wrangler future.
Honda made the car world happy by keeping the Civic Si alive for 2022 with a 6-speed manual. The company’s motorsports arm, Honda Performance Development (HPD), showcased this peppy powertrain in a race-ready example. HPD began with a body-in-white Civic chassis geared for TC America Series and club racing, then dropped in the 2022 Si power plant. Of course, they juiced it with a tuned ECU, added a high-strength fourth gear to the transmission, and fitted a limited-slip differential. The car has been stripped of sound insulation and seating to save weight while a roll cage, Borla turbo-back exhaust, adjustable Eibach suspension, and racing bucket has all been added to prep this little ripper for the track. Lightweight 17” Momo rims on Pirelli slicks, Wilwood brakes, HPD aerodynamic bits, and appropriate livery all speak to the intention of this particular 2022 Honda Civic Si.
A collaboration between Toyo Tires, Legendary Concepts, and Saleen Automotive, this Chevrolet Silverado is a tribute to the well-loved Burt Reynolds film from 1977 and its iconic Pontiac Trans Am. Reinterpreting that car in street truck format, this build started with a 2021 Silverado RST. A one-off widebody kit, in-your-face front fascia, lowered suspension, and striking Snowflake-esque wheels that immediately call to mind that original Trans Am look amazing. The gold and bronze theme completes the look with plenty of accents, but most notably the famous “Screaming Chicken” on the hood. Beneath said hood is a Magnusen supercharged 5.3L V8 cranked up to 700 hp, nearly double the stock output. Additional upgrades include a Magnaflow exhaust, Toyo Proxes ST III rubber, and Brembo Monoblock 8-piston braking kit. Bandit would be proud.
In case anyone missed it, the electric-powered automobile is here, and quickly ousting the internal combustion engine as the preferred OEM propulsion system. Driving that point home is this concept car, a Mustang EV tuned by Shelby, two brands that have historically been about burning as many hydrocarbons as possible. However, the legendary Carroll Shelby noted in a 2011 interview that he hoped to be around to see an EV future. Sadly, he is not, but his vision is coming to fruition based on this Mach-E that sports a Wimbledon White paint job and blue stripes in homage to the GT350 and GT500 from the 60s. Weight savings and aerodynamic efficiencies are achieved with the hood, fenders, and front fascia made from Ford’s graphene-infused carbon fiber. Michelin Sport EV rubber wraps 20” one-piece rims and Shelby Recaro buckets spruce up the inside. There is also a CSM (Carroll Shelby Mustang) plaque inside that hints at the possibility of a production model down the road.
Evasive Motorsports teamed up with Turn 14 Distribution to create a Tesla Model 3 specifically tuned to compete in the Pike Peak Hill Climb, also known as “The Race To The Clouds.” With a torque-monster motor already known for shocking acceleration, the Evasive folks set to work improving suspension, braking, aerodynamics, weight and cooling systems. A KW Suspension kit drops the little Tesla over Titan 7 wheels, which transforms the EV from egg-shaped hyper miler to mean mugging sport compact. A massive front splitter, winglets, vented and flared front fenders, sharp-edged rear diffuser, and huge rear spoiler with swan-neck mounts speak to the purpose-built nature of this hotrod EV. Ultimately, the Tesla went into limp mode at the summertime race, but there’s no denying it is pushing the envelope on the electric car.
For something utterly unique, don’t miss the JUMPACAN from B is for Build’s Chris Steinbacher. A while back, this mad scientist fabricator took a totaled Lamborghini Huracan chassis and dropped in a Chevy LS V8 with a manual transmission. Pretty neat in its own right. However, Mr. Steinbacher went much further by adding a custom long-travel suspension, 35” off-road tires, GT500 brakes, and more all with the goal of entering this beast in the Mint 400 desert race. Now, he is in the midst of finalizing the JUMPACAN for a SEMA 2021 appearance with an even taller ride height, new lighting, a rear tire carrier, and body panels that will sport a vinyl wrap. Keep in mind, all of this work involves custom fabrication and a fair amount of trial and error. Up until now, this Baja racing, former Lambo resembled the Tumbler from Batman prepped for a Mad Max world, so it REALLY blew minds in person.