Drawing an audience of more than 60,000, the SEMA show is held in Las Vegas and provides an ample opportunity for the world’s top automakers and aftermarket firms to show off some of the wackiest and coolest designs they have up their sleeves. This year has been no different, as attendees have been given access to the neatest new specialty auto products that are going to hit the market.
With a huge variety of components, auto parts and tools, the SEMA show offers an inside glimpse into where the auto market is headed next, and also what can be expected out of the world’s top tuning and customization shops. Companies get to show off new customization packages for their vehicles, and many people get excited about the ideas they come away with, eager to breathe new life into their sometimes-dated vehicles.
This year has been no exception, as there have been some incredibly cool new concepts displayed, and some big surprises as well. From huge upgrades to classic muscle cars, to incredible modifications to standard commuter vehicles, this year’s SEMA show has it all. So, what are some of the coolest concepts we’ve seen so far? Read on to see eight that specifically caught our eye.
1. Galpin Auto’s Acura TLX
Acura is perhaps most well known for being reserved and underwhelming from a styling point of view, but Galpin Auto Sports has decided to gussy up the new TLX, which is arguably Acura’s most sporty model from the last few years. Galpin added an aggressive bodykit that was inspired by the TLX GT Race car, an RSR Sport SI Series suspension kit with fully adjustable coilovers and 36-way damping adjustment, and that new coat of Andaro Blue paint — which Acura says will become one of the company’s actual color shades available for purchase.
2. Chevrolet Colorado Performance Concept
Chevrolet teamed up with motocross legend Ricky Carmichael to present the Colorado Performance concept, based on the new 2015 Colorado midsize pickup. The bed has been rigged to fit both a motocross bike and a mountain bike side-by-side, and some chunkier off-road tires were applied to lend the Colorado more dirt-going prowess. A matte grey and yellow paint scheme is continued to the interior, and as far as actual performance goes, a sport exhaust system was installed — but the 3.6 liter V6 was left intact.
3. Dodge Viper ACR
Dodge fans and Viper enthusiasts may already have a particularly good idea of what’s to come when the letters A,C, and R are added to the Viper name. The ACR concept, built on a 2015 Dodge Viper, brings the car back in touch with its racing heritage (ironically enough just as Fiat Chrysler put an end to the Viper racing program), and employs extensive use of carbon fiber and lightweight bits to make the best use of its 645 stock horsepower.
4. Toyota’s Sleeper Camry
To casual observers and quick glances, the Camry pictured above looks pretty unaltered and largely left alone. It’s a bit lower, sure, and the windows are smoked out, but all-in-all, it’s downright tame by SEMA standards. So many would be surprised to find out that the concept is actually an 850 horsepower drag car. Take note:
As you can see, the entire body has been fused into a single piece that lifts to reveal a custom tubular frame with a TRD-supercharged, Tundra-sourced 5.7-liter 3UR-FE V8 at its heart. On appropriate tires, the car can tackle a quarter-mile in about 9.8 seconds. Don’t expect this Camry to be in showrooms near you.
5. Scion’s Targa-Topped FR-S
Scion’s latest take on the Scion FR-S essentially brings all the elements that people have been asking for into one concept. It’s a convertible — sort of — boasting a Targa-style roof that can be removed, but perhaps more pertinently, it’s turbocharged with a kit from Greddy, complimented with a coilover kit from KW, a Wilwood Big Brake Kit, and a Pioneer stereo setup. Naturally, the car has been lowered, and those rims definitely aren’t stock, either.
6. Ken Block’s Hoonigan RTR
If Fast and the Furious was bred with Mad Max, the above car may be what the result would look like. That’s Ken Block’s “Hoonicorn”, from his Hoonigan performance firm, but what you really want to know is this: that’s a legitimate 1965 Mustang with a new widebody kit, an 845 horsepower Roush Yates 410 cubic inch Ford V8, three-piece custom rims, custom carbon fiber body panels, a purpose-built roll cage, and a six-speed Sadev SC90-24 transmission that funnels all that power to where it belongs: all four wheels.
8. Ford Mustang King Cobra
If there’s one car that has appeared at SEMA that will leave you saying “holy smokes,” it’s the Ford Mustang King Cobra, one of numerous 2015 Mustangs to appear at this year’s show. This car simply looks mean, and muscle car buffs will undoubtedly be champing at the bit for a chance to get behind the wheel. The King Cobra parts package will be available for the 2015 Mustang GT, and can be replicated with parts available from Ford’s racing engineering laboratory. This car, outfitted with a specialized supercharger, can tackle the quarter mile in a scant 10.97 seconds.
“We wanted Mustang enthusiasts to be able to open up the Ford Racing parts catalog and get one of everything and see what they could get. We think the King Cobra package is it,” says Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. “But none of this great work would be possible if Team Mustang had not built the best production Mustang yet.”