Every year, automakers and aftermarket accessory manufacturers gather in Las Vegas, Nev. for SEMA 2016, otherwise known as the Specialty Equipment Market Association, to show off special vehicle concepts and upgrades for your car. Around 130,000 auto industry professionals attend SEMA each year, wandering the 56 miles of carpeted show floor, which is enough carpet to cover the Vegas Strip 13 times.
Our very own Nik Miles headed to SEMA 2016 and found these are the cars to see.
Acura showed off its GT3 racing kit and kaboodle at SEMA, which consists of a tuned MDX crossover towing an NSX GT3-inspired race trailer with an actual NSX GT3 on it. The NSX GT3-inspired trio is ready for race day and taking the kids to soccer practice in style.
Mopar presented four SEMA concepts that caught Nik’s eye, including the Jeep CJ66, Dodge Durango Shaker, RAM Macho Power Wagon and Chrysler Pacifica Cadence concepts. The Jeep CJ66 takes three generations of the iconic off-road Jeeps and tosses them into a cocktail blender.
It starts with a second-generation “TJ” Wrangler (1997-2006) frame with a CJ (1953-1983) Tuxedo Park body from a 1966 CJ-5 and some bits and pieces from the latest JK (2006-present) Wrangler. Altogether, you get the exterior styling of a classic Jeep CJ-5 with a modern running gear, lightning and comfort elements.
Dodge gave a glimpse of what a Durango SRT could be with the Durango Shaker concept with a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 shoved into the engine bay. The suspension is lowered 3-inches and paired with 22-inch wheels for improved handling. Stopping power is upgraded with SRT six-piston brake calipers, like other SRT vehicles, too.
RAM’s Macho Power Wagon takes the Power Wagon, which is already a 3/4-ton off-road beast, and makes everything bigger and better. A custom 4-inch lift makes way for 37-inch tires to give the Power Wagon more off-road capability. Some functional bling is installed for added form and function, like a 21-inch light bar, beadlock wheels, a new front bumper with Warn winch and bright silver skid plates.
Lastly from FCA is the Chrysler Pacifica Cadence SEMA concept, a showcase of Mopar accessories for the latest family-hauler. Mopar slaps on a surfboard carrier atop the roof the Pacifica Cadence and adds 20-inch wheels. However, the good stuff is inside, with a pet kennel installed inside so you can bring along four, which is perfect for Nik and his many dogs. There’s the usual all-weather floormats, cargo mats, door sills and wireless charging Mopar accessories installed, too.
Toyota revealed its Tacoma TRD Pro Race Truck at SEMA, which takes a stock truck adds beefier shocks and coilover suspension. The Tacoma TRD Pro Race Truck will compete in the Mint 400 next March in Las Vegas.
A race-inspired Prius was also at Toyota’s SEMA showcase. The Toyota Prius G wants to show the world that hybrids can handle – if the Acura NSX, Porsche 918 and Mclaren P1 hadn’t already. Nevertheless, the Prius G takes inspiration from the Prius GT300 race car and features suspension enhancements that lets it pull 0.99G on the skid pad, which puts the Toyota 86 to shame.
It isn’t SEMA without crazy-high horsepower vehicles and Hyundai teamed up with Bisimoto to bring a Santa Fe with 1040 hp. Bisimoto starts with the 3.8-liter “Lambda” V6, straps a pair of turbos on it and cranks the boost to 39 PSI. A six-speed transmission sends power to the rear wheels.
Kia built an autonomous School of Rock Sedona for SEMA that’s perfect for bands on tour. There’s no steering wheel inside the School of Rock Sedona – the band only needs to enter the destination and the minivan takes them there, so they can relax after a show or create new music. Inside, there’s a recording studio complete with boom mic, dual screen monitors, a digital mixing board and studio quality sound deadening to lay down new tracks on the road.
There were so many cars to see at SEMA, but these are the ones Nik found most notable. That wrap’s up our SEMA 2016 coverage, until next year.Read More