Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Sports Cars & Concepts at 53rd Annual SEMA Auto Show

BY BENJAMIN YONG, 28 Jan, 2020 10:21 PM

    Among all the tuners and accessory manufacturers were select automakers showing off unique products not seen in dealer showrooms.

    Another year, another SEMA — the 53rd Speciality Equipment Market Association show took place in Las Vegas, the latest iteration at the close of 2019 hosting more than 161,000 guests. Among all the tuners and accessory manufacturers were select automakers showing off unique products not seen in dealer showrooms. We’ve rounded up the top six examples in the feature below.


    If one had to pick a single car best representing SEMA 2019, it would have to be the brand new 2020 Toyota Supra. And you can’t blame the exhibitors as it is one of the hottest models to come out in a long time. So hot that the Japanese company brought out its own special souped-up take on the vehicle.

    Called the Heritage Edition, it’s the in-house brainchild of Ed Laukes, who is the marketing group vice president at Toyota Motor North America. Meant to be a throwback to the former platform, a lot of the styling is reminiscent of the previous gen. In fact, the rounded rear spoiler is actually the same one used as MKIV and modified to fit. Sitting on TEIN adjustable coilovers and bespoke 19x10.5- inch front/19x11-inch rear wheels, some serious engine mods match the show with a lot of go. The stock turbocharger has been modified to produce 18 per cent additional airflow, and is complemented by a custom intake, large diameter exhaust and engine tune. The net result? An output of 500-plus horsepower.


    If the regular Dodge Challenger isn’t spicy enough for you, perhaps the 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak will do the trick. This factory-built competition-use-only racecar, limited to just 50 units, is ready off the assembly line to light up the tarmac at National Hot Rod Association and National Muscle Car Association sanctioned events.

    Looking like an SRT Hellcat wearing nostalgic red, white and blue graphics, the vehicle is clearly all business. There are the wheelie bars and parachute mount installed at the rear, and the welded-in rollcage and Racetech seats in the cabin. Under the hood lies a supercharged 354-cubic inch HEMI V8, mated to a T400 three-speed transmission.


    The upcoming Mach-E Electric SUV is getting a lot of press right now, but there was another electrified Ford basking in the spotlight at SEMA: the Mustang Lithium. Created in partnership with battery experts Webasto, the alternative energy fastback features an 800-volt power system generating more than 900 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of instant-on torque and mated to a Getrag six-speed gearbox.

    Many of the body components are made out of lightweight carbon fiber, and the suspension sits one inch lower than a conventional Mustang. Borrowed from the Shelby GT350R are massive six-piston Brembo front brakes, and a Super 8.8 Torsen differential ensures the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ultra high performance tires — wrapped around 20-inch staggered Forgeline wheels — are able to hook up.


    No, this isn’t a zero emissions version of the iconic Chevy S-10 pickup. The E-10, rather, represents the company’s take on the future of hot rodding and is actually based on the precursor to the Sierra, the C/K series. Integrating technology found on the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the slammed truck sends approximately 450 horsepower to the rear wheels.

    Outfitted with genre-appropriate 20-inch alloy wheels, it may look classic but includes all the modern accessories such as LED head and tail lamps and electronic interior instrument displays. Interestingly, even the “engine” noise is digital: three speakers in total simulate air being sucked in from the intake at the front of the vehicle and a V8 exhaust note in the rear. The sounds mimic gear changes and may be customized to reflect different drive modes, or set to completely silent.

    1968 FORD BRONCO

    While the sixth generation version of the iconic SUV isn’t available quite yet, the domestic brand whetted the appetites of showgoers in the meantime with this upgraded classic beauty. Owned by former late-night TV host Jay Leno, he, a team from Ford Performance and other industry professionals worked closely together to give this Bronco a complete makeover.

    For example, there’s a 5.2-litre supercharged engine lifted from a Mustang Shelby GT500, heavy-duty 4WD drivetrain, Wilwood big brake kit, restored body panels, trim and accessories, custom “Tonight Blue” paintjob and much more.


    Due out later this year, Chevrolet showcased a teaser of the redesigned Corvette Stingray boasting a mid-engine layout and 495 horses. The new configuration allows improved weight distribution, better responsiveness and a sub-three-second 0 to 100 km/h time — the fastest ever. Both a two-door coupe and convertible model will be offered.



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