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SEMA Auto Show 2018, the Specialty Equipment Market Association Auto Show, has started off on a hot note. The doors have opened, and reporters and journalists have already flooded the gates. New vehicles and concepts from all sorts of auto brands are showing up on the show floor. We’ve seen Kia Motors, Chevrolet, Jeep, and Honda so far.
Every year, SEMA holds a show to display products and services for all kinds of companies, not just the auto market. Consumers in a variety of industries, including education and professional development, market research, legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry publications, international business development, and business-to-business events can find what they need at SEMA. Several SEMA events are held throughout the year, but there is one we all look forward to in particular.
Held annually during the first week of November (and sometimes the last week of October), the SEMA Show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada is all about the automotive aftermarket. It’s the single largest event on the Las Vegas calendar, made up of SEMA and other automotive aftermarket trade groups. Not open to the public, at first*, only those with a Press Pass will get to see the following.
DUB-bed Kia Stinger and Kia K900
Last year, during SEMA 2017, Kia Motors showed up with a Widebody Kia Stinger designed and built with input from West Coast Customs. The changes were great - a gloss black grille, a carbon fiber body kit plus a front splitter and side skirts, a custom-built rear bumper with four exhaust tips, the suspension system was lowered by about an inch, and 21-inch alloy wheels are tucked under wide fender flares. This year, things changed a bit.
For 2018, Kia teamed up with DUB to give their K900 an aggressive look and make their Kia Stinger look less like a sports car and more like a muscle car. Starting with the already fastback Kia Stinger GT, DUB made several modifications to take it to a whole new level. The DUB-bed Kia Stinger GT got some widebody fender flares, 22-inch wheels, a new exhaust, an air intake, and air-adjustable suspension. Inside is a leather interior, colored with red and black tones. No word on upgraded tech or powertrain.
DUB also took to the K900, but with an electrifying theme - literally. Going with electric blue body paint, the K900 gets a luxurious transformation with gloss black accents, 24-inch wheels, and an air suspension for a smoother ride. Inside, we’ll find custom upholstery, as well as a specially developed multimedia system just for the K900. Too bad this and the Stinger GT will most likely be one-offs.
eCOPO Camaro Concept
An electric Camaro? Could it be true? For the Camaro’s 50th anniversary, Chevrolet wanted to do something special. Enter the eCOPO Camaro Concept. Powered by two big, BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motors under the hood and paired with a Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission, this is one electric vehicle we’re already looking forward to. Together, the two motors generate 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, the latter of which can be achieved at 0 RPM.
Did we hear your heart stop?
“The eCOPO Concept is all about where we go in the future with electrification in the high-performance space…The original COPO Camaro program was all about pushing the envelope, and this concept is an exploration with the very same spirit.” - Russ O’Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports at General Motors.
At the moment, this is just a concept, but it’s heavily leading towards production one day.
“We’re not there yet, but it’s something we’re exploring…In the meantime, Chevrolet and Hancock and Lane Racing will continue to develop the eCOPO Camaro and test it on the drag strip, seeking quicker elapsed times with all-new technology.” - O’Blenes
Supercharged Jeep Wrangler
There is already plenty of teasing about the Jeep Wrangler Scrambler (pickup Wrangler) showing up at the Los Angeles Auto Show or SEMA 2018. Raw Motorsports, an aftermarket tuner that specializes in creating high-performance off-roaders, decided to trick out the Jeep Wrangler for SEMA by doing what no one has dared to do yet - they put a larger, more powerful 6.4-liter SRT 392 HEMI V8 engine, paired with a Magnuson TVS2300 supercharger, under the hood of the Wrangler.
Like the little cousin of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, this Jeep Wrangler sounds crazy and unable to handle any kind of rock crawling. Despite that, Raw Motorsports made a number of modifications to help make this supercharged Wrangler off-road capable. Such mods include a long-arm suspension kit and stage 2 front sway bar, Eibach racing coil springs, King Shocks coilover shocks and air bump shocks. In addition, this supercharged Wrangler features a custom stainless-steel rear bumper, custom 2.5-inch exhaust tips, and 20-inch off-road wheels wrapped in chunky 40-inch TOYO MT Open Country tires.
Yep, that’ll do it.
Honda Blows Up the Show
The Honda Motor Company was clearly waiting for this auto show to happen. The moment the convention center opened its doors, Honda met the crowd with Civic Type R Racers, a rally Pilot, Ridgeline camper, and an open-air off-road concept. What are all of these?
Known as the Honda Civic Type R, this was a high performance version of the Honda Civic. Featuring a lightened and stiffened body, specially tuned engine, upgraded brakes, and chassis, the Civic Type R has actually been pretty successful for Honda. Having first debuted in 1997, Honda hasn’t skipped a beat with the ongoing release of new Civic Type R models and generations.
The rally Pilot is a Honda Pilot Rebelle Rally car tweaked for, well, not what one would expect of a Rally car. In fact, this is just a souped-up off-roader. Designed with skid plates, chunky off-road tires, and extra ground clearance, the Pilot Rebelle Rally sounds like it was made for the 1,700-mile Rebelle Rally, an all-female event held in the deserts of Nevada and California. So, more like a modified Honda Pilot and less of a new vehicle, but who can say?
Interested in camping? The Honda Ridgeline Overland Project receives skid plates and meaty tires, along with a leveling kit to keep things balanced. A new Plateau roof rack system with a Mesa bed rack for extended off-grid camping help complete the look of the Overland project. No longer just a Honda truck, this is a DIY camper for Honda consumers.
Lastly, the Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept looks like a Honda they stopped producing after installing the frame. Mimicking the no doors, no roof look of the Jeep Wrangler, this Honda concept is definitely an open-air vehicle. Whether it’s as adventurous as Honda claims is left to be seen.
Keep up with the rest of the auto show news as it becomes available on NowCar social media.