With its mix of outlandish enhancements and ‘what were they thinking’ concepts, the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas might not be everybody’s cup of tea – but it does throw up its fair share of interesting automobiles.
To give you a taster of what that all means, we’ve put together a handful of the most eye-catching machines at this year’s show. We’ll start off with a few cars that we’ve yet to cover on CarAdvice, but they are otherwise in no particular order.
The Tundrasine has an extra 2291mm of wheelbase for a total of just a few millimetres shy of six metres. Overall, the Tundrasine measures a commanding 8.1m long.
Weight has jumped up 1038 kilograms to just over 3.6 tonnes, which should give the 5.7-litre V8 plenty of work to do.
Honda Ridgeline Baja Race Truck
It’s probably safe to say that the original unibody Ridgeline ute didn’t live up to Honda’s sales expectations. The Japanese automaker isn’t giving up on the USA’s lucrative pickup truck market, and will rejoin the fray for the 2017 model year.
The Ridgeline Baja Race Truck is meant to give us a few pointers as to the look of the new ute. Up front, the racing truck has headlights and grille that look like modified versions of the ones seen on the Pilot family SUV. The tray out the back seems to suggest more conventional styling for the second-gen Ridgeline.
Chevrolet Camaro COPO
Designed for racing in the NHRA’s stock and super stock classes, the Camaro COPO uses the body shell from the sixth-generation coupe as its basis. Changes include a solid rear axle, a parachute, racing tyres, new wheels, five-point safety harnesses and a safety cage.
Depending on the competition class, buyers can choose from a selection of V8 engines, including a supercharged 5.7-litre, naturally aspirated 7.0-litre, and a 6.2-litre motor.
Chevrolet will only make 69 2016 Camaro COPOs.
Ford Cobra Jet Mustang
Also made specifically for competing in the stock and super stock race classes in the US, the Ford Cobra Jet Mustang has a Mustang GT-derived V8 engine with a Whipple supercharger. Although the company doesn’t quote power outputs, it’s claimed that the Cobra Jet can complete the quarter mile (400m) in around eight seconds.
As with the COPO Camaro, the Cobra Jet features a solid rear axle, racing tyres, roll cage and safety harnesses. The Cobra Jet is priced from US$99,990 ($140,000), and only 50 will be made.
Nissan Titan XD Triple Nickel
Based on the Nissan’s new full-size Titan XD pickup truck, the Triple Nickle is designed to set a new land speed record. The Triple Nickle is so named because the production Titan XD is available with a 555 foot-pound (752Nm) 5.0-litre turbo-diesel V8.
The Triple Nickle features lowered suspension, a parachute, roll cage, the requisite safety equipment, salt-flat friendly disc wheel covers, revised front air intakes, Mickey Thompson tyres, and an Ultra Shield seat.
Nissan hopes that the big truck will compete in the D/DT class, where the current speed record is 307km/h, and the FIA’s A-III-9 class, where the record is 185km/h.
Eddie Huang Scion iA
This SEMA concept is designed Eddie Huang, the writer behind the TV series Fresh off the Boat, and is said to be a homage to classic low-riders. To that end, this modified iA has a chain-link steering wheel, swivelling front seats, and a dual-stage airbag system for each wheel.
The car’s exterior is covered in “metallic yellow paint with root beer accents”, and has a mural of a human panda (Huang’s nickname) on the bonnet.
The Lotus Exige-based Venom GT wasn’t really a vehicle crying out for more power, but that’s exactly what the team at Hennessey has given it.
The twin-turbo 7.0-litre V8 now cranks out a frankly crazy 1082kW of power. This makes the coupe capable of a 0-60mph (0-97km/h) time of 2.4 seconds. It’s also claimed to be able to hit 300km/h in 10.9 seconds and have a top speed in excess of 450km/h.
Read more about it here.
When Nissan claimed the title of fastest “volume production vehicle” around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, it used a specially modified GT-R.
Now the components that helped the GT-R lap the famous track in 7 minutes 8.679 seconds are available in a special upgrade package. Unfortunately the N-Attack Package is only available to American and Japanese buyers.
Read about it here.
Looking for a way to advertise its new crate engines, Chevrolet served up a pair of restomod vehicles, with this Chevrolet Camaro RS from 1970 the pick.
Under the bonnet, there’s the Corvette Z06’s 6.2-litre supercharged V8, which pumps out a mighty 485kW of power and 881Nm of torque.
In addition to new 19-inch alloys, the Camaro’s driving gear has also been updated to handle all that extra muscle. Read more about it here.
Shorn of its windscreen, and lightened by 113kg thanks to its carbonfibre doors and other modifications, the Mazda MX-5 Speedster extra get up and go is achieved by sticking to Colin Chapman’s mantra of “adding lightness”.
Read about it here.
Although, the Ultimate Utility Vehicle isn’t entirely new, it is getting its show debut at SEMA. Unveiled in the middle of the year, the UUV is meant to be a support vehicle for the company’s cross-continent Ever Better Expedition.
The body is adaptation of the North American Sienna people mover, which has plenty of space for people and their equipment, including TVs, satellite receivers and recording equipment.
In order to handle off-road journeys, the UUV uses underpinnings borrowed from the Toyota Tacoma ute. Read about it here.
There’s a lot of vehicles on display this and every year. Was there something else that caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below.