It’s not all about aftermarket at SEMA – manufacturers have a big presence at the show, giving visitors a look into potential future models and parts that could roll out to existing vehicles.
We toured all the big manufacturers to see what they have on offer and whether any of it is coming to Australia.
Ford: Ford went all out with off-road, showing four customised Ford Ranger models complete with off-road and performance modifications. Also on display were bolt-on parts for the new Ranger, which launches in the US later this year.
The new Ford Edge (Endura) was also on display, it’s a vehicle that’s coming to Australia shortly with an Endura nameplate. The Endura replaces the seven-seat Territory, which ended local production in 2016.
Mopar: Mopar is the official 'aftermarket' parts arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Satisfying the modification needs of FCA’s brands, each part has a unique part number that customers can order and have installed to their vehicle. In theory, you could even order these parts to be fitted to FCA products in Australia – cool off-road Jeep anybody?
Chevrolet: Chevrolet went all out this year at SEMA with a mix of new models, plus old models and crate engines. We had the chance to check out the Camaro, which has recently landed in Australia, the all-electric Bolt, plus the Colorado ZR2 mid-sized truck.
Crate engines allow buyers to purchase a brand new engine that can be slotted directly into their restoration or classic car. It’s a genius idea that offers a warranted engine and one that’s brand new.
Honda: At Honda, it was all about race cars with the NSX GT3 race car and the the Acura ARX-05 race car, which uses a twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine to move at crazy speeds.
Hyundai: The US is just about to receive the Hyundai Veloster N, which uses the same turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine as the i30 N currently on sale in Australia. While we’ll get the Veloster next year, it’s unclear whether we’ll get the N version in Australia.
Also on display at the Hyundai stand was a stack of aftermarket performance parts for the Veloster. Given the drivetrains are identical, we’d love to see these arrive in Australia for us to strap on cars locally.
Kia: Who would have thought 10 years ago that the Kia stand would be full of tyre-frying show cars? There’s even a Queensland police Kia Stinger on display to give criminals idea of the type of metal they’ll need to get away from in the future.
Lexus: While the Lexus UX Style concept and the LC500 Inspiration debuted at Pebble Beach, the Lexus RC, LS and ES show cars were on display as SEMA debuts.
The RC featured a psychedelic paint job, underbody neon lights and big wheels, while the LS went all gangster with giant wheels and a low-to-the-ground body kit. But, it was the ES that had us excited, it had a teak wood decking in the boot built to hold your finest wine. Fitting.
MORE: All SEMA coverage