SEMA Show 2018

SEMA Show 2018

Another SEMA Show has once again come and passed and we were lucky enough to once again attend and see what’s new and exciting in the automotive aftermarket world. The show continues to grow both in terms of sheer size and attendance, with a reported 150,000 people attending this year. This can’t miss event is truly the mecca for anything automotive aftermarket and is the premier automotive specialty trade show event in the entire world. Over the next few pages, you will see and read about some of the top highlights from this year’s show.

SEMA Announces New Product Award Winners

The 2018 SEMA Show once again began the week by announcing the 2018 New Product Award Winners, which are meant to recognize the most innovative and cutting-edge products at the show that will go on sale in 2019. The products are judged in 16 categories with each one naming a winner and two runners-up selected on a variety of factors such as superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality, workmanship and consumer appeal. Beginning with the Exterior Accessory Product category, Lund International was named the winner with the AVS Aeroskin LightShield Hood Protector, while ORACLE’s Vector Series Jeep Wrangler JL grille and Steelcraft’s Stubby Jeep bumper were named runners up. Rancho’s JL Wrangler Sport Suspension System was named the champion of the Off-Road/4-Wheel Drive Product category, while Rock-Slide Engineering’s Next Generation Step Slider and Bodyguard’s 18+ Jeep JL Full-Width Front Bumper were named runners-up. Finally, in the Tire and Related Product Category, Cooper Tire took home top prize with the new Discoverer AT3 4S tire while Continental and Mickey Thompson were named runners-up with the VikingContact 7 and Baja Pro X tires, respectively.

2018 SEMA Award Winners Announced

The annual SEMA Awards are given out to the cars, trucks and SUVs that aftermarket manufacturers are investing in and developing products and accessories for. The awards are open to all participating OEMs at the SEMA Show and eligible vehicles must be current or next model year to be considered. For 2018, Ford was perhaps the biggest winner as it was awarded top prize in three categories – the Ford Mustang with Car of the Year, the Ford F-Series with Truck of the Year and the Ford Focus as the Sport Compact of the Year. Winning the 4×4/SUV of the year award for a whopping ninth straight year is, of course, Jeep with the all-new Wrangler which continues its clean sweep of the category since these awards were introduced back in 2010. For 2018, SEMA added a fifth category for Powersports Vehicle of the year with the inaugural winner being Polaris with the RZR Turbo S.

Ford Ranger Makes Triumphant Return to SEMA Show

After a hiatus due to no longer being produced here in North America, the Ford Ranger mid-size pickup made its return to the show as it gets set to launch early next year. The aftermarket industry made quick work with the Ranger and allowed it to showcase over 150 performance parts and accessories that will instantly put it on the map in terms of the aftermarket industry. Seven customized examples were found throughout the massive show with two of the seven on display in the gigantic Ford booth. The truck was showcased in a number of different ways including a Pre-Runner build, camping build and a military-inspired build, among others. Look for many of the products featured on these builds to be available when the Ranger hits dealership showrooms in 2019.

Mopar Shows Off Customized Ram 1500 Trucks

Mopar made its usual big splash at the show, featuring 14 customized vehicles in the company’s massive booth, two of which were modified Ram 1500 pickups. First, the Mopar-modified Ram 1500 Rebel Concept was painted a custom neutral blue which was nicknamed “Rebel Smoke” and featured Mopar 18×8-in. cast-aluminum beadlock wheels wrapped with 35-in. Goodyear DuraTrac tires. A concept Mopar hood covers the always great 5.7L Hemi engine which sees an additional power boost thanks to a cold-air intake system. A Ram bar in the truck bed allows five 5-in. LED lights to be mounted and illuminate the trail with 4,800 lumens each, while the bed also houses a conceptual rear spare tire carrier, Mopar rear bed step and black spray-in bed liner. The second truck showcased was the Ram 1500 Big Horn Low Down concept which features a slammed look with unique and clean exterior upgrades. The Low Down builds off the Ram 1500 Big Horn trim level and features a Mopar conceptual hood and a lowered appearance that rides on 22-in. oversized production wheels that are coloured a custom Gloss Black with Brass Monkey accents to connect with the exterior colour theme. The Low Down 1500 is dropped two inches with a prototype lowering kit and features a one-piece Mopar hard tonneau cover that is colour-matched to the body.

Hennessey Debuts the 2019 VelociRaptor V8

Hennessey Performance (HPE) made its annual big splash at the show with the debut of the 2019 VelociRaptor V8, which starts life as a brand new 2019 Ford Raptor that sees its stock EcoBoost V6 engine removed and swapped with a specially built Ford 5.0L V8 that is supercharged to produce 758 horsepower. HPE also modifies the Ford 10-speed automatic transmission, Ford wiring harness, ECU and a plethora of other parts in order to complete the engine swap, which sees the Raptor go from 0-100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds. The VelociRaptor conversion also includes new front and rear bumpers, LED front lights, Stage 2 off-road suspension with a 6-in. lift, Hennessey 20-in. wheels, 37-in. BFGoodrich KM3 off-road tires and a number of Hennessey badges used throughout. Production is limited to just 100 units for the 2019 model year, so if this is something you’d covet, act fast.

Toyota Showcases Full-Size Pizza-Making Truck with the Tundra Pie Pro

Down at Toyota’s booth towards the back of the Centre Hall, a one-of-a-kind, zero-emission, full-size pizza making pickup truck was on display and dubbed the Tundra Pie Pro. The truck was built at the Toyota Motorsports Technical Centre and included cooperation from Pizza Hut and Nachi Robotic Systems. The truck started out as a Tundra SR5 that was torn down to a rolling chassis and then built back from the ground up. The gasoline powertrain was also removed and replaced with a hydrogen fuel-cell electric power unit which was adapted from the Toyota Mirai. The truck’s bed was converted into a virtual pizza factory on wheels with a refrigerator, two computer-guided articulating robotic arms and a portable, high-efficiency conveyor oven. All components are powered by the hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain and the entire pizza making process takes between six and seven minutes.  

Categories: Events, Features, Trucks Plus