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2008 Chevrolet Camaro Dale Earnhardt Junior concept. Image by Chevrolet.

2008 SEMA Show. Image by Dodge.


2008 SEMA Show

The Specialty Equipment Market Association show annually flaunts the industry's best aftermarket equipment. These days the car makers are getting in on the act.

2008 SEMA Show


  Ronn Motor Company


  Chevrolet Camaro at the SEMA Show (2)
Chevrolet Camaro Black (6)
Chevrolet Camaro Dale Earnhardt Junior concept (3)
Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar concept (3)
Chevrolet Camaro LS7 concept (5)
Dodge Challenger by Hurst (2)
Dodge Challenger Formula Drift (1)
Dodge Challenger Mopar Underground Blacktop (2)
Dodge Challenger Mopar Underground Targa (8)
Dodge Challenger SRT10 concept (8)
Dodge Ram Mopar Underground R/T (2)
Dodge Ram Mopar Underground Street Package (1)
Dodge Ram Mopar Underground TRXtreme (2)
Ford Cobra Jet Mustang (7)
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R (24)
Ford Flex by Nelly (5)
Ford Mustang (7)
Honda Big Red Multi-purpose (2)
Honda Civic HFP (3)
Honda Civic Si Coupe with HFP (2)
Honda DSO Eyewear Pilot (2)
Honda Fit Sport with Mugen (2)
Honda Fit TJIN Edition (4)
Honda Galpin Accord Coupé (2)
Honda Pilot by Ryan Shutt (4)
Honda Ridgeline Powersports concept (2)
Hyundai Genesis Coupé by Rhys Millen Racing (2)
Hyundai Genesis RK Sport (2)
Lexis IS 350 F Sport (1)
Lexis IS F by 0-60 (1)
Lexis IS F by MotoworldHype (1)
Lexis IS F by Tein (2)
Lexis IS F FIve Axis Project (2)
Lexus ICON LX 570 (1)
Mazda6 at SEMA (4)
Mercedes-Benz GLK at the SEMA Show (32)
Pontiac G8 GXP Street Edition (1)
Pontiac G8 ST (1)
Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe Racing concept (1)
RMC Scorpion (8)
Toyota FJ Cruiser (2)
Toyota Matrix 6-String (1)
Toyota RAV4 Sport (2)
Toyota Sienna NACAR (2)
Toyota Trucks (7)
Toyota X-Runner (4)
Toyota Yaris Club (4)
Toyota Yaris Tailback (2)
VW Passat CC Eco Performance concept (10)
2008 Chevrolet Camaro Dale Earnhardt Junior concept. Image by Chevrolet.

2008 Mercedes-Benz GLK at the SEMA Show. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

2008 Mercedes-Benz GLK at the SEMA Show. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

2008 Chevrolet Camaro LS7 concept. Image by Chevrolet.

2008 Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar concept. Image by Chevrolet.

2008 VW Passat CC Eco Performance concept. Image by VW.

2008 Hyundai Genesis RK Sport. Image by Hyundai.

2008 Lexis IS F by Tein. Image by Lexus.


Motorshows homepage -> 2008 SEMA Show

2008 SEMA Show - Mark Nichol

When Las Vegas is hosting something, the chances of it being small or inconspicuous are slim to none, so what better place for a collection of professional car pimpers to flash their wares? The Speciality Equipment Market Association Show, which hits The Strip every year, gives a big neon platform to aftermarket tuners, equipment makers and manufacturers alike to show the best they can offer. This is the one car show where you can guarantee there'll be no apocalyptic end-times global warming agenda to pander to.

So for once, cast your electric nightmares aside and indulge in the guilty pleasure of outrageous horsepower, speed bump incompatible body kits, monster truck-spec chrome rims and the flagrant, unabashed oil consumption we all really wish was still acceptable these days.

Below you'll find our SEMA Show favourites, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Click out the extensive picture galleries to the left for a more detailed look.

Brabus Bluetec GLK 320

Brabus Bluetec GLK 320.   For once, Mercedes-Benz tuner Brabus will show something that looks positively anodyne against the competition. Despite an open invitation to do what the heck it liked to the GLK - an invitation which other tuners duly accepted - Brabus has tenaciously clung to its principles. Brabus Chief Professor Bodo Buschmann said: "Even in the face of the extreme rework that characterizes the vehicles at SEMA, we were going to stick firmly to our principles and go for a more practicable solution." We'd never stoop to German stereotyping, but...

Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept

Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept.   The Camaro is undoubtedly the star of SEMA 2008, and this GS Racecar is arguably the daddy of the four on display. As a prototype for the Grand Am Koni Challenge GS racing class, the concept features race-tuned suspension, a fully stripped interior and carbon fibre bodywork. An upgraded intercooler is added to the stock V8, with gear changes handled through a close ratio six-speed 'box. The blue and yellow paintwork is a tribute to the iconic 1969 Camaro driven by legendary NASCAR and F1 racer Mark Donohue.

Chevrolet Camaro LS7 Concept

Chevrolet Camaro LS7 Concept.   It might not look like a great leap forward over the standard Camaro, but this LS7 concept is built for one thing only - speed. Conceived as a tribute to the late 1960's COPO Camaro drag racers - built by enthusiastic Chevy dealerships by stripping out stock cars - this LS7 concept is decked in drag-spec rear tyres. However, it's a suitable day-to-day driving machine, despite its 500bhp engine and a 'chassis capable of handling 500lb.ft of torque', according to GM.

Chevrolet Camaro Black Concept

Chevrolet Camaro Black Concept.   This Camaro's all about style, with a matte black hood paintjob, dark rims and red headlamp rings. It's also got a body kit (this is a SEMA car, after all) and a rear diffuser. Basically, whatever could be blackened or tinted on this thing has been. It's no different inside, either, with a claustrophobia inducing black and red cabin and a gangster-spec premium stereo. Basically, this is a Camaro built to terrify and not much else, though as muscle cars go it's surprisingly lacking in the horsepower department with a 300bhp V6 driving the rear wheels.

Chevrolet Camaro Dale Earnhardt Jr Concept

Chevrolet Camaro Dale Earnhardt Jr Concept.   In case you're wondering, Dale Earnhardt Jr is a famous NASCAR driver. That's the racing series where you'll find a handful of Formula One has-beens crashing into each other on a big circle. Americans love it though, and they love Camaros too, so what better combination than this? Earnhardt Jr owns a 1972 Pro-Touring Camaro, so GM has created this modern version as homage to the man and the car. The 6.2-litre V8 runs on E85 bio-ethanol and is fitted with a short throw, six-speed gear shift. Like much at SEMA, it also has massive 22-inch wheels.

Dodge Challenger Blacktop

Dodge Challenger Blacktop.   One of a pair of Challenger concepts for SEMA from specialist Dodge tuner Mopar, more specifically its Underground design team, the Blacktop is powered by a 5.7-litre Hemi engine. The stock exhaust is replaced with a more free-flowing unit, and uprated suspension drops the ride, making sure the 22-inch Viper rims fit snugly inside the arches. Inside, red leather assures its pimped-out status and, of course, there's an eardrum bursting stereo.

Dodge Challenger Targa

Dodge Challenger Targa.   The Targa isn't, as you might expect, a removable hard top version of the dodge muscle car. Nope, this Challenger is named after the Targa Newfoundland competition - a sort of free-for-all racing series for part-time nutters and professionals alike. The base car is a Mopar Challenger, but Viper brakes are added, KW racing suspension and a 540bhp Hemi engine with 490lb.ft of twist, running through a six-speed manual 'box. Pretty serious stuff then, rather than the open topped American wuss the name makes it sound like.

Dodge Challenger SRT10 Concept

Dodge Challenger SRT10 Concept.   Ah, this is more like it. No messing around here - the Challenger SRT10 Concept has the Viper's 8.4-litre V10 stuffed into the space in front of the windscreen. Just for fun, the Viper's red starter button makes it onto the dashboard too, which once pressed will fire up 600bhp and 560lb.ft of tyre melting torque. With Dodge selling off the Viper brand, this is expected to be the final SEMA Show for the Viper under Dodge parentage, so this is the maker's way of going out with a bang. It works for us.

Ford Cobra Jet Mustang

Ford Cobra Jet Mustang.   This is the FR500CJ, otherwise known as the Cobra Jet Mustang - a factory built, limited edition drag racer. Only 50 will be made with a starting price of around $70,000 (£44,000) from February next year. It's powered by a 400bhp 5.4-litre V8 - the same unit found in the Shelby Mustang - attached to a six-speed manual gearbox. Ford might stuff the boot with amplifiers for SEMA, but probably not.

Ford Flex

Ford Flex.   Presumably to champion the Ford Flex's, erm, flexibility, the Blue Oval is displaying over a dozen of them sporting different liveries for SEMA. The American market people carrier is certainly a big enough canvas to work with, and highlights include the Mobsteel Flex, with its matte black paint, 24-inch rims and adjustable ride height; the bonkers 3dCarbon Flex, sporting a ten-piece body kit; and the Galpin Auto Sports Butterscotch orange take on the theme. GAS is the tuner famous for the customisation work on MTV's Pimp My Ride.

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R.   Believe it or not, this piece of pickup lunacy is actually going on sale Stateside - proof that despite electing Obama, some things in America will never change. The F-150 SVT Raptor dispenses with the standard car's 5.4-litre V8, replacing it with a 6.2-litre unit, which Ford expects will push out 400bhp and 400lb.ft of torque. Quite pathetic, actually, given the cubic capacity. Still, it has a locking centre differential for hardcore off-roading, but at the moment is leading the charge of barking mad F-150s at SEMA.

Hyundai RMR Genesis Coupé

Hyundai RMR Genesis Coupé.   Formula Drift champion Rhys Millen had his company, RMR, pimp a Genesis Coupé over a 12-week period. The resultant 'Art of Speed' concept is a carbon fibre bodied monster - and the body kit will go on sale through dealers after the car is launched next year. In a bid to be cooler than anyone thought a Korean maker ever could be, Hyundai will also encourage buyers to tune the car's standard 2.0-litre engine. As an example, this bad boy has a Turbonetics turbocharger, a custom intake manifold, adjustable KW suspension and a custom anti-roll bar. Basically, this is the kind of stuff SEMA is around for.

Mercedes-Benz GLK Rock Crawler

Mercedes-Benz GLK Rock Crawler.   The Rock Crawler was conceived and pimped by Legendary Motorcar Company, the Canadian firm that specialises in restoring 'the finest and rarest of classic and performance cars'. That doesn't quite include the GLK, but at least the Rock Crawler is pretty pure in purpose. Bit of an adrenaline junkie? This is the car for you, with a rail on the roof for snowboarding across and a 'grinch winch' so you can hang off the back of it on a skateboard like Marty McFly. Cool.

Mercedes-Benz GLK Urban Whip

Mercedes-Benz GLK Urban Whip.   Finally, someone has made the car every crack dealing hairdresser has been waiting for. It took over 3,000 man hours across 47 days for Boulevard Customs to lop the top off this GLK, stuff some planet-sized chrome rims into the arches and give the remaining body the Max Power treatment. Check out the clear tubular sub woofer case behind the seats, too - that's 5,700 Watts of ear-popping JL Audio, sir.

Mercedes-Benz GLK RENNTech Rally Racer

Mercedes-Benz GLK RENNTech Rally Racer.   Inspired by the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, the RENNTech Rally Racer pulls off the remarkable feat of making the GLK SUV look low and planted. Believe it or not, though, the RRR is actually a hybrid, featuring six electric motors to assist the Mercedes-Benz 320 diesel engine out of the corners. The stripped out Sports Utility Racer ditches the stock interior in favour of a pair of sculpted bucket seats, a full roll cage (because let's face it, this thing's probably going to roll) and a flat bottomed racing wheel.

Volkswagen Super CC Performance Concept

Volkswagen Super CC Performance Concept.   Despite its squashed good looks, you don't see too many Passat CCs on Britain's motorways - sales reps obviously like their headroom. But this version is a pretty stunning thing. Just look at it. Look at the rims, at the paintjob, at the exhausts, and at the two-tone Recaros. But like, erm, Carol Vorderman, it's not just sexy, it's clever too. And it spits out a lot of numbers. A trick turbo means it's got three modes: Full Power, GT and Eco, allowing the 2.0-litre TDI engine to develop 307bhp, 246bhp or 219bhp depending on which mode you're in. Thus, you actually get to choose between being mean or green. Evil or environmental. Fast or friendly. Lively or miserly. Speedy or... You get the idea.


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