2018 SEMA: Take A Visual Tour Of The World’s Biggest Tuning Show

There’s been countless coverage about the death of auto shows and we’ve already seen it play out as the 2018 Paris Motor Show was a bit subdued and a number of automakers have already announced plans to skip the 2019 North American International Auto Show.

SEMA isn’t your typical auto show and that seems to have helped isolate the event from automakers that are increasingly turning their attention to one-off events. Instead, this year’s show was jam-packed and largely dominated by Detroit brands.

Ford stuck with its usual tactic of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. As a result, the company introduced more than 24 different vehicles including modified versions of the Edge, Expedition, Explorer, EcoSport, Mustang, F-Series and Ranger.

The sheer number of debuts is overwhelming and most of the models weren’t that memorable. However, there were a handful of highlights including the Series 1 Mustang RTR and GT Carbon Series.

GM’s presence was a bit more subdued than usual, but that didn’t stop the company from unveiling the eCOPO Camaro concept which is an electric drag racer with more than 700 hp (522 kW / 709 PS) and 600 lb-ft (812 Nm) of torque. The bow tie brand also introduced the 2019 COPO Camaro and the Camaro SS Shock concept which was more notable for its revised front fascia than anything else.

Besides the Camaros, Chevrolet introduced four customized versions of the 2019 Silverado. The brand also installed its new supercharged 6.2-liter V8 crate engine – which produces 755 hp (563 kW / 765 PS) and 715 lb-ft (968 Nm) of torque – in a modified 1973 Chevelle Laguna.

Speaking of crate engines, FCA one-upped the competition by unveiling the Hellephant in a 1968 Dodge Charger. Essentially a supercharged 7.0-liter V8, the Hellephant packs 1,000 hp (745 kW / 1013 PS) and 950 lb-ft (1,286 Nm) of torque.

Mopar is particularly proud of the engine and noted it is the first crate engine offered by an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to hit the four figure mark. The engine is an absolute beat and it managed to steal the thunder from GM’s Corvette ZR1-sourced powertrain.

Besides the Hellephant, FCA showed two Ram 1500 concepts. The most notable was the Ram 1500 Rebel concept which featured a lift kit, auxiliary lights and 18-inch wheels with 35-inch Goodyear DuraTrac tires.

Detroit automakers weren’t the only ones to attend the show as Kia used to the event to introduce the 2020 Forte GT. It features sportier styling and a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing 201 hp (150 kW / 203 PS) and 195 lb-ft (264 Nm) of torque.

Besides the Forte GT, Kia previewed the 2020 Telluride with four new concepts. They give us a pretty good idea about what to expect when the production model is unveiled in Detroit this January.

Kia also showcased a handful of other concepts including DUB versions of the Stinger and K900. While the DUB name is usually synonymous with disaster, the Stinger looked fantastic.

Other notable highlights from this year’s show included an assortment of Toyota Corolla Hatchbacks, Honda’s Ridgeline-based buggy and SpeedKore’s 1970 Charger Evolution – just to name a few.

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  • BMWFreaky

    you need to be an american to appreciate 80% of these tuning

    • Six Thousand Times

      Or a keen lover of the absurd.

  • eb110americana

    What is up with the lugnuts in pic 10, the Mator Rampage Recovery Rig?! 22 lugnuts per wheel!

  • charlotteharry57

    Thank Goodness that Blingfest is over. I’ve had more than my fill for another year. Now, onto the REAL auto shows!

  • Blinka Bot

    that’s a good sample
    thanks for sharing

  • Six Thousand Times

    Nice gallery. Some gems among the usual SEMA gaack.

  • R55

    Brilliant Gallery, some stunning cars there. Definitely on the bucket list to visit one year.

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