Behind the Speed: SEMA Show Highlights

New Products, Cool Customs, and Car Culture.

The 2017 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show has come and gone from the streets of Las Vegas, leaving vehicle modifiers and enthusiasts satisfied with the new product releases and audacious customs, at least until next year.

More than 140,000 attendees perused more than 2,400 exhibitor displays with new and old wares. From performance parts to comfort and convenience upgrades, anything that can be used to improve or customize cars and trucks was on display.

There were also plenty of custom creations across the vehicular spectrum. Here’s some of RxSpeed’s Top 2017 SEMA Show news.



RxSpeed manufacturers win big

Holley’s Racepak Vantage CL1 Cloud-based Data Kit won the Powersports Product, Engineered New Product and Performance-Racing Product awards. The Racepak allows subscribers to record telemetry data from track sessions and store it in the cloud, or share it with anyone, anywhere.


Westin Automotive won the 2017 SEMA Exterior Accessory Product award for their new HDX LED Grille offering no-drilling installation for some Ford, Chevrolet, Ram, and Toyota trucks. It has a mesh grille with an 11-gauge steel frame while the LED lights (options available) are held in by 16-gauge steel.


The Wilwood disc brake kit won the Street Rod/Custom Car Product award. These competition black-anodized Aerolite 6R radial-mount brake calipers work for 1997 to 2013 Corvettes. They have stainless steel pistons, internal damping springs, 20mm-thick brake pad and come with 14-in. diameter two-piece Spec37 alloy SV-GT directional vane competition rotors.



Off-Roading never felt so good

Chevrolet brought two Colorado ZR2 based concepts.

The AEV Concept features the 2.8L Duramax Turbo-diesel engine, front and rear jounce shocks, long-travel rear leaf spring suspension system and specially-tuned Multimatic DSSV shocks (found in vehicles such as the Aston Martin One-77). It has BFGoodrich KM2 mud-terrain tires on AEV DualSport beadlock wheels, a Warn 9.5xp-s winch, NATO-style fuel cans, and more.


The ZR2 Race Development Truck takes a different turn with some high-speed desert running fun. Stock shocks are replaced with a long-travel variant of Multimatic DSSV tuned for off-road use (and proven in the Best in the Desert racing series). The ZR2 RDT concept has 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires, off-road intake and performance exhaust, a steel driveshaft, among other updates.



Hennessey’s Hypercar

Hennessey, in collaboration with Shell and Pennzoil, created a brand-new hypercar. The Hennessey Venom F5 has a twin-turbo V8 engine pushing 1,600 bhp mated to a 7-speed single clutch paddle-shift transmission.

"We've designed F5 to be timeless so that in 25 years it will still have a level of performance and design that will be unmatched," said John Hennessey, company Founder and CEO. “We expect the Venom F5 to be the first road car capable of achieving more than 300 mph."

Named for the most powerful tornado speeds on the Fujita scale, the Hennessey Venom F5 will be priced at $1.6 million, is expected to accelerate from 0 to 186 mph in less than 10 seconds and from 0 to 249 to 0 in around 30 seconds. There will only be 24 road vehicles built. 


Battle of the Crates

Two major manufacturers of fun engines announced new crate engine offerings at the 2017 SEMA show.


Honda’s new Type-R engine will be offered as a stand-alone crate variant. For $6,519.87, anyone can toss the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter, DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine creating 306-hp and 295-lb.ft. of torque (between 2,500 and 4,500 rpms) into whatever their hearts desire.



FCA announced also announced its “Hellcrate” engine – the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI which pumps out 707-hp and 650-lb.ft. of torque. FCA also said it will be relatively “Plug and play” for many pre-1976 street and off-road vehicles.


We’re just excited to see which vehicles builders will try to stuff both engines into at the 2018 SEMA show.


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