Yet another SEMA is behind us as we once again find ourselves left sorting through the annual aftermath of photos, new products and press conferences etched into memory. There was speculation that attendance would take a hit this year, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. And even though some long-time exhibitors might have passed on the 2009 show, it allowed some manufacturers to step up to prime booth space and show off hundreds of new products. The level of SEMA vehicle builds this year was outstanding with many innovations at every turn. Our top notch Editorial team was there in full force scouring the show to find the best of what the tuning aftermarket had to offer.
SEMA is a glamorous trade show featuring all kinds of flare - massive booths with jaw dropping show cars and beautiful spokesmodels stimulating the senses, so it’s critical that our expertly trained Editors see past the glam and evaluate aftermarket products. Highlights included the new AEM Wi-Fi O2 sensor and EGT kit that required no wiring to send the signals! Plus a host of new clutches out there including SPEC’s new carbon on carbon designs and ACT now offers twin plate clutches.
There were new wheels galore at SEMA ’09 with some highlights like the: outrageous Forgiato line-up, the slick TSW Zolder and the many hot rides we spotted wearing the latest Forgeline wheels.
In terms of SEMA builds, there were plenty on the show floor and outside on display that definitely made lasting impressions. We’ll let the pictures do most of the talking, but there were many highlights like AIT’s carbon fiber widebody GT-R (the first R35 of its kind in the world replacing all fenders). Then there was the BMI 4-rotor Mazda RX-8, which is campaigned in Redline Time Attack series by a husband and wife team. No one could pass up Ken Block’s insane tank-track equipped Subaru STi pulling a sleigh housing four race seats complete with harnesses. GT Haus from Chicago hauled out the first widebody e92 M3 kit available on display. Many former cover cars and features were found at SEMA, including the Cusco G37 built by High End / Auto Concept Elite that has been completely redone in new green and gold paint in honor of its late owner.
Lexus and Scion dominated the show with several fine examples of new Lexus IS-C and the Scion Tuner Challenge cars displayed front and center for all to see. The new Lexus LF-A was truly a show-stopper; a sleek supercar boasting a V10 with 552hp and loads of carbon fiber. Ford had a commanding presence at SEMA as well, with various turbocharged Taurus SHOs and ‘10 Mustangs on display but their arch nemesis Chevy threw down the trump card. A handful of Camaros occupied GM territory last year, but this year they multiplied. We stopped counting at 50! The hot Camaro coupe was every where and in outrageous states of tune, wide-bodied, supercharged, turbo’ed some of them were rolling on 26-inch wheels!
SEMA also provides a format for companies and promoters to make significant press announcements in front of the automotive world. Some industry news dropped this year but the bombshell had to come from Redline Time Attack. Our long-time Time Attack partner has announced a change of ownership, allowing Nik Malechikos to take the controls. The upcoming season promises to be more exciting with expanded coverage, more competitors and integration with the cars and teams of top level motorsports. Formula D also held a jammed press conference, outlining the new cars, TV deals and their breakthrough into Asia. Rest assured, the Formula D boys deliver on their promises and 2010 will be another banner year for drifting.
Lastly, after 5pm it was time to party… for four days straight! If you know SEMA, you know that it’s a full 20 hour day marathon, everyday! Notable parties included not one, but two by Pro-Motion who do it up right, hiring over 20 hot go-go dancers to keep the party jumping till sunrise. Not to mention the crazy Sony Gran Turismo Awards party and the legendary Scion SEMA party which continues to be a real whose-who jam of the aftermarket industry... what a week!
From what we’ve seen, 2010 looks to be a very promising year and you can count on PASMAG to be there covering all the angles and delivering what you need.