The Las Vegas-based, industry-only SEMA (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) auto show began life as a trade show for companies and suppliers working in the automotive accessories industry. However, just like the vehicles exhibited thereover the years it has grown to epic proportions, with aftermarket companies showcasing outrageous car and truck builds and OEMs using the show as a test bed for concept vehicles.
Cut, flare, pimped and slammed to the ground, there are many ways to describe what can be done to improve your ride, and SEMA is where those expressions are taken to the extreme. Here are five of our best takeaways from this year’s show.
Shadow Six Racing’s “Typhoon”
Billed as the world’s first aquatic utility vehicle or ‘AUV’, the Typhoon gives you the perfect all-terrain experience, on the water. It’s a high-performance aquatic side-by-side that sees its wheels replaced by a pair of jet skis.
Racing company Shadow six took an all-new Polaris RZR (Razor) side-by-side donor, then stacked it atop a set of wave runners that act as the hulls of the ship. Just like with the wheels on the Razor, the shells on the Typhoon are hooked up to a shock and spring setup that provides decent suspension when out on the water. The Typhoon also features an advanced bend system that ensures the Ocean Fairing SxS stays straight.
The Typhoon is powered by a pair of Yamaha GP1800 SCHO R, 1.8-litre supercharged inline-fours that together produce 367kW.
The Nissan Ariya Surfwagon
Built in partnership with South Carolina-based Tommy Pike Customs boutique, this unique SEMA build is based on the Ariya, (Nissan’s latest electric vehicle). This all-electric crossover has been redesigned as a beach-style surf wagon combining retro aesthetics with modern technology and exuding style and class.
While it retains Aryia’s advantages of functionality, utility and comfort, the look of the “Surfwagon” concept is definitely unique with custom vinyl upholstery, faux wood paneling and chrome accents that scream the Beach Boys. It may not look like the production vehicle, but oddly, the Woodie theme looks perfectly at home around the sides of this high-tech vehicle.
Pike Customs added a set of vintage 20-inch disc-style “Smoothie” wheels with old-school whitewall tires and polished stainless steel center caps and the California-style surf vibe is completed with a gallery. deck and a pair of seven-foot surfboards painted a shade of blue to match the wheels and tires of the car. Oh and in case you were wondering, the EV (electric vehicle) charging port is hidden under the faux wood casing, and to enhance the retro look,
“The Surfwagon is meant to spark conversation and imagination about what vehicle customization looks like in an electric vehicle future, as owners seek to modify their electric vehicles to suit their hobbies and activities. favorites,” says Nissan.
Volvo PV544 with S60 Recharge Powertrain
Finished in Rebelberry (as a nod to a few shades of purple the Swedish automaker has been offering for the past few decades), this electrified “restomod” sport sedan is a looker from every angle. It wasn’t just about crafting modern parts and technology into a 61-year-old car, this all-female build completed by the Girl Gang Garage used unique 3D printed parts and handcrafted components to complete the project .
Although much shorter and narrower than the S60, the PV544 now houses the S60 Recharge’s turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-litre engine, along with its electric motor, achieving a combined output of 305 kW and 640 Nm.
However, we are unsure of its security credentials.
M4Maloo – yes, it’s a BMW M4 pickup
I love the speed of a BMW M4 but also need the practicality of a ute? Why not have both with the M4Maloo.
Built by BMW parts supplier DinMann, the Maloo started out as an all-new M4 Coupe and was later cut to create this very handsome performance pickup. DinMann was able to keep some of the carbon roof for the cabin and added a handful of other carbon elements to complete the build. The M4Maloo also sports a self-healing paint protection film from Stek Automotive which creates a chrome blue finish.
Nothing was said about performance modifications, but given that the M4 produces 375kW/650Nm in Competition trim, it’s probably fast enough as is.
While they were busy creating the Nissan Ariya Surfwagon woodie, Tommy Pike Customs also found time to turn a 1987 Nissan Sunny pickup into an electric street truck. It uses an electric motor from a Nissan Leaf and a 40 kWh battery pack, which ultimately has about double the power (109 kW) and more than triple the torque (320 Nm) of the four-cylinder engine from stock and thanks to a custom driveshaft, it was possible to retain the factory-installed manual transmission.
To enhance its looks, the Sunny features a Hakosuka Skyline widebody kit with Brock Racing Enterprises No.46 livery, along with matching 17-inch Rotiform wheels. And for those worried about the way it drives, the rear suspension uses heavy-duty components and the front suspension from a Nissan 240SX.