Toyota mixed things up at SEMA 2015 this year, packing their booth with trucks and SUVs while a handful of classic cars treated those who stepped outside. I spent most of my time admiring the Corollas and Supras – what 30-something boy racer wouldn’t? – but the bigger vehicles were definitely the stars of the show for Toyota. Especially given the notable absence of the FT-1. This is the first show in almost two years that Toyota hasn’t brought the FT-1 Concept, which kinda worries us.
The Back to the Future Tacoma made an appearance in a faux-toy package getting whatever mileage they can while BTTF is still relevant. A Tundra was converted into a limousine which, these days, isn’t that outrageous. Hell, we were given more pause by the Challenger limo roaming the strip later in the night. The most ridiculous vehicle Toyota brought was one that almost slipped under our radar. At first glance we saw this matte black lifted 4×4 with bumper, winch and LED bars and thought it was just another 4Runner from the TRD parts bin. We walked away without giving it much more thought. It wasn’t until Bernard looked back and noticed the odd shape that we realized it wasn’t an ordinary 4Runner. In fact, it wasn’t a 4Runner at all… it was a Sienna.
Toyota took their minivan and turned it into an off-road machine, which is precisely what we want to see at a show like SEMA. Decisions that go past “What was this guy thinking?” and into “I don’t care what he was thinking, this is awesome”. I’m sure most guys in North America who drive a minivan would love to do something like this, and now they’ve got a template. Check it out, along with Toyota’s other offerings, in the gallery below.
It’s not like the standard MX-5 roadster was a heavyweight, but Mazda designers wanted to see what could be achieved if weight savings were pushed to the limits. They were given free reign to craft a couple examples of lightweight prototypes based on the MX-5 and the result are the two concepts below: The 2016 MX-5 Spyder Concept and 2016 MX-5 Speedster Concept.
The MX-5 Spyder takes the unique characteristics of a vintage roadster and modernizes it to include a bespoke leather interior and a fresh new Mercury Silver prototype paint color.
For the MX-5 Speedster, Miata designers took it to extremes while paying homage to the minimalist roadsters of the ’50s. Painted in a Blue Ether paint, the MX-5 Speedster even ditches the windshield in favor of a carbon fiber deflector providing that true wind in the hair driving experience.
Both of these vehicles weigh significantly less than the already light 2,332 pound MX-5 roadster. Take a look through our gallery and let us know what you think!
If you’ve been at any car show in the past couple years you’ll no doubt have heard Honda extolling the virtues of the Acura NSX. That’s because they haven’t really had anything exciting to announce and whenever they did unveil new vehicles like the MDX and TLX, I swear they spent more time talking about the NSX than the car they were about to pull the tarps off of. Here at SEMA, it’s no different. Honda wants you to know that even if you might not be in the market for an NSX, the NSX DNA lurks in all of their vehicles.
All kidding aside, Honda did preview their next-generation 2017 Ridgeline in the form of a race-prepped Baja off-road racing truck. We’ve only seen teaser preview renders up until now so this is the closest look we’ve had to the new Ridgeline. What we know so far is that it will share a platform with the recently released Pilot, and we will likely see it unveiled in Detroit in January, or possibly even as soon as LA in a couple weeks. The new Ridgeline is supposed to be available for order late next year.
Another cool gem in the Honda booth was the matte white HR-V towing a white Grom as well as the immaculate Acura Legend that was roped off along with the blue NSX. The Legend belongs to rapper turned actor Ludacris and was restored by Acura after it was damaged in an accident.
Check out the rest of the vehicles in our gallery.
While the Mopar booth was packed with cool cars, the spotlight was squarely on the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car which was revealed here in Las Vegas for the first time.
This is the first new Dodge funny car body since 2006. The current model has won 68 national titles, two NHRA Funny Car World Champsionships, 44 #1 Qualifiers and posted the first 3-second run in NHRA history! The 2015 is claimed to be stronger and lighter while maintaining nearly identical aerodynamics to the outgoing version. The new funny car will make its NHRA debut next season at the Winternationals event in California, February 2015. Until then, take a look at it below!
Mopar brought one of everything to SEMA 2014, including a funny car! From Ram to Renegade, from ACR to Abarth, there was a Mopar Concepts vehicle for everyone.
The small car segment was well represented with a Dodge Dart, two Fiat 500s and a Chrysler 200S. The Dart sported a matte black hood, with a scoop more prominent than our picture makes it seem, and a revised front fascia to allow plenty of air to the mysterious turbo-charged engine. It’s about time Dodge brought the newest iteration of the SRT-4 here, after the Neon made a splash and the Caliber just sunk, and this concept fits the bill. Whether or not we actually see it is yet to be seen but, with the success Ford is having with the Fiesta and Focus ST, we can’t help but think Dodge will follow suit. The other three cars were more visually focused, only sporting significant paint, body and wheel changes, but the 200S also received a drop from coilovers and was truly stunning. Clean and elegant. I bet they’d sell a lot more if they came out of the factory looking like Mopar’s version.
If you missed Part 1 of our Outside of SEMA 2014 post go check it out as there are loads of pictures in that gallery. We shot so many that in order not to blow up your internet connection, we split it up into a couple posts. In Part 2 we’ve got more SEMA models, more bikes, more trucks, and some police car drifting action!
You may have already seen our Trucks at SEMA 2014 post, and even our Classic Trucks of SEMA 2014 but if you were an eagle-eyed reader, or an avid fan of Jeeps and other off-road vehicles, you may have noticed a lack of such vehicles. Fear not, as we had to separate them out to make each post a bit more manageable.
Please enjoy our gallery of Jeeps and other offroad vehicles form the 2014 SEMA Show.
I joke every year that the cars and models outside of the main SEMA Show are just as jaw dropping as the cars at most car shows. There is just an amazing amount of nicely done up cars and it really is hard as a tuner to stand out whether you’re booth is inside or outside of SEMA. Instead of just covering the cars inside the main halls we made sure to shoot the cars outside as well and as you can tell there are plenty of great builds. There was a great variety of cars outside including classic trucks, not-so-classic trucks, cars with over fenders, full blown race cars, and cars drifting with show attendees.