CNET Car Tech is heading to the desert this week to check out the hottest custom cars of 2013 SEMA Show. Get an early peek at what we expect to see in this 2013 SEMA Show preview.
The SEMA Show isn't ususally the stage for new model debuts -- more often we're looking at highly modified versions of currently available cars -- but Honda will be taking this opportunity to debut the updated and very customizable 2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe. The new Si will feature an updated face.
Last year, the Camaro was the star of Chevrolet's booth at the 2012 SEMA Show and we expect that there will be more than a few floating around this year.
This year, the newly unveiled Corvette Stingray will rule the roost in Chevrolet's booth. This example is a real-life version of a vehicle found in the Playstation 3 game Gran Turismo 6, commemorating the game’s 15th anniversary. It's got styling upgrades and a race-ready suspension, but the 460 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque from the 6.2-liter V-8 is unchanged.
Chevrolet is also bringing a pair of Stingrays with bicoastal themes. This 'Stingray Atlantic' features styling enhancements that are meant to echo those of a private jet. Look for its Pacific-themed Coupe counterpart at the show.
For those who prefer their sports cars with four-doors, Chevrolet's got this SS. With input from NASCAR star Jeff Gordon, this sport sedan features a more aggressive stance with a lowered suspension, high-performance brakes, and a Borla performance exhaust system.
Meanwhile, Chrysler's Mopar division will be hard at work with over 20 customized Chrysler Group vehicles. The oft-customized Chrysler 300 is sure to feature heavily.
Jeep's new darling, the oddball Cherokee Trailhawk, is also sure to be on hand to feature the automaker's Mopar outdoor accessories.
The Fiat 500L Adventurer boasts a tough, rugged appearance. Aside from the Mopar cold-air intake, a Mopar cat-back exhaust, and a handful of active lifestyle accessories, this Fiat is mostly stock.
Chrysler's Ram truck division will also feature heavily modified Ram trucks. This orange Ram Sun Chaser is based on a Ram 1500 Quad Cab and featuring a unique concept Mopar roof rack, dubbed the “surf rack.”
Ford is bringing its own big orange truck, the Ford F-350 EcoTrek. Its 6.7-liter V-8 engine can be operated on biodiesel or algae-based biodiesel. It also has a rooftop shelter with storage space for food and water making it what Ford calls "the perfect machine for an eco-friendly adventure."
The automaker is also bringing a whopping 10 examples of custom Ford Transit Connect vans. Wait, is the van cool again?
The Transit Connects will range in their mission. Some are active lifestyle vehicles others are slick customs.
Last year, the Ford Fiesta and Focus played large roles in Ford's SEMA Show display. I expect that they'll be there in full force this year as well, though in high performance ST trims this time around.
It's SEMA, so don't be surprised if you see more Mustangs than you can shake a stick at.
Over the past few years, Hyundai has made the SEMA Show it's home. This year, it's once again bringing its A game, starting with this 1,000 horsepower Bisimoto Genesis Coupe.
The automaker is also bringing the ARK Performance Legato Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Legato is an Italian musical term meaning “tied together,” and according to the Hyundai this concept will tie together design, tuned performance, and luxury coupe interior ambiance.
The Koreans will also be bringing a pair of its Veloster Turbo hatchbacks. This example, customized by EGR Group, is designed specifically for time attack races at night racing circuits.
Meanwhile, Fox Marketing has boosted the output of Hyundai’s 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder direct-injected, turbocharged Gamma powerplant to an impressive 370 horsepower with the aid of, amongt other upgrades, a new 845 Motorsports turbo upgrade, BorgWarner EFR turbo, AEM water/methanol injection system, and 101 octane racing fuel.
Lexus will be building its presentation around the IS sport sedan, starting with this example of the vehicle's first generation. It still looks good after a decade on the road.
The second generation IS is arguably the best looking version of the sedan. Lexus will have a few example of this as well, including this 2007 model.
Of course, the 2014 Lexus IS is the the automaker's current darling, so expect to see a few examples at the show.
This IS AWD customized by Gordon Ting features a GReddy performance exhaust and air intake system, TEIN USA custom Street Flex coilovers, and a Brembo high-performance braking system.
Perched atop Gordon's IS is a limited edition carbon fiber road bike by Lexus.
The super-exclusive Lexus LFA will also make an appearance. This example has been customized with a carbon aero kit and custom wheels and tires.
The Bulletproof FR-S Concept One is a lightweight Scion FR-S customized and powered by a Powerhouse Amuse Turbo Kit with a BorgWarner turbo, that exhales through a titanium downpipe, front pipe, and full exhaust system.
Bulletproof Automotive set out to give the car a massive boost in power, while outfitting the interior with an array of exotic materials.
Though it’s only a prototype, the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S Prototype has been overhauled with a Toyota-built 2JZ-GTE engine, outfitted with a GReddy turbo paired to a G-Force GSR four-speed transmission.
From the B-pillar forward, the Strictly Business Cartel Scion xB is fairly normal. However, the rear has been stretched considerably and customized to give passengers a luxury airliner experience.
Is it just me or does the Scion Urban GT Sport Coupe custom's front end look identical to that of a VW Scirocco R?
The words "Camry" and "rallying" have probably never been uttered in the same sentence, to say nothing of being used to describe the same car. However, this is exactly what Toyota is bringing to the show as part of its Dream Builds Challenge.
This Camry features a wide stance, upgraded suspension, knobby tires, a full roll cage, and more. It's hard to believe that this example started its life as a grocery getter.
Designed by headphone and speaker manufacturer Skullcandy and also participating in the Toyota Dream Builds Challenge, this Corolla has been equipped with a roof rack for a pair of BMX bikes, and an exterior boombox that swings out on an articulating arm.
This rallying Corolla's upgrades are less severe, limited to styling, suspension, and wheel and tire upgrades.