The American aftermarket and tuning show ‘SEMA’ takes place in Las Vegas every fall and displays some of the world’s boldest automotive creations each year. A quick loop around the exposition floor on the first day brings us the following highlights.
A definite first is the Chevrolet COPO Camaro, marking the beginning of another COPO series the coming year. Ever since the COPO concept was revealed at SEMA 2011, the American brand has been releasing a limited edition series of just 69 cars per year following 2011. The COPO Camaro honors the original ZL-1 COPO – which stands for Central Office Production Order – of which were exactly 69 produced in the year 1969.
The highly limited performance Camaro is assembled at Chevrolet’s Wixom plant in Michigan, where buyers are invited to take part in the engine assembly if they wish. The rare version of the Camaro is recognizable by its bulky hood, visualizing its true roots as an American muscle car. In the 2016-2017 series buyers can opt for the naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 engine delivering 410 hp, the 427 naturally-aspirated V8 delivering 470 hp or the 350 supercharged V8 engine delivering a superior 580 hp. More information can be found here.
Another interesting display by Chevrolet is its Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuell cell truck in army guise. This particular car comes to show that not everything is all about big V8’s and gasoline smells anymore at the world renowned tuning show. Interesting fact is that GM is actually celebrating its 50th anniversary of the hydrogen fuel-cell powered 1966 GM Electrovan. Yes, GM was the first brand ever to introduce a vehicle powered by a fuel-cell.
In order to make the ZH2 fit the show’s theme it was bumped up standing on 37-inch tires with 17-inch beadlock wheels. Powering the massive truck is a fuel cell located in the rear of the truck with a peak output of 50 kW, and a transversely mounted fuel cell at the front good for 94 kW (177 hp) that powers the electric motor powering all four wheels. This configuration gives the truck a range of 225 km (140 miles) and a top speed of just over 96 km/h (60 mph).
At the 2016 edition of SEMA the Ford Mustang Fastback seems to be a popular subject for customization. There are three examples that made our highlights, of which we will address SpeedKore’s creation in specific. The 2017 Ford Mustang Fastback by SpeedKore Performance Group has a composite bodykit, fully changed premium interior and a further upgraded V8.
The Wisconsin based autoshop assures that the car’s body isn’t just some ‘composite’ look, but actually accounts for some substantial weight savings. It’s fully made out of carbon fiber and increases the car’s performance significantly. We may add ‘looks’ to that as well, this particular pony looks absolutely brutal in its new carbon fiber jacket. The company didn’t forget about the iconic blue racing stripe over the length of the car’s body either.
The builders left the popular Ecoboost engine aside and stuck to the traditional Blue Oval 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 which produces 435 hp as standard. Part one of the refinement program consisted of installing a massive ‘Whipple’ stage 2 supercharger on top. A quick look at the technological details of this blower shows us a 2.9-liter front feed twin-screw design and a huge air-to-water intercooler.
The Whipple supercharger adds an impressive 390 hp to the Mustang’s output, bringing it to a menacing 825 hp. The engine tuning is courtesy of Jet Performance, and despite the aggressive setup this Fastback is very much street legal in 50 American states.
If you are into Mustang’s, make sure to check out the Mustang Fastback by VMP Performance and the Fastback by CJ Pony Parts Inc. as well.
Other highlights of this year’s SEMA include a Toyota 1969 2000GT, the Honda Civic Type R Prototype which made its official US debut at the show, the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept, a Ford Forus RS by Full-Race Motorsports, a heavily customized Ford Fiesta ST by Tucci Hot Rods and a custom Lexus LC 500 built by Gordon Ting. Make sure to view the gallery for a full overview.