Traditionally, European cars and parts represent but a small part of the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show, but the 2012 event had a better showing than usual. And we played our part, with no less than three project cars on display including our eBay Porsche 911 "Rally" as well as a VW Beetle and Ford Focus ST we'd been asked to build for the event.
The '84 911 appeared on the cover of EC 12/12 and was part of an eBay promotion in collaboration with GSR Autosport. We created a rally-inspired racer that was auctioned on eBay for $33700, with all proceeds going to charity. During the week-long SEMA show, we were involved in a live webcast to present the car to attendees
Elsewhere in this issue you'll find full details of the VW Beetle we built with Revo and FMS Automotive. It was originally intended for a Volkswagen booth but after they backed out it was displayed by FMS - a company we've worked with extensively in the past: they fit and create several dealer-fit styling options for manufacturers including VW/Audi. The Beetle had a retro surfing theme complete with a shower system, Katzkin interior, 19" Fuchs Performance wheels and a full 400hp big-turbo conversion from Revo complete with a front-mount intercooler, intake, exhaust and software. It also boasted Revo big brakes and remote-reservoir dampers, making this one of the most potent Bugs in the show.
The Ford Focus ST is left-field for us but we'd proposed a strong Euro theme in conjunction with Focus specialists FSWerks, who provided the H&R coilovers, stress bars, turbo-back exhaust, intake system and software. The 18" Privat wheels were painted and fitted under pulled fenders by BMW specialists LTMotorwerks, who painted the car GT3 RS grey and provided the custom carbon front spoiler, rear wing, side skirst and diffuser. Along with a number of other parts provided by Ford specialists in Europe, we'll review the finished car next month.
With our project cars parked in different corners of the show, our pedometer app showed we walked almost 12 miles each day, winding between the hundreds of exhibitors. So if ever you visit, remember to bring comfy shoes!
Our exercise was rewarded with a higher number of European cars than normal, with everything from Ferraris, Lambos, Porsches, Jaguars, BMWs and Mercedes to VWs, Audis and Fiats. Each was equipped with the latest wheels, suspension and electronics, from iPhone-controlled suspension and high-tech boost controllers to carbon body kits and everything in between.
The show is almost too big to condense into a few pages here, but we've distilled it down to a select group of cars and parts to bring you our highlights, with other selections online at europeancarweb.com and eurotuner.com
Built for us by GSR Autosport for an eBay promotion, this '84 911 Carrera "Rally" appeared in EC 12/12. It features a retro paint scheme, rally lights, RS spoilers, OZ wheels, Pirelli rally tires plus fabricated GSR exhaust and full rollcage (gsrautosport.com)
The Bisimoto 930 Porsche 911 Speedster boasted its signature exposed twin-turbo rear-end. Departing from his traditional baby blue paint, Bisi opted for green paint with a distressed red leather interior. Along with its Speedster tonneau cover, the whaletail wing and GT2 fenders made it a big hit (bisimoto.com)
This 1200hp twin-turbo Lambo Aventador from Underground Racing showed up in the HRE booth sporting a set of its new S1 wheels (undergroundracing.com)
Rotiform was part of the same Beetle program as us, choosing to shave its engine bay, fit a new rear subframe and wrap the body in Wraptivo matte aluminum vinyl. Dropped on air suspension it had a set of 19" Rotiform NUE reverse wheels in matte metallic red (rotiform.com)
Featured in this issue, IND Distribution displayed its F10 M5 GTS for the first time, complete with carbon roof, spoilers, diffuser, etc as well as a painted roll-bar, Recaros, KW coilovers, BBS FI wheels and new Falken FK453 rubber (ind-distribution.com, falkentire.com)
Supreme Power Parts built this 991 Porsche 911 Carrera S using the new Vorsteiner body kit that includes V-GT front spoiler, carbon splitter, side sills, carbon diffuser and carbon rear wing. It usually wears the new SPP wheels but was in the Pirelli booth on stock wheels to promote the award-winning Cinturato C7 tires (pirelli.com, supremepowerparts.com, vorsteiner.com)
CEC Wheels displayed this 991 Porsche 911 in a new Caractere body kit with aggressive bumpers, vented side panels, stacked rear wing and its 21" forged CW1 wheels (cewheels.com)
Our own 400hp VW Beetle 2.0T "Surf Bug" featured a Revo big-turbo conversion, big brakes under Fuchs Performance wheels and remote reservoir coilovers. The body kit, paint and shower system were executed by FMS Automotive. Full feature in this issue (revotechnik.com, foammolders.com)
Our Euro-themed Focus ST had all mechanical work by FSWerks and bodywork by LTMotorwerks, including pulled fenders, Porsche paint and carbon spoilers. The interior had black leather/alcantara Recaro seats with matching rears. Full feature next month (fswerks.com, ltmotorwerks.com)
Underground Racing also has a 1000hp twin-turbo Audi R8 GT on display with sick matte red paint and a wrinkle-finished black intercooler treatment to offset the carbon detailing (undergroundracing.com)
034Motorsport brought its Audi TT-RS racecar to SEMA. Built by the factory for German endurance racing and costing almost $250k, this 380hp FWD chariot will be seen first at the 25 hours of Thunderhill (034motorsport.com)
H&R Springs had an otherwise stock 2013 Audi S7 that sported a set of H&R Street Performance coilovers and H&R spacers for the 21" Audi wheels but everybody commented on how sharp it looked (hrsprings.com)
One of the most talked about cars at SEMA was AccuAir's all-metal widebody Audi A4 2.0T Avant. Sporting its smartphone app e-level remote-controlled height adjustment system, the wagon looked amazing and the matte red leather interior maintained the quality. Full feature soon (accuairsuspension.com)