SEMA Show 2012: Part Four

Words by Matt Willis

First off, I want to apologize for the delay in turning out this final portion of coverage. Between work, and being sick and trying to work at the same time, I took a lot of time to rest this week in hopes of putting whatever I have behind me. Needless to say, I’m still under the weather and trying to power through it before the Los Angeles Auto Show this weekend, as of this evening I feel good enough to start getting active again and to get back into the swing of things.

We’ll start back outside where we’ll cover some stuff we missed before, then go back through some of the most iconic and highly-anticipated cars at this year’s SEMA Show.



Liam Doran’s Monster Energy Citroen C4. The C4 is one of my favorite rally cars of all time…



RWB 993…



We saw this striking green Skyline at Extreme Autofest San Diego this past summer…


Crazy THR Motorsports buggy outfitted with King shocks…




Beautiful FR-S from MHT Wheels…



Next to it was this beautiful LP-700…



We’re just keeping up with the latest trends in photography…


Widebody hardtop Miata from Autokonexion…



Big Abe’s custom trike…


Slammed next-generation Beetle…


Takata-themed FR-S at the Toyo Tires booth…



Crazy 2nd-generation Audi TT brought to us by Pirelli and 034Motorsport…


Super aggressive M5. Love the touch with the brake duct…


Another M5 — this one we saw here at SEMA last year. The “FASTDAD” license plate jogged my memory.


Affliction Customs ’66 Chevelle…love the “raw steel” look of this build.


Mustang RTRs brought out by Ford and co-designer Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Galpin Auto Sports’ stacking a rare Focus RS (one of their feature cars last year) and a color-matched SVT Raptor…not a bad combo.


Ford Bronco in Gulf Racing livery…



VIP Lexus GS…


LTBMW F30 in the Dub area. Still loving the new look of BMW…


SLR 722…


Back in the North Hall, we were greeted by these four Kia builds themed after DC Comics’ characters…


The first was this Forte Koup (yes, it’s spelled all trendy like that, for some reason) in a Flash livery. The Flash is one of my favorite comic book heroes so it was neat to see how others would incorporate the character into a car.



New Kia Rio done in an Aquaman theme…



I have to admit, the Batman Optima was slightly lack-luster, especially for a character known to have very extravagant transportation. But who knows, maybe this is his daily driver…haha…


The finish on that matte coating is awful. It might look like that on purpose, but it still looks like a bad spray paint job.


Nice touch with the DC logo on the cars…


Green Lantern themed Soul. This was very well done, with an actual green lantern and edge-lit reminder of the character’s title slogan in the back and, albeit tacky on most other cars, there’s great contrast with the green window tint all around.



Finally, there was Cyborg’s Forte hatchback with a custom body kit and red lighted accents all over.





Another FR-S spotted at the Beat-Sonic USA booth, with those oh-so-familiar Rays wheels.


NAPA Auto Parts dragster…


Cool little rotating display that advertised how often cars and their components are exchanged at eBay Motors.


One (and the best) of a couple Chevrolet Sparks we saw this year…


At the Mazda USA/Mazdaspeed booth, the successor to the MX-5 Super20 that graced SEMA a few years ago was on display. The new Super25 features a red/black color scheme, Volk TE37SL wheels wrapped in BFG R1 competition tires, a roll cage and track-ready cockpit. Specs on the engine, suspension and other modifications are unreleased at this time.




The iconic Mazda 787B…



While I was on the floor getting differently angled shots of the 787B wheel, I noticed this little thermometer on the brake caliper. Very handy, though I’m not quite sure this one is reading right (the brakes might have to be heated first).






We stayed around to watch this wrap being applied…


This one company had a bunch of garage-themed neon signs on display…


Perhaps one of the most highly anticipated builds at SEMA this year was Evasive Motorsports’ FR-S build. I think among all the other companies who built an FR-S’ for the show, this one blows them all out of the water. Evasive and Voltex did an awesome job getting this together in just three months. It’s not just a roller, either – this thing is meant for hard track use. Don’t believe us? Watch their recent 1.59:2xx session at Global Time Attack out at Buttonwillow Raceway Park…


The custom work is just so well done and not a single detail was missed. Though I’m sure there is a lot of testing to be done in getting all the settings right out on the track, it looks great on paper and I know Evasive will only make this thing faster and faster – just like their flagship street-spec S2000 that just broke a record a Buttonwillow as well.



Notice how the spoiler is installed here. It doesn’t just mount to the trunk; the rail slots are fed through the trunk panel making the design far more sturdy.


Here, the CEO of Polyphony Digital (Gran Turismo series) takes a thorough look the build.



Truly remarkable…


Among the other FR-S at the Scion booth was this Rocket Bunny-Fatlace build, one of the first to pop up online prior to the SEMA Show…





Chris Basselgia’s Minty Fresh FR-S that won the 2012 Scion Top Tuner challenge.


Beautiful Rotiform wheels and neochrome brake calipers really set this car off.




Slammed and beige colored with Five:Axis wheels.


Crazy aggressive build with SSR wheels and a full carbon wrap. Not a fan of the carbon wrap look, but the aero work and wheel fitment is very enticing.



ScionRacing’s vision of an endurance spec FR-S…


Melanie stayed busy uploading all of the FR-S builds to our Instagram feed…


We made our way outdoors to cross over to the South Hall and nearly forgot about Mopar, who always sets up a little show in this transition area known as “Mopar Alley”.


There were Vipers of all shapes…


…and sizes…




Our last stop was the headliner Falken Tire booth at the end of the South Hall. Falken always promises some new and exciting SEMA builds and this year was no disappointment. Here is Justin Pawlak’s Mustang GT drift car in classic Falken livery…


Here’s Falken’s new, simplified livery on a beautifully built Nissan GTR brought to us by Fatlace. It features a rare custom kit by BenSopra. You can get a little behind-the-scenes of this build here.




Perhaps my favorite car at the Falken booth was this BMW M5 done in the same livery.


Love the graphite color of the BBS wheels and the aqua accent on the brakes/wheel bezel.

With the sun beginning to set outside, we made our way out of the convention halls and tried to beat the rush of crowds flooding out at close time. We failed there…


Hot Cobra rolling out through the outer pavilion…



Gee, the streets sure look empty here. As soon as we got in the car to leave everything got jammed up…


After fighting traffic, we arrived at the Bellagio to grab dinner at their buffet with Big Mike and his guests. Never had the buffet there prior, but I thought it was quite good. As an aside, this is a shot of the glass blown art on the ceiling of the Bellagio lobby.


Here’s a little garden exhibit they had open…


…which had one of those talking trees from Lord of the Rings…

The rest of the night was undocumented, but one of Melanie’s connections got us a lead into the Falken VIP afterparty at the Chateau (Paris) club. We all had a great time and ended up hanging out for a majority of the night with various heads from the industry. We are very appreciative of that connection…very cool of him to hook us up when we weren’t expecting anything at all.

When we got back to our place, we made the decision that we were pretty much done with SEMA coverage and that we would head out Friday. We got a few hours of sleep and woke up mid-morning, packed up and got on the road back towards home sweet Socal.


On the way back, though, we made a not-so-quick detour through Death Valley National Park for some final photo opportunities.


Zabriskie Point at the south end of the valley…


Tim was getting shots with his Kodak disposable.


Passing through Scotty’s Castle…



Final stop before exiting the valley and one of my favorite spots, Owens Lake.





That concludes our coverage of the 2012 SEMA Show. It was truly a great one and as I mentioned towards the beginning of our coverage, the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ was definitely the most popular car on the show floor. It was great seeing all the different visions that people/builders had for the chassis, and I can only imagine they will continue to surprise us in the future.

We hope you enjoyed the read and hope to see the entire industry in Vegas again next year, November 5-8th, 2013 at the Convention Center.

Thanks for viewing!