The Specialty Equipment Market Association has been going on this week in Las Vegas, and we’ve been hard at work judging the concepts from our Ann Arbor office. We’ve found our top five cars (and the proverbial wild card) that we think should tickle your tuner car fancy.
First thing’s first, the Mazda MX-5 Spyder doesn’t receive any SEMA-standard-practice turbos or superchargers, but it’s still not a dud. The Spyder gets a sleek look thanks to a Porsche BoxsterSpyder-like tonneau top, a modified front clip with Mazda-spec smiley face aperture, a double-bubble panel behind the seats, and a lower stance thanks to a Mazdaspeed suspension kit. When it’s time to slow down for the corners, the Spyder’s brakes come from Brembo, and the whole package runs on Yokohama Advan A048 competition tires and Advan RS 17-inch wheels. We think the whole package looks, well, fantastic.
Hyundai RM500 Genesis Coupe
The Hyundai Genesis coupe tuned by Rhys Millen Racing may look fairly sedate–it only gets a few carbon fiber parts on the outside, and the wheels aren’t all that large by special equipment standards. That’s because the Genesis, nicknamed the RM500, is a total sleeper car. Underhood, Rhys Millen Racing slotted the 5.0-liter Tau V-8 engine from the Genesis R-Spec Sedan, which makes about 450 horsepower, 240 more than the standard coupe available at Hyundai dealers. Much as we’d love to see this car hit showrooms, it’ll likely remain a concept for the foreseeable future.
Honda Accord Coupe V6 by HFP
Yes, Virginia, there are enthusiasts employed within the halls of Honda – and they’re the ones who helped create this interesting concept. The Accord V-6 Coupe by Honda Factory Performance (HFP) wears more than a bunch of aerodynamic body parts. Underhood, HFP managed to bolt on a supercharger, which gives the 3.5-liter V-6 another 64 hp and 35 lb-ft of torque. As a result, it cranks out a respectable 335 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque. Although the whole car looks a bit sedate by SEMA standards, we’re actually quite happy to see that behind the vanilla exterior, Honda still knows how to party.
One of the very first Hot Wheels toys ever made was a customized take on the first-gen Camaro. Fitting, then, that Chevrolet and Hot Wheels partnered for a custom Camaro concept for SEMA. The car receives a new body kit, ZL1 wheels, an eight-slot hood opening, custom badges, and one amazing paint job. That color – dubbed Spectraflame – is patterned after the eye-searing hues used on early Hot Wheels toys. Want one? GM has no plans to build any more, but Hot Wheels will make a run of 1:64 replicas in the near future.
Scion iQ RS
Maybe we’re just not imaginative enough, but we typically never looked Scion iQ and thought “spec racer.” That is, until Michael Chang and Evasive Motorsport made the iQ RS concept. Evasive took a stock iQ and added a smattering of racingequipment like a deep front splitter, 17-inch wheels with R-Compound tires, and six-piston front brake calipers. Inside, the stock interior has been stripped and replaced with racing seats with harnesses, a six-point roll cage, and a rally shifter. To top it off, the Scion gains some massively flared wheel arches, super white paint, and a bevy of sponsor stickers. While we wouldn’t recommend racing it–it doesn’t receive any forced induction or a larger engine–it certainly looks the part.
Yes, we know that this particular feature of SEMA wasn’t a car, but we think it warrants mention on this list for one reason. Actually, 800 reasons: Mopar’s new crate engine is a modified version of the late Viper’s 8.4-liter V-10, but tweaked to make an incredible 800 horsepower and 695 pound-feet of torque. The engine gets some racing-spec upgrades like forged pistons, connecting rods, and a forged steel crankshaft, which should help it cope with the strains of drag racing and the monumental amount of power that this motor creates.