THE SHOW’S GOERS
Here’s why car brands and fans flock to Las Vegas
Sin City — Las Vegas, Nevada, famed for gambling — is becoming a bluechip venue for mainstream automotive brands. It hosts two of the biggest exhibitions in the US for car makers, neither of them conventional motor shows.
The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is increasingly seen as the place to display the latest in-car technology, whether new infotainment or cutting edge electrification.
Similarly, brands and fans flock to the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show to check aftermarket parts to improve a car’s looks, handling, utility and performance.
It’s effectively two platforms in one. Car companies show their vehicles and how they can be enhanced with the above modifications — cars are donated to the top tuning houses and the resulting custom examples take pride of place among the 2400-odd exhibitors in the sprawling convention centre. Here are some of the standouts.
The Chevy Blazer is the mid-sized SUV Holden should have. The soft-roader goes on sale in the US early next year and in top-spec RS trim can be had with a 227kW/365Nm 3.6-litre V6.
Its looks will turn more heads than the Holden Equinox, thanks to its classy Camaroinspired design, inside and out. Chevy staff wouldn’t say whether it was developed for righthand drive markets.
Another standout was the Gentex-tweaked Chevy Colorado. Australia is expected to take US-designed Colorados in the next few years, giving buyers access to the massive array of factory and aftermarket accessories.
The jacked-up Gentex 4WD’s pair of rearfacing cameras displays a wide-angled view on an LCD screen integrated into the rearview mirror. The roof-mounted, solar-powered tent pops up and down with a click on the HomeLink infotainment button and the car can be programmed to open the garage door and gates.
The Camaro eCOPO electric concept, developed with Hankook tyres and electricrace specialists Lane Racing, has a motor good for 522kW/813Nm and on the drag strip it’s tipped to cover the quarter-mile in about nine seconds.
Chevrolet suggests the motor may evolve into a “crate” engine — that is, delivered in a