BEST OF SHOW
Our Highlight Reel from SEMA 2017
Each year in November Las Vegas plays host to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, where thousands of buyers, sellers and companies get together to revel in the best the automotive industry has to offer. Diesels and diesel-powered trucks were hot, as there were tons of compression-ignition products and rides to drool over.
Diesel technology has progressed quite a bit in the last few years, and SEMA is definitely a spot where companies could strut their stuff. Tuning took a big step forward as EZ Lynk showed off their cloud tuning software, which allows for tuning and data logging in real time. As for rides, the ’37 Chevy in the Premier Performance booth was packing some serious heat in the form of a 500ci Duramax-based Wagler Competition Products DX500 engine that was fitted with a huge PSI screw blower instead of the normal multiple turbos.
New products are a big part of SEMA, and here too the performance industry was out in full support of diesels and diesel performance. Tuners for everything from Vp44-pumped Rams to ’17 Fords were on full display, as companies like Banks, Bully Dog, PPE, SCT and more had the latest in computerized diesel performance. For those looking for hard parts like intakes, turbos, intercoolers or exhaust manifolds, there were vendors like afe, BD Diesel, Borgwarner, Garrett, S&B and many others to peruse.
If engine performance isn’t your thing, there was also a plethora of suspension systems and components, wheels and tires available for viewing at SEMA. American Force was still rolling strong in the wheel department, although a lot of up-and-coming wheel companies are starting to get into the diesel market. The ’17 Fords seemed to be the hot trucks to build, and we even saw a lifted F-350 diesel in the Ford
display. The “bigger is better” trend was definitely alive in this department, as we saw double-digit lifts (over 10 inches) for Fords, GMS and Rams alike.
We also spotted a number of diesel swaps at SEMA, which shows that diesel performance has infiltrated the mainstream performance market. It looked like 12-valve Cummins engines were the powerplant of choice, as more than half of the swaps we saw had these mechanical monsters, some of which were pushing upwards of 800 horsepower! The variety of these diesel swaps was also very diverse, as we saw everything from rat rods, to semis, to show trucks that were Cummins-powered.
After three days of the wildest rides and products one could imagine, we left SEMA with hundreds of photos and the belief that diesel performance isn't going anywhere soon. Tuning is still alive and well, engine swaps are numerous, and technology and innovation is still progressing at a rapid pace. The point was clear—whatever diesel you set out to build, the aftermarket performance diesel industry has your back. UDBG
The Premier Performance booth had this awesome ’37 Chevy Pro Mod. The EZ Lynk-sponsored coupe (which most people thought was gas-powered), was motivated by a Duramax-based DX500 from Wagler Competition Products that was topped with a huge PSI screw...
Row after row of diesel trucks could be seen in the American Force Wheel display area as crowds gawked at the latest forged creations from the manufacturer and the cool trucks that wore them.
There are all types of rides at SEMA, and this 5.9L Cummins-powered car hauler pegged the cool factor. The compound turbo rig was estimated to produce 800 hp.
Borgwarner has introduced a number of advanced, high-flowing SX-E turbochargers over the past couple years. So far the compressors have been confined to 69mm in size, but they had this even larger 72mm version on display at SEMA, which should be out in...
Wheels have gotten larger and louder over the years. We dig this wild new gold color from Hostile Wheels.
Gone are the simple spring lifts of years past. The new normal for vertically modified trucks is remote reservoir shocks complemented by air springs—like the setup on this Ram.
Like sardines freed from a can, the huge throng of performance automotive industry folks migrate into the Las Vegas Convention Center as soon as the doors open.
This uniquely colored Ram sported a cool bumper from Mercenary Offroad, which matches the body lines and gives an immense amount of tire clearance.
Rhino Linings has been in the market for years with their tough line of bedliners. For those who didn’t believe in their durability, they had this “wrecking room” set up where you could try and smash various Rhino-lined products. It was great fun.
A number of tire companies were at SEMA, like Cooper Tires, which specializes in off-road and diesel-specific tires.