Las is more: extreme Vegas show cars
More power, more tech, more pizza-serving-robot-arms. We visit the world’s greatest celebration of aftermarket excess. By Jake Groves
THEY CALL IT Sin City for a reason, but it turns out it’s not just gambling and legal prostitution that attract folk to the Nevada desert. No, Las Vegas is also home to the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show, which is the world’s biggest gathering of automotive sinners, with thousands of tuners and aftermarket manufacturers descending on Vegas to show off their heinous handiwork.
The aftermarket industry is huge worldwide, but particularly in the US – the four-day show attracts more than 160,000 visitors, with 2400 exhibitors ranging from one-man operations to Ford, Chevrolet, Lexus, Honda and Toyota.
The scale of the show is extraordinary, with five gargantuan halls packed with everything from new collision repair kit to mobile electronics to racing technology. It takes up the entire Las Vegas Convention Centre.
Wandering round, you see pick-ups that have been raised by six feet, drift cars and European supercars slammed so hard they look like they’ve driven straight out of a Need for Speed video game.
The mainstream car brands have to dial up the wacky factor to keep pace. Lexus had an ES saloon with an in-built wine cooler (below), Chevrolet made an electric drag-spec Camaro, Ford showed more pick-up concepts than it knew what to do with, Toyota showed off four custom builds of the new Corolla in different degrees of radical, while Honda created a supersized beach buggy based on the Ridgeline pickup, but using two rows of Civic Type R seats.
After a few hours this sort of carry-onstarts to seem normal. Worrying…
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This should perk up the stop at Corley services