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SEMA show: Car-makers wheel out customised vehicles

Honda, Lexus, Nissan, VW aftermarket tuning potential showcased in latest SEMA cars

30 Oct 2018

HONDA, Lexus, Nissan and Volkswagen have revealed a number of wild tuned models ahead of the opening of this year’s Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show.
At the Honda stand, the Japanese brand will showcase eight bespoke vehicles, as well as a handful of motorcycles, headlined by the Civic Type R TCR track car that will compete in Australia’s newest racing series from next year.
Under the bonnet of the stripped-out, race-prepped Civic Type R TCR is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine tuned to 253kW, up from the standard car’s 228kW, while it also sports uprated brakes and suspension, full roll cage and single bucket seat.
Not to be outdone, a second custom Civic Type R racecar prepared by Team Honda Research West (THR-W) will sit alongside the TCR at SEMA, with upgrades such as a custom Injen intake, Hondata ECU, titanium exhaust, H&R racing springs, six-piston Paragon brakes, comprehensive aerodynamic overhaul and 283kW engine.
In keeping with the track-day theme, Honda’s F3 Americas racecar – powered by a bespoke version of the Civic Type R’s 2.0-litre turbo VTEC engine – will also be on display at the show.
Aside from the track-devouring trio, Honda will debut its Pilot Rebelle Rally SUV and Ridgeline Overland Project pick-up with a number of off-road-focused accessories, while details of the Rugged Open Air Vehicle Concept will be revealed once the show kicks off.
Meanwhile, Lexus is using the 2018 SEMA show to wheel out bespoke versions of the ES mid-sizer, UX small SUV, RC sportscar and LS large sedan that will be displayed alongside the Laguna Seca GS F pace car and RC F GT3 racing simulator.
Leading the charge is the RC350 F Sport Cross Country Custom that sports a number of cosmetic upgrades from its trip from Miami to Los Angeles (hence the name) including 20-inch Vossen wheels, RS-R springs, Apexi muffler, Avery satin wrap and underbody lighting.
The ES features an Artisan Spirit aero kit, 20-inch Rays Engineering wheels, metallic red paintwork, and custom oak flooring and frames, as well as a wine refrigerator, bottle holder and glasses installed in the boot to bring the winery with you.
The UX crossover on display receives a blue-coloured vehicle wrap, lip kit, Vossen wheels, Apexi exhaust system and bike rack, while the LS sports a set of 22-inch Work wheels, a Brembo brake upgrade and subtle aero kit.
Nissan will display five bespoke vehicles – two 370Zs, a pair of Titan pick-ups and a Kicks small SUV –at this year’s SEMA show.
The 370Z Project Clubsport 23 is designed as an ongoing parts development platform to produce components that owners and aftermarket companies can draw inspiration from with upgrades to the suspension, steering and braking.
On the outside, the Project Clubsport 23 is wrapped in a Gloss Burnt orange colour and wears 18-inch Nismo-branded Rays wheel, while the interior sports a full roll cage and diamond-pattern upholstery – the latter an homage to the 240Z.
Interestingly, the 370Z’s 253kW 2.7-litre VQ37HR V6 motor has been swapped out for the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport’s 295kW twin-turbo 3.0-litre VR30DDTT bent six that could hint at the next Z car’s engine.
Chris Forsberg’s Formula Drift 370Z will also be in attendance at the show.
Two Titan pick-ups, dubbed Ultimate Service and Paws One, will also be on display, built as an emergency service mobile response unit and animal rescue vehicle respectively.
Finally, the Nissan Kicks Sound Machine will serve as mobile DJ station with an array of Bose speakers, three subwoofers and professional DJ equipment fitted.
Volkswagen will bring a trio of customised Jetta small sedans to SEMA this year, the H&R Special Springs Jetta R-Line, Air Design USA Jetta SEL and Jetta S by Jamie Orr.
The first car features an eye-catching orange exterior colour with grey decals, but is built around suspension-specialist H&R’s lowered performance coilovers, 19-inch Rotiform BUC wheels and Trak+ wheel spacers for the flush fitment look.
The second Jetta is designed around the model’s accessories from the 80s and 90s, and sports 19-inch TSW Hockenheim S wheels, lowered Eibach springs, Air Design USA bodykit, roof-mounted bike rack and tri-colour graphics.
Volkswagen enthusiast Jamie Orr’s take on the Jetta meanwhile, sports lowered KW Clubsport coilovers and 20-inch Work Emotion two-piece wheels for a slightly stanced style, while the custom bodykit is 3D printed and the interior worked over with Recaro seats.
This year’s SEMA show kicks off in Las Vegas today and runs until the end of the week.

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