Every year in November, Las Vegas hosts the Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show, an industry-only event that draws over 130,000 individuals largely made up of automotive parts manufacturers, retail store buyers and media from 130 countries.
Automakers also come out in full force displaying unique, souped-up creations that are the result of unique collaborations with aftermarket performance companies and celebrities. Some brands, like Toyota and BMW, use the opportunity to show off factory-tuned vehicles. OpenRoad was at SEMA 2014 and below we bring you part one of some of the best-of-show examples.
A lot of people are talking about one of the newest entries into the luxury compact crossover market: the 2015 Lexus NX. Offered as both a 200t with a Lexus-first 2.0-litre turbo motor and new six-speed automatic, as well as a 300h with Lexus Hybrid Drive featuring a 2.5-litre Atkinson gasoline engine mated to a new CVT transmission, all models are all-wheel drive.
As if the 200t isn’t enough of a looker already, Los Angeles tuners 360 Elite Motorworks got their hands on one and had it painted in a bespoke and retina-tingling “Molten Pearl” bright orange colour. This custom NX is outfitted with a full Artisan Spirits body kit, RS-R Sports coilover suspension, and gigantic gloss black HRE P104 wheels that are a full three inches bigger than the standard 17-inch alloys, wrapped in grippy Toyo Proxes T1R sport tires. Performance modifications are kept modest with a custom intake and exhaust.
The Camry recently received a complete redesign for 2015. The face of the car now looks much more aggressive, keeping inline with the exterior changes found on the Corolla and Yaris. Like the NX, the Camry is available with a conventional gasoline engine (four cylinder/V6) or a four-cylinder hybrid.
Making a little more than the 268 horsepower from the stock V6, Toyota lifted the covers off a Camry that was quickly revealed to be an 850-horsepower tube-frame dragster sitting underneath a deceptively normal shell. The powerplant was borrowed from a Tundra full-size pickup truck: a 5.7-litre V8 with a TRD supercharger and a wet nitrous system added for good measure. Equipped with beefy 335/30/18 drag racing tires, the Camry-from-Hell is expected to do the quarter mile in 9.8 seconds.
Because of its affordable price point, balanced front engine, rear-wheel drive configuration and handsome looks, the Scion FR-S has proved very popular with the young tuner set since its release two years ago.
Scion put a call out to car customizers to put their own spin on the coupe, and Jeremy Lookofsky of Cali’s Cartel Customs responded with his targa top version. Sprayed in a proprietary “Azzuro California Blue” colour, this FRS has a two-tone scheme with a removable black targa roof sitting overtop of a widened all-metal body. Other enhancements include 19-inch wheels, centre-exit exhaust system, GReddy turbo kit, Wilwood brakes and KW coilovers.
In part two of SEMA 2014, we’ll be checking out some showstoppers from the Euro camp.