Top five picks from SEMA show 2016

sema 2017 show floor
View above the exhibitor hall floor at the SEMA Show 2016. 

If the purpose of auto shows, like the one in Los Angeles next week, is to showcase products coming to market and concepts, then the annual Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA) event in Las Vegas is designed to shock and awe. The 2017 iteration just wrapped up recently showcasing lots of fast and/or wild utility vehicles as well as the staple sports cars, including the few we’ve handpicked below.

Toyota Extreme Sienna

Toyota Extreme Sienna

Everyone’s favourite import van goes low, loud and wide with the introduction of the Extreme Sienna. Toyota enlisted the help of a professional hot rod builder for the project that features a carbon fibre wide body kit, TRD big brake kit, dual exhaust system, air suspension and big wheels wrapped in sticky rubber. Inside, there’s a home theatre system and refrigerator. Most vehicle functions can be controlled using an iPad.

hyundai santa fast

Hyundai Santa-Fast

It’s not related to Christmas, besides the fact that any car enthusiast would love to find one of these underneath the tree. This joint venture with Bisimoto Engineering is a 1,040-horsepower drive Santa Fe crossover running a turbocharged 3.8-liter Lambda V6 engine powering the rear wheels. The automatic transmission has been swapped out for a six-speed Genesis R-Spec unit.

Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro

Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro

The hardtop-equipped Miata, the RF, goes on sale next year. But before then, Mazda North American Operations revealed a concept infused with parts from the MX-5 Global Cup racecar such as adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes and RAYS 17-inch lightweight aluminum wheels. The exterior is sprayed in a semi-matte Satin Black Metallic paint colour providing a purposeful stealth look.

Lexus LC 500 Sema 2017

Lexus LC 500

Considering the LC 500 sport coupe isn’t even for sale yet, it’s not much of a stretch for Lexus to say the one displayed at SEMA was the world’s first modified example. Tuned by Beyond Marketing, the car wears a custom bodykit and rear spoiler, 22-inch HRE wheels and houses a 5.6-litre — increased from 5.0 litres — naturally aspirated engine producing 525 horsepower.

BMW M3 Performance Sema 2017


Each year, BMW has an assortment of models at its booth highlighting new performance parts customers can order for their own vehicles. The German automaker focused heavily on the M3 this time around, world-premiering a fully top to bottom carbon fibre M Performance rear wing, part of an effort to bring motorsports aerodynamics to the street. An adjustable coilover suspension setup, a titanium exhaust system and concept 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels will also soon be available. 

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights