With the current coronavirus pandemic impeding almost each and every motor show around the world in 2020, this year seems to be a comeback story for enthusiasts and car nuts.
Among the returning car shows this 2021 is the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, which features various concepts and builds from automakers to showcase the maximum potential of their cars beyond showrooms. Simply put, it’s the chance for car brands and aftermarket companies to go wild with bonkers builds. As they say, imagination’s the limit.
Given the single-year gap that happened, you’d bet automakers have pulled all the stops to give us gearheads a taste of high-quality tuning and builds. The event is being staged at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada, from November 2 to 5, 2021.
While there hasn’t been any definite theme for SEMA Show, this year saw a collective approach to overlanding and off-roading, reflecting the Americans’ taste for an adventure using their beloved rigs.
That said, here are the notable builds that came out at the 2021 SEMA Show.
American carmaker Chevrolet has embraced the dark side with its booth at the 2021 SEMA. The frontrunner of the Bowtie brand is the Beast; not the Presidential limo but an off-roader concept with the same name. At first glance, the Beast looks like a one-off machine, bearing similarities to GM’s Defense line of military vehicles. However, it actually rides on a short-bed Silverado platform, powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V8 making 650 horses and heavily modified to what it is today.
The next slew of Chevrolet vehicles all features black Bowtie badging, and each represents every corner of the company’s SUV line.
The Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 Overlanding Concept takes the full-size SUV and turned it into a rad off-roading menace, armed with air suspension with 18-inch beadlock wheels and 33-inch tires. It also comes with a rooftop tent for an option to stay outdoors at night.
The Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Edition, on the other hand, transforms the American version of the midsize truck and subtly turns it into an overnight camper with a topper and a rooftop tent. It isn’t a pushover, though, as this Colorado Z71 comes with the Trail Boss off-road package.
A personal favorite comes in the form of the Chevrolet Silverado High Country Midnight Concept. While there isn’t exactly any addition to the truck in terms of body kits, the Midnight Concept comes with an all-black body – and when we say black, we mean really black, including the 20-inch wheels. Could this be an upcoming appearance package? Maybe.
Last but definitely not least, Chevrolet veers away from off-roading and overlanding with the Chevrolet Suburban Street Concept. With air-ride suspension available, the SUV has been lowered and paired with a set of low-profile street tires on custom 24-inch wheels. Add a touch of all-black goodness and I can’t help but imagine this as a mafia runabout.
Just like Chevrolet, American automaker Ford joins the 2021 SEMA Show with a bang. But unlike Chevy’s arsenal of big and burly vehicles, the Blue Oval comes with a variety of offerings, ranging from mild to wild.
Ford’s main attraction is, of course, its most popular duo, the Bronco and the Bronco Sport. With a total of six builds coming from different aftermarket companies, the Bucking Horse gets more off-roading capability, more style, and in the case of the Tucci Hot Rods Bronco creation, a badass set of Mattracks 88-Series quad tracks.
Most of the Ford Bronco creations come with suspension and wheel upgrades, such as the Bronco RTR Fun-Runner and Bronco/Bronco Sport Baja Forged by LGE-CTS Motorsports. However, BDS Suspensions went as far as modifying a two-door Bronco, turning it into a pickup truck equipped with search and rescue features like dual winches, custom bumpers with recovery hooks, an underhood air compressor, and lights galore.
It isn’t just the Bronco that got the aftermarket attention at the 2021 SEMA Show. Ford also gives the American Ranger, in its off-road-ready Tremor trim, more guns for tougher excursions. The Attitude Performance Outside Magazine Ranger Tremor comes with auxiliary lighting, as well as a six-inch suspension lift and a Watergen atmospheric water generation system that creates drinking water from the humidity in the air.
Probably the most peculiar build that’s on the floor of the 2021 SEMA Show is the Hypertech F-150 Hybrid Lariat. While it looks like a typical overlanding truck on the outside, the gnarly machine actually comes with an electric grill, refrigerator/freezer, sink, ice machine, washer/dryer, and more – all powered by a 7.2-kilowatt Pro Power Onboard system.
Ford is also showcasing two Mustang flavors at the 2021 SEMA Show. The flamboyant All Star Mustang EcoBoost HPP wears an eye-catching custom teal green paint color paired with subtle white and orange accents, while the M2 Motoring Mustang GT is a track monster propelled by a 750-hp V8, with forced induction coming from a supercharger kit from Ford Performance Parts.
< Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT Concept image>
The controversial Mustang Mach-E also comes at a different light at the SEMA Show, arriving with Shelby treatment but with zero direct emissions. However, apart from the obvious design cues borrowed from Shelby Mustangs, the Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT Concept receives suspension tuning and a set of 20-inch Monoblock wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires.
Nissan’s one of the two Japanese automakers that grace the 2021 SEMA Show with its heavy-duty pair of overlanders. Dubbed as the Project Overland models, the Frontier and the Pathfinder, both regarded as the American versions of the Navara and the Terra, make use of Nismo Off-Road parts for their SEMA attires.
Pegged as an adventure-ready family vehicle, the Project Overland Pathfinder comes with a number of special modifications, such as a prototype Nismo Off Road 2-inch lift kit featuring custom Bilstein-sourced high-capacity monotube gas-pressurized shocks. The vehicle rides on custom 18×8-inch Nismo Off Road wheels mounted with Maxxis RAZR AT tires.
Meanwhile, the Project Overland Frontier builds upon the new 2022 Nissan Frontier and its robust chassis for more off-roading prowess, still courtesy of Nismo Off Road. Primary upgrades include Off Road Performance Suspension Kit, adjusted for an additional 2-inch lift in front, plus SPC Front Upper Control Arms with xAxis sealed flex joints for increased travel.
At the rear, Nismo Off Road performance shock absorbers with remote reservoirs work in conjunction with Custom Nismo Off Road rear leaf springs, providing a 2-inch lift and greater load-carrying capacity. The 17×7.5-inch Nismo Off Road AXIS wheels with 285/70-17 Maxxis RAZR MT tires complete the package, among others.
You might know Sung Kang as Han from the Fast and Furious movie franchise but the actor is actually an avid fan of the Nissan Z. Sung Kang’s DocZ build is showcased at the 2021 SEMA Show. Inspired by the 1971 East African Safari Rally winner, the DocZ features a tuned L24 with a custom head, triple Weber carbs, and custom exhaust, producing an undisclosed amount of horsepower and torque. It also rides on a set of 16-inch ’78 Nanakorobi Yaoki’ wheels – a tribute to the Kobe Seiko-style wheel that was standard on the Z432.
And of course, the latest Z car makes its 2021 SEMA Show debut without any modifications. However, the sports coupe is joined by the “father of the new Z program,” Nissan Chief Product Specialist Hiroshi Tamura.
Toyota’s another automaker to follow the big and burly theme that the other car brands have. Using its US-built line of trucks, the recently unveiled third-generation Tundra and the Hilux’s cousin, the Tacoma, Toyota came up with four off-road adventure seekers.
First of which is the Tacoma Tacozilla. The pickup-turned-camper is inspired by the Chinook campers of the ‘70s and ‘80s, taking the retro-licious look and applying the styling to modern times. Inside, it has everything including the kitchen sink, along with a fully insulated interior, teak sauna-style flooring, a full bathroom with hot-water shower, a kitchen with a stove, and a 3D-printed dining table that converts to a backlit piece of wall art.
Marty Schwerter at the Toyota Motorsports Garage made the Toyota TRD Desert Chase Tundra concept a reality just in time for the 2021 SEMA Show. The mean machine is meant to be a support vehicle for off-road racing, so it’s highly capable, courtesy of its TRD-designed long-travel suspension, widebody kits, and a set of lightweight 18-inch forged aluminum wheels from Method Race Wheels, wrapped in 37-inch General Tire Grabber X3 all-terrain tires, among others.
On the other hand, Toyota also gives its patrons a taste of what the all-new Tundra can offer with an accessorized version displayed at the SEMA Show. One of its featured accessories include a 3-inch TRD lift kit that provides an additional 2.6-inches of additional ground clearance and increases the approach, departure, and break-over angles by 5 degrees, 1 degree, and 2 degrees, respectively.
All accessories that you see here are to be available in US Toyota dealers as soon as the Tundra goes on sale.
As for the Tacoma, Toyota partnered with Cruiser Outfitters to bring us an overlanding version of the midsize truck. Equipped with an Old Man Emu BP-51 adjustable suspension system with Old Man Emu upper control arms and Dakar leaf springs added to the rear suspension. Other kits include ARB Summit Combo Bar with fog lights, an Expedition One dual swing rear bumper system and Ultra HD skid plate system, and rocker protection/rock sliders. It also comes with a Yakima rooftop tent at the back.