SEMA Show 2019

SEMA Show

SEMA Show 2019 in Las Vegas is a wrap. I like to go each year to try to get a pulse of the health of the market. Although the trend toward off-road and light-duty trucks continues, the performance after market remains strong.

You don’t see many MINIs any longer. The darling of the market at the moment is the new Supra. In fact, you couldn’t swing a dead Prius without hitting one. It looks like a solid platform for modification, even if the style really isn’t to my taste. Here’s the one MINI I did find.

Drifting really isn’t my thing, but I do appreciate the car control skill on demonstration here.

I also enjoy seeing the cars from the Battle of the Builders competition.

The AAPEX show is at the Sands Center at the same time each year. This show is more focused on the repair industry, but they always have some interesting cars on display.

SEMA Show 2018, part 2: Racecars & VWs

In this second post, I wanted to show some of the other cars that caught my eye at the show. They included a K20A2 Honda-swapped 964, Movie Bullitt Mustang, Toyota LMP1, and some pretty cool VWs. Below are a few of my favorites.  I especially liked the Type 2 bus pickup with the Subi swap. The Toyota LMP1 was sort of sad. It was off in a far corner and it was just there to shill for a rear view camera.

 

SEMA Show 2018, Part 1: The Builds

It’s been a week since the SEMA Show 2018. Here are some of my favorite builds from the show. For me the interesting trend over the past few years has been the shift to the extremes. My primary focus in the automotive aftermarket is on performance parts, specifically, they type of parts the average Joe can use to improve the performance and handling of European cars. Each year, as a percentage of the overall market, this niche has continued to shrink.

SEMA always had roots in hot-rodding and drag racing, and that hasn’t really changed, but there’s been a huge shift to trucks and off-roading. The hot rod builds become more and more extreme and the trucks just get bigger and more outrageous. I get that the hot rod builds are a way to demonstrate skills and craftsmanship. But the truck market is just crazy at the moment. Maybe that’s just a reaction to the self-driving car transportation appliance.

Anyway, that’s not the focus of this post.  This post is to share the amazing builds on display, especially the actual-size HotWheels.  Here are some of my favorites in no particular order.

BMW Sets World Record for 8 Hour Drifting

BMW recently reclaimed the Guinness World Record for the longest drift, drifting 232.5 miles over 8 hours in the new BMW M5.

I was recently attending a seminar at BMW NA HQ and they have the vehicles on display in the lobby.

I found a few of the details interesting.  At about 1:50 in into the video, you’ll see the two cars come together.  Even though they were traveling at about the same velocity and just a few inches apart, it still made a decent dent.

I also appreciated the four cup holder on the passenger seat, which makes sense if you’re going to be in the car for 8 hours, you want to stay hydrated. But it makes you wonder if the driver Johan Schwartz also had the stadium pal. I also like the way the pump controls were integrated into the center console.

The driver called for refueling using the bluetooth connection to his phone.  He had to reestablish the pairing of his phone and the car a few times over the 8 hour period.  If you’ve ever used the BMW iDrive controller, you know that in itself deserves a Guinness record. (I can’t get that to work while I’m in my driveway, let alone mid-drift.)

The fuel line and return pass through the side rear window into the fuel cell in the trunk. As stated in the video, their biggest concern was fire so there was a fire suppression system in the trunk and special vents were added so the trunk would vent to the outside.