Las Vegas — The Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, better known as The SEMA Show, returned to the Las Vegas Convention Center over the past few days. It featured thousands of aftermarket parts and accessories for cars, trucks, SUVs and motorcycles.
Audio. Batteries. Drones. Electronics. Engines. Paint. Polishes. Shocks. Tires. Tools. Transmissions. Waxes. Wheels. It was all on display at the 2022 SEMA Show. In addition, there was a large focus on motorsports and dozens of celebrity appearances.
The National Hot Rod Association, better known as NHRA, announced that In-n-Out burger is the new title sponsor of the Pomona Dragstrip in California and the NHRA Finals beginning in 2023. The California-based burger chain will also celebrate its 75th anniversary with a giant festival at the Pomona track on Oct. 22, 2023.
Each year, the vehicle electrification section of the show called SEMA Electrified seems to be getting bigger and bigger. More car enthusiasts are looking to purchase an EV or convert their existing vehicle into one.
Dodge premiered its all-new Charger Daytona SRT EV concept. It comes equipped with a 340-kWh battery producing 449 horsepower or a 440-Kwh battery creating 582 hp. The top of the line model will feature a Banshee powertrain, but details are not yet available. Dodge previously announced that gasoline models of the Charger and Challenger would end after 2023 so this could end up being a 2024 model.
Volkswagen showed off several concept vehicles at the SEMA Show. The new ID.4 Drone Command Concept electric SUV features a drone on its roof. It was created specially for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) power company.
“This is an ID.4 all-wheel drive, fully electric,“ said William Gock, senior product communications specialist at Volkswagen. “It runs a little bit higher, its got a raised suspension, more rugged tires. It’s equipped with extra storage in the back, which houses a drone. You’ll see there’s a landing pad on top of the car. There’s also an onboard power supply. Basically, it allows them to respond to a number of different situations that they may encounter in the real world with their fleet vehicles.”
The German automaker also displayed the ID.4 Rebelle Rally, which completed the eight-day off road competition in California and Nevada.
“Rebelle Rally is an all-female rally similar to races like the NORRA, the Baja 1000, not quite as long,” Gock added. “Our ID.4 was one of two EVs to participate in the race, not just this past year, but the year before and successfully finished. It’s greater testament of what EVs are able to accomplish and how they are really here to stay.”
Automotive supplier ZF introduced its all new SACHS coil over suspension system prototype CCS dampers. It displayed a wide body Chevrolet Corvette C8 equipped with them.
“The actual damper design came from our motorsports,“ said Kyle Malarkey from ZF Race Engineering. “It’s on our racing series for some road racing. We decided it was a great starting point to try to take the Corvette to the next level. We went with an aluminum tube instead of a steel tube to save a little bit of weight, help with cooling a little bit.“
Another company called Exro Technologies showed me how classic cars can be converted into electric vehicles. They created a coil driver that uses artificial intelligence to make EVs run better. Exro showed off a giant Humvee military vehicle and a motorcycle that were both converted to EVs.
“Our controls allow you to have more torque, more peak power because we gear through the electronics,“ said Sue Ozdemir, CEO of Exro Technologies Inc. “Range depends on the type of battery you choose but it’s not dependent on our controller. The power on our controller, here at the show today, is up to 300 kW. We can go higher than that with our high voltage drives. We have a motorcycle behind me that is our 60 kW and its a 100-volt system. Over there, we have an 800-volt system that does over 300 kW.”
EcoFlow debuted its mobile power stations. They can be used to power an RV, a tiny home off the grid or even an electric vehicle if it runs out of juice. These power stations can be recharged from 0 to 80 percent in one hour or less.
“There is power kits we design for RV or off-grid house use,“ said Nick Luo, tech manager at EcoFlow. “We have a physical one installed in our van. In this setting, we have a 5-kWh battery. Our power hub is actually designed for five into one components. The refrigerator and the air conditioning unit are all powered by our power hub. This AC unit actually consumes like 930 watts. We have six circuits for AC and 12 circuits for DC. Six out of 12 are controllable.“
Toyota and Lexus took over the exhibit space where Ford used to be. One of the debuts was the Toyota GR Corolla rally concept which produces 300 hp and 273 ft lb of torque. Meanwhile, the Lexus Electrified Sport Concept features 430 miles of range and the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in about two seconds.
SEMA announced that it will expand its footprint beginning in 2023. It will produce a festival at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds in addition to its annual show, which takes over all of the Las Vegas Convention Center and its parking lots. Stay tuned for more details about the festival.
The SEMA Show wrapped up its run for 2022. It will return next year, Oct. 31 – Nov. 3, 2023. For more info about the SEMA Show, visit www.semashow.com.