With SEMA Show 2023 coming to an end, it’s time to take a look back at some of the most exciting builds to hit the convention floor this past week. From automaker concepts to aftermarket projects, here’s our list of what you need to see from Las Vegas' largest automotive celebration.
Ringbrothers 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II "Paramount"
There are only a few shops out there that can be considered SEMA Show royalty, and the team at Ringbrothers ranks right at the top of that list. The multi-time Battle of the Builders champions didn’t stick with its traditional pony car roots this time around, however. In fact, you might not even realize that this aging Rolls was a Ringbrothers build at first glance. That’s because this car, known as Paramount, features an almost unmolested exterior. Beneath that stately bodywork sits some hardware that’s more familiar to SEMA fans, including a custom Roadster Shop chassis, Fox RS SV coilover suspension, and a Strange Engineering Ford 9-inch rear.
That long hood hides the real star of the show though, as a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 engine waits below. The C7 Corvette Z06 engine is good for 640 hp and 635 lb-ft in this trim and comes mated to a 10-speed Bowler Tru-Street automatic gearbox. A Sean Smith Design interior completes the transformation, with highlights such as a starlight ceiling and a stash drawer for your finest spirits. It’s one badass cruiser.
Nissan Rally Z Tribute
Nissan teamed up with Tommy Pike Custom to create the Rally Z Tribute for this year’s SEMA Show. Drawing inspiration from the Datsun 240Z that won the 1971 East African Safari Rally, the pair created a dirt-ready version of the current Z platform.
The off-road enhancements include a custom two-inch suspension lift made from NISMO and KW Safari components, a reworked bumper for improved clearance, underbody skid plates, and a set of prototype 17-inch NISMO Safari wheels. Other tweaks to the sports coupe include a NISMO cat-back exhaust, tons of additional lights, an upgraded clutch and flywheel, as well as Recaro race seats with four-point harnesses. The graphics package helps highlight how much of the 240Z shape is maintained by the Z, and makes us wish for a production variant of this concept.
Ford Mustang FP800S Concept
Up until this week, getting an 800-horsepower version of the S650 Mustang platform would have required a GTD allocation. That’s no longer the case however, as Ford Performance is rolling out a new 3.0-liter supercharger package for the 5.0-liter equipped S650s.
The Mustang FP800S Concept shows off what that package can do, giving this “lowly” Mustang GT over 800 hp to work with. That comes as a result of the aforementioned blower, an upgraded fuel billet fuel rail and larger injectors, a larger 92-mm throttle body, and a twin 120-mm intakes. A larger heat exchanger, an intercooler pump, and a dual air pass, dual water pass intercooler fight off heat soak.
This particular concept backs that engine up with a six-speed manual gearbox, but the blower kit will work for automatic models as well. The Dark Horse trim will even benefit from its own supercharger package, though Ford hasn’t released specifics for that car quite yet. Also, its 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty might just be the best part, so long as an ASE-certified tech is the one to do your installation.
Ford Performance ORV Concept Ranger
Factory-built rock crawlers and overlanding rigs have become a big business in recent years. Ford has been leading that charge for over a decade at this point, kicking off the arms race with the F-150 Raptor back in 2009. That said, models like the F-150 Raptor and Ranger Raptor are genuinely pricey bits of kit these days. The ORV Concept Ranger provides customers with a preview of a cheaper alternative on the way from Ford Performance.
While not a genuine trim level, this build features a ton of parts that will be available for XLT and Lariat customers via the Ford Performance catalog in 2024. Examples include hardware like an ARB suspension lift kit, ARB bumpers for improved clearance and protection, as well as upgraded underbody skid plates. For the overlanding crowd, Ford will also offer an ARB fridge/freezer combo, rock rails, and an onboard air compressor. This build also might be the best-looking Ranger this side of the new Tremor.
ENEOS Jaguar E-Type 2JZ
Built by drifter Faruk Kugay in collaboration with Japanese oil company Eneos, this Jag is unlike any other. Under that long bonnet now sits a 3.0-liter turbocharged 2JZ inline-six. The Supra engine has been heavily modified for show car duty, including a fresh head casting, upgraded rotating assembly components, a new fuel system with larger injectors, and a larger turbocharger from Borg Warner.
The oil company says that the car will be good for over 750 hp in its final state of tune, or nearly 500 hp more than it had in 1969. To cope with that output, Kugay installed the entire rear subframe from an E60 5-Series. An E46 BMW M3 also donated its manual gearbox for the build.
Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Concept
The street truck segment might be gone, but that doesn't mean we've all forgotten it. Toyota certainly hasn't, releasing this mean-looking concept just in time for SEMA. Known as the X-Runner Concept, this slammed pickup harks back to Toyota's earlier X-Runner model. Unlike that truck, this new build has some serious performance on offer.
Under the hood sits a 3.4-liter i-FORCE V6 borrowed from the Tundra, which provides 421 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. That power is routed to the rear axle, where a limited-slip differential helps to keep things tidy in the twisties. An air suspension setup chops down the ride height, while bespoke bodyside flares add some attitude.
Toyota says the build highlights the flexibility of the TNGA-F platform, but it really speaks to how we've lost our way. Bring back the sport truck.
Lexus GX 550 Overtrail+ AAP
Hit any off-road trail in the American West, and there’s a good chance you’ll come across a built Lexus GX. The SUV has become a mainstay of the overlanding world, making such a build a natural fit for SEMA Show 2023. Based on the all-new GX 550, this particular build is loaded up with the brand’s Associated Accessory Products.
The modifications start with a set of Lexus rock rails, which work with the stock skid plates to help keep the truck undamaged. A built-in air compressor will make airing up or down a stress-free task, while the Prinsu Roof Rack adds some serious cargo space. This particular build is outfitted with a set of Pelican storage cases, as well as some ever-important rotoPax jerry cans. Lexus also made sure this thing can get out of a sticky situation thanks to a set of ARB Tred Pro recovery boards, as well as a DMOS Delta shovel. Add in the bespoke two-tone paint job and you’re left with a seriously imposing 4x4.
Ringbrothers 1969 Dodge Charger "Tusk"
This is the third 1969 Dodge Charger built by the team at Ringbrothers, and it might be the best one yet. Known as Tusk, the gold-and-black muscle car packs a bespoke Roadster Shop chassis, with the front wheels now pushed forward for better handling. Under the unique twin-scoop hood, you'll find a Hellephant crate engine from Dodge making 1000 hp and 950 lb-ft of torque. That engine is mated to a T56 Super Magnum six-speed manual gearbox from Bowler, making it the ultimate Mopar experience. Over 5000 hours of labor went into creating this machine, and it's obvious from the moment you start to study the changes. Tucked bumpers, custom trim, new door skins and quarter end caps all help transform the iconic shape without you even really noticing. There's a reason these guys keep taking home trophy's from Las Vegas.
Toyota FJ Bruiser
Toyota has a reputation for being a conservative automaker. While that might be true in some regards, it also goes and builds stuff like the new FJ Bruiser. This concept pays homage to the 1966 FJ45 pickup and is everything we love about SEMA.
The chassis is an entirely bespoke tube-frame unit built by the brand's Motorsports Garage, which was mated to parts of an FJ45 body. To ensure the truck never gets stuck, it packs a full trailing arm suspension with Fox shocks and Eibach springs at all four corners. That suspension is put to the ground via a set of 42-inch BFGoodrich Krawler T/A KX tires, dwarfing anything on sale at the moment. Under the hood sits a 358-cubic-inch V-8 that Toyota pulled out of a NASCAR Cup Car, which produces over 750 hp. An old-school three-speed automatic built by Rancho Drivetrain Engineering handles the shifts.
Say what you will, but it's really hard to dislike what can only be described as a NASCAR-powered Tonka Truck.
You Might Also Like