In just a few hours’ time, the 2021 SEMA Show will be fully underway and, if you’re as dependent on social media as we are, you’ll have already seen some of the halo cars on display this year.
So, before the newsfeed becomes inundated with carbon-clad R32 Skyline GT-Rs (not a bad thing), we figured it’s worth showing you one of the parts of SEMA that often gets overlooked in these reports – the outdoor area.
It’s worth noting this isn’t in any way facilitated by the fact we forgot to get Yaheem media access indoors during the setup day, and we really must commend SEMA’s security department for being so militant. But with all the anarchy and chaos going on indoors as booths are put together, it’s easy to use the outdoor area for nothing more than a walkway.
In reality, there’s so much more to see here.
Like this BMW M2 which looks about ready for a track day. Until you realise it’s got a 6.2-litre Hellcat motor stuffed up front. You can thank Filippo Speed Shop for that, who put together this monster as part of SEMA’s ‘Battle Of The Builder’ series. The result? Literally double the M2’s original horsepower (820hp vs. 410hp).
Even outside, the new Toyota Supra remains one of the most popular choices. Back in 2019 we covered our favourite A90s from the show, and in the past 24 months it looks like there’s been no slowing down at all.
Archie Concon’s two-door Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution – which isn’t actually an Evo but a Mirage – has been around for some time now, but it still boasts an amazing amount of presence. Situated outside the main entrance, it’s now sitting on RAYS Volk Racing CE28Ns, and looks even better than it did on TE37s a few years back.
How about a new BMW M4? When the G82 first dropped we, like a lot of you, didn’t rate the styling. But what happens when you kick it through the go-faster catalogue and enter it in Global Time Attack?
It looks like this, and we’re properly into it.
That all-black exterior matched with BBS wheels gives it a sinister look straight out of Mad Max, and that’s before you get to the giant wing and splitter. Art of Attack have absolutely smashed this, and with CSF and KW goodies on board you know it’ll go just as fast as it looks.
Nothing to see here, just a white Ferrari F40 sitting on BBS Motorsport E88 wheels. Don’t worry, we have a full feature on this coming later in the month. White suit jackets at the ready.
Yes, we know values are stratospheric right now, but an early R34 Skyline GT-R finished in Midnight Purple II – and sitting on classic bronze TE37s – is such a hard look even 22 years after the car’s launch. Admittedly, this is the only colour you can get in the United States under the ‘show and display’ exemption, but what a thing.
You can catch the full story on Brad Nielson’s GT-R V-spec here.
It wouldn’t be SEMA without some of the bizarre truck-based oddities boasting some of the most questionable ‘upgrades’ around. We’ll be on #BluetoothDriveshaft watch all week.
There’s no such thing as a safe bet in Vegas, but if you’d put any on SEMA boasting a wide-body supercar from Liberty Walk, you’d be in the green right now. Love or hate ‘em, you can’t deny the sheer madness of cutting up a $300,000 car. And ironically, this particular car finished in a similar colourway to the new Huracán STO actually looks more subtle than the special edition it emulates.
Optima’s Ultimate Street Car Challenge has become a staple in the SEMA schedule, taking place immediately after the show has finished and pitting the fastest tuner-built cars against one another around Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
We promise you it is for street cars, even if some of the aero in use may not pass a federal inspection anytime soon.
As Las Vegas wakes up for another day, we can ensure you that all Speedhunters staff in town now have the correct accreditation. So check back tomorrow for a full report from day one of the 2021 SEMA Show.
Photos by Yaheem Murph