In line with tradition, the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas last week had a little bit of everything on display. This year's crop of outlandish and eye-popping vehicles ranged from an electric dragster to a Kia with 32-inch wheels and everything in between. Oh, and a heavily modified 1968 Dodge Charger retrofitted with an engine named after an elephant. Here's a glance at some of the vehicles that stuck out.
What stuck out at SEMA?
While Nissan's venerable Z car isn't getting any younger, that doesn't mean it can't have any fun at SEMA. Starting with a 370Z Nismo edition, Nissan Motorsports and MA Motorsports added a 400-hp twin-turbo V-6 from Infiniti's Red Sport cars mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Envisioned for track use, the burnt-orange Nissan boasts Sparco race seats, a Sparco steering wheel, a six-point harness, a roll cage and an upgraded braking system.
An electric vehicle meant for the drag strip? That's what Chevrolet proposed with the eCOPO Camaro concept. A full electric version of Chevrolet's drag-specific racer, the eCOPO is powered by two BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motors under the hood. The concept boasts 700 hp and 600 pound-feet of torque. There are two battery packs where rear seats used to be, as well as two in the trunk, for a grand total of 800 volts. While there are no plans for production, the Camaro will participate in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing series this month, Autoweek reports.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Mopar is expanding its supercharged menagerie with the Hellephant — a giant, 1,000-hp crate engine capable of generating 950 pound-feet of torque. The Hellephant represents a 41 percent power boost over the 707-hp Hellcrate 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 crate engine Mopar introduced just a year ago. The brand's latest behemoth-in-a-box harks back to Mopar's 426 Hemi engine, which debuted in 1964 and was known as the Elephant engine because of its size and power. Mopar says the supercharged Hellephant and related installation kits are intended for enthusiasts for use in pre-1976 vehicles, and showed a concept 1968 Dodge Charger upfitted with the Hellephant and other accessories that it called the Super Charger.
The redesigned Corolla hatchback, already aimed at first-time buyers and manual-transmission fans, appeared right at home at SEMA with the help of Super Street, an aftermarket enthusiast magazine. As part of the customization, the sharp red Corolla got an aero kit, an upgraded suspension, performance tires, bucket seats and even red underglow.
While the Telluride has yet to be shown in its production skin — a one-of-a kind model was shown during September's New York Fashion Week — Kia took to SEMA to highlight four heavily modified Tellurides focused on tackling the outdoors. Named "Horizon Roamer," "Cadet Leader," "Desert Drifter" and "Baja Glider," each Telluride at SEMA had meaty 32-inch wheels, a modified suspension and other off-road gear, such as skid plates, brush guards and roof-mounted LED light bars. The production Telluride is set to debut at the Detroit auto show in January.
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