posted on November 09, 2011 00:00
SEMA 2011: The Wrap-Up
by Sarah Forst
SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association), #1 on most auto enthusiasts bucket list:
1) Mecca of the auto industry
2) 135,000 industry leaders
3) 61,000 buyers
4) 621 first time exhibitors
5) A bazillion drinks consumed (almost as many coffees)
6) 0 hours of sleep
That pretty much sums it up. Vegas revved up for another exciting SEMA convention and it seems like the auto industry is taking off again. This year's show was busier and more exhausting. I felt like a salmon swimming upstream just trying to navigate most of the aisles but am ecstatic to see new concept cars, more aftermarket parts being introduced, and more gear heads that can go for broke on their cars. This year, the MotoIQ group hit the show like a piston slapping a valve; of course, we only damaged our livers…
These are this year's SEMA Award winners (photos from here
), with a vote being assigned to each booth vehicle. Readers, what do you think?
|Hottest Car: Chevrolet Camaro; award presented to Chris Perry, Vice President Global Chevrolet Marketing and Strategy of General Motors.
|Hottest Sport-Compact: FIAT 500; award presented to Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO, Mopar Service, Parts, and Customer Care.
|Hottest 4x4-SUV: Jeep Wrangler, a repeat winner
|Hottest Truck: Ford F-Series award presented to Martin Smith, Executive Design Director for Ford.
Other MotoIQ designated "Awesome Sauce" Spots:
Hottest Buffet: Wicked Spoon at Cosmopolitan hotel
Tastiest Food at SEMA: NY Deli, back of center hall
Cleanest Bathrooms at SEMA: Next to the media center- no lines!
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 12:46 AM
Khiem's glowing. ;) So jealous- wish I could have been there.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 9:21 AM
Color me jealous. I'm sitting here in my office reviewing engineering drawings, and you guys are partying it up at SEMA!
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 9:29 AM
Loving the modded Hondas. A lot of enthusiasts would love to see a CR-Z Type-R, or at least an Si. Keep it a hybrid though, just to mess with people's heads. The roll call on P. 2 looks really cool. Hopefully Bisi will add some Honda tech here. My first love is Hondas and I'd love to see everything from the outrageous to the Coleman-esque junkyard digs. Definitely digging the racing iQ, can you say spec series? And why did Chevy only build pimped out Sonics? I had an Aveo rental and it was stupid fun (albeit really slow and uncomfortable) because of its size. I can only imagine the Sonic being even better.
On the other hand, the new Camaro is really bad. I sat in one recently and I couldn't see out of it. I can't imagine parking that car or driving it down a narrow street would be any fun.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 10:03 AM
The Camaro is the least-ergonomic car I have ever sat in.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 11:42 AM
@Dusty duster: it was hard work too ;)
Maybe I'll catch some flack for my "Ford bashing" but I think the F150 is the least ergonomic car I've driven- at least a few years ago. You have to practically give your steering wheel a reach around to get to the turn signal. My issue with Chevy is they try to redesign a car- give it kinda Euro style headlights and carbon fiber pieces- but it still always *looks* like a Chevy. Maybe it's just their badge and grill that turn me off. And is anyone else picturing a hedgehog when they say Sonic?
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 11:45 AM
Yes, "Sonic" will always equate to "blue hedgehog with attitude" in my mind.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 11:55 AM
SC Forst you officially suck..... I spent the entire show taking pics. and looking around and some of that was even by your side..... I perhaps took 1/4 of the information away that you did.... Good coverage for sure and at least I am proud to have coined a few of the phrases used in your article..... I am just thankful that the pics. of me in the heels didn't make it in the article!
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 11:55 AM
There is never enough time at SEMA.
Is it just me, or do they always give the most ironic names to cars? Sonic? Really? A compact with no speed. Maybe that's why they just name cars with numbers now.
I'll try to get my photos uploaded. And why are the lights always so terrible for photography at this show? You never get a good focused picture every time here.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 12:06 PM
I also want to point out that I absolutely love the new Focus! The lines are awesome and it would make for a very nice daily driver! I was impressed with the Ford booth overall!
I also expected to see more GTR's than I did....
Another point to note is that it is VERY tough to capture good shots at SEMA, the lighting is so bright and spot that you have to get awkward angles to avoid hot spots. Regardless it was fun to try!
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 12:22 PM
@Wes: I contemplated throwing in the pic of you in Lesley's heels but it wasn't very good. Thanks for the "wood pile"; next year it will be "log cabin"?
Yes, photography there sucks for 3 reasons:
1) not enough time to properly set up and still cover the show (I took about 300 pics in 15-16 hours walking the show in between meetings)
2) too many people walking around means you have to get off a quick shot; usually the lucky ones in focus have someone walking in front
3) track lighting everywhere, neons, LED's, camera flashes, etc.
And I would definitely flirt with owning a new Fiesta or Focus- they are way more head turning and better performing.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 2:08 PM
Bisi would be a welcomed addition to this stable of awesome.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 2:41 PM
Sarah - Great detail with the shots! Amazing, thank you!
As far as the hatch scene, I'm a huge fan of the hot hatch. Just wish someone would make a production AWD. The Sonic, I believe has class leading power and fuel economy with the turbo cherry on top. Problem with GM is they still haven't shown a built one to see if there's a punch of power hidden in that little 1.4 turbo. I'm sure when the Fiesta comes out with the Ecoboost, tuners are gonna go crazy! The new Focus hatch looks great due to its Euro design.
Nice to see some faces to names finally!
Beaters - It would definitely be sweet for someone to try and get, say, 50-100 hp out of that IMA and then even just 200 out of the ICE!
PS Get Bisi! I'd love to pick his head about the L15.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 2:56 PM
Damn, I can say for a fact that I don't see much I like aside from the actual race cars...Tanner Foust's being my favorite. Doesn't Honda have enough sub-205hp K series engines without this new one? I'm all for improvements but they need to be significant.
I can't imagine what would possess Ford to make someone have to give it a reach around every time they wanted to make a turn. I'm just going to have to see this for myself, I really like the newer F150s mechanically and it would be a shame for such a flaw to exist.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 4:24 PM
great snaps and i think i may have to take the lot of the photos and come up with a "My First SEMA" article. though, my writing skills are not up to par and i doubt that you all would want to read me stumbling my way through SEMA.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 8:58 PM
Great post. I can only dream of going to SEMA one day.
And BTW, the Subaru XT was also available with an NA flat six engine. I used to see one ice racing here in Ontario and with straight pipes it sounded like a 911.
Thursday, November 10, 2011 1:00 AM
Whois that Hottie Lesley Peters with that silver above her eyes??!! I want some of that!! And nice hat mike, ExTenZe. Your not old enough for that yet. Awesome write up Sarah!! Next year I will be there for sure!
Thursday, November 10, 2011 3:23 PM
I have an edge. Look for a MotoIQ certifeid legit story soon.
Friday, November 11, 2011 5:05 PM
^ you do know that certified legit requires quantitative data on that "part" right Mike?
Sunday, November 13, 2011 10:38 PM
SEMA was pretty cool this year. too bad I only get to spend the first day at SEMA and that one day was only spent on the south hall. lolz! I need a full week of SEMA next year! the FD party was cool but it became a sausage fest in the end. cant wait for next year!
Monday, November 14, 2011 9:07 AM
^ "sausage fest" is no longer in play... The new term is wood pile so please use it accordingly ;)
I was amazed at the size of the wood pile, hell it was more like a lincoln log convention! At the Scion party the dance floor was FILLED with dude's just STANDING there... Seriously if you are going to stand around get OFF the dance floor. There were a few of us cutting it up a bit and honestly I had to ask dude's to move out of the way. I was laughing my ass off...
I arrived Wed. late in the day and still wound up missing many parts of the show! I wanted to get to the audio section and never even found out where it was! It's a good thing Sarah wrote this article as I missed SOOOO much of the show...
Friday, November 18, 2011 3:06 PM
"Wood Piles" and "SEMA-antics" I love it. Wes is the only person I know that gives a request to a DJ and they actually play it....lol. Good times!
Friday, November 18, 2011 3:17 PM
^ I was surprised by that as well... It worked a few different times....
I used the tactic of holding up my cell phone with the song title and album showing..... Just a club tip to add to all of this!
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