Final Thoughts From SEMA 2011

SEMA 1 logo II
SEMA 1 Lead

Although it seems much longer, our week-long tour of the 2011 SEMA Show finished just ten days ago. It’s always a bittersweet moment when we have to pack up--there are notepads to collect, business cards to organize, and pounds and pounds of product and catalog info on everything from custom builders to trick towing products. We always leave 50 pounds heavier than when we arrived.

Still, this show will stick with us for a while. At once overwhelming and a huge resource for very specific problem-solving ideas, the SEMA show needs to be on every automotive enthusiast’s bucket list. Admittedly, it’s a difficult experience to communicate to those who have never been, but we’ve tried by offering several ground-level looks at some of the trucks at the show. And we’re guessing we’ll have some product stories out of this year’s event as well throughout the coming year. 

Here are some of our favorite vehicles of the show.   

SEMA 1 Ford F-150 truck
CGS Performance Products created this 2011 Ford F-150 with more than 500 horsepower via a Whipple twin-screw supercharger. The lowered truck rides on Belltech suspension and uses Baer six-piston disc brakes to stop its momentum. An aluminum hood, Colorado Custom wheels and Paramount Restyling grille decorate an exterior covered in DuPont black and Boyd Red paint. Inside are seats upholstered with red Pecca leather and VizuaLogic headrest monitors.

The truck is named “Tarmac” and is owned and built by Casey Scranton of Chino, Calif. It was our prime pick for the 2011 Sony Gran Turismo Truck/SUV Awards, given each year to the best pickup or sport-ute of the show. And Casey got a nice, big trophy. This year, not surprisingly, the overall winner was a Camaro. Pickups get no love from GT.

SEMA 1 Pietro Gorlier
We sat down with Pietro Gorlier, the CEO of Mopar, to talk a little bit about pickup trucks. Clearly, much of the attention has been on the Ram 1500, with the new Ram Runner kit making a strong play to call out the Ford’s SVT Raptor to the desert racetrack, as well as showing the “SRT Powered” 392 Quick Silver concept in Las Vegas. For those who might not know, the Quick Silver had the 6.4-liter V-8 under the hood and was dressed to look much like what we’d imagine an SRT Ram might look like. Many may remember the SRT-10 and the records it set on the track.

“We wanted to give those Ram fans something to think about,” Pietro said when discussing the lowered street-truck Ram. “We can’t say anything about a future SRT pickup, but whatever you want to think is fine with us.” Still, wouldn’t it be a smart move for Mopar, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, to offer this kit like they have the Ram Runner? Or better yet, why not cut the SRT engineers loose and bring back a 400- or 500-hp street performer? We’ll see. 

SEMA 1 DC Tundra
West Coast Customs put together this new Tundra Double Cab for DC Shoes and Toyota, creating the ultimate motocross race-support vehicle. The tailgate swings out like a door, and the truck bed houses a sturdy motorcycle ramp in a hidden bed-length slot. Heavy-duty tie-downs will secure any bike, and two hidden storage compartments on either side of bed can hold a generator, water pump and hoses, air compressors, and tools.

The front and rear bumpers, roof rack and side steps are all customized as well. To top off the rugged support vehicle, the entire exterior was sprayed in Line-X heavy-duty bedliner to protect against dents and scratches. Interior mods were subtle compared with the exterior look. We don’t expect Toyota to offer anything like this anytime soon. 

SEMA 1 V Werks
Every year on the show floor, there is always one vehicle that captures the attention of builders and companies with show booths, both hoping to attract the fleeting attention of a passer-by. This year it was Mopar’s JK8 kit (and maybe the Raptor, just like last year), which converts a four-door Jeep Wrangler into a smallish Jeep pickup. Our favorite was the conversion done by V Werks for Red Jacket Firearms (from the reality show “Sons of Guns” on the Discovery Channel).

V Werks does a lot of custom engineering of products for Jeep and Ram truck products, and, we’re told, V Werks will come out with something special next year for the Ram pickup. This particular conversion was done extremely well, which shouldn’t surprise us since V Werks has a few Mopar refugees that helped design and perfect the actual conversion kit. We expect to hear more from V Werks for a long time to come. 

SEMA 1 Raptor
Maybe it was just us, but any time a booth had a Raptor in it, there always seemed to be a crowd around it. Like last year, most of the Raptors at the show were SuperCabs with some kind of body mod. SuperCrew Raptors are still the biggest sellers, but they were oddly rare at the show. We found this one hiding right out in the open. 

SEMA 1 AEV Brute DC
We know we did a video on the AEV Brute Double Cab, but this is one of those vehicles that stick with you. Speaking with some of the guys at American Expeditions Vehicles, I could almost taste the excitement as they described how important this vehicle is to them and how much attention it was getting at this year’s show. Pricing will be a huge issue for this product. From what they said, they’re going to try to aggressively price this Double Cab model right on top of the previous non-Double Cab Brute model, meaning about $10,000 for the kit, and another $10,000 for installation. That might sound expensive, given that you have to bring them $30,000, and the kit doesn’t include any upgraded suspension parts, wheel and tire swaps, or other of the parts AEV offers. In fact, you’re new Brute Double Cab might look a little sad. But it will be a Jeep pickup. 

SEMA 1 Quick Silver
This is another vehicle we shot a video about but didn’t get to show off the interior for very long. The accents and design were well-done. In fact, influences reminded us of the top-level Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland touches. The anodized red inlays around the gauges, air-conditioning vents, steering wheel, and on the center console really make the interior pop.

Additionally, the seat supports and material choices were like nothing we’ve seen from Ram. We hope that if Chrysler gives Ram the greenlight to produce an SRT truck, they keep the level of interior refinement of this “concept” vehicle all the way to production. Of course, the power and handling of the truck will be paramount, but saving money on interior choices is a Ram practice that must stop, especially on a premium performance vehicle. 

Comments

I guess the economy is just fine inside the SEMA showroom. I just always wonder how do those people pay for it all. Custom trucks, cars, shipping, but great coverage THANKS...

Looks and sounds like it was a good time. I am jealous. Thanks for sharing!

So the CEO of Mopar wants to give his fans something to wet the bed over?

And his answers were a copy of the SVT Lightning and the SVT Raptor? Do they come with optional "Wannabe" graphics?

Here's a clue for Fiat: if you want excitement, originality is a good start.

Most certainly before any auto enthusiast dies this is one of the events to go to, wonder how the big 2012 sema show will be. The Jeep pickup would be a great seller, especially with a diesel in it but chrysler is to stupid to do so, being to busy in the past putting town and country motors inside a Wrangler.

On a side note guys the trolling and use of other peoples usernames is getting very old and annoying, (this is for future reference because every post has been trolled) so please just quit the childish behavior no matter what brand bias you have. I have heard the idea of creating an account on here in order to comment and I do believe it would calm the trolling down a bit.

Yes ted b/c the n/a 6.4 HEMI in a Ram is a copy of the lightning well maybe the lightning was a copy of the lil red express or the ss silverado. Lowering a truck and putting a bigger motor in it is a very basic idea...moron. And b/c Mopar hasnt been making off road capable factory full size trucks before...the PW perhaps? although not built for the same terrain as the frame bending wonder know as the raptor the pw was first. Its called competition and its good for all of us! Shut up fan idiot. Appreciate a product no matter who makes it or your a moron just rooting in blind allegiance.

I'd love to go to SEMA, I'd also like to spend a week at Jay Leno's garage, and hanging out with the guys at Top Gear UK.
The Tundra in the pic is interesting. I've seen guys spray bedliner on the rocker panels and lower portions of the body but not an entire truck.
Looks cool.
A CXT is what I'd love to own.

I guess GM didn't have any trucks there either. Or is it this site's continued bias that left them out of the Sema wrapup.

Some nice looking pickups. It should give ideas for the few interested in plopping crazy money into upgrades.

The rest of us are just hoping for some realistic pickup updates from the big 3. Things have been too slow on that front.

Moparman - The first gen Lightning would run circles around the Little Red Wagon. Totally different animal. The Lightning was also out before the 454SS, Syclone, Typhoon and Silverado SS. Debuted in around 1993 or so IIRC. The Lightning was more than a big engine in a lowered truck. It was suspension as well. BTW the Lightning ran the 5.8L and the 5.4L. Hardly big V8's. I'd say Ram did the big engine th ing by using a 6.4L and a V10 no?

Keith-

As much as I love for Fords to win all competitions and arguments -I must correct you. I have to give credit where credit is due.

Yes, the Ford F-150 S.V.T. Lightning did debut in 1993 but the 1990 Chevrolet C-1500 454 S.S. came out first. Sorry. The S.V.T. Lightning, with a 351 c.i. (5.8L), was quicker than the 454 S.S. (7.4L), though.

The 454 S.S. was no more than a standard C-1500 with a 454 c.i. straight out of the 2500/3500 pickups/vans. The S.V.T. Lightning was a complete performance package with a specially tuned 351 c.i.

WRONG! Syclone and Typhoon were both out before the Lightning. Syclone 1991 and Typhoon 1992. I'm a huge fan of all muscle trucks and will give credit where it is due, not blindly follow the truck manufacturer of my preference (Which is Ford). Competition is key to this segments longevity and innovation. When Chevrolet effectively pulled out of the market, Ford followed suit not much longer there after. There is currently a lack of anything high-performance oriented other than suspension in the factory built pickup truck arena and I don't think its long before we see a resurgence given the current muscle car wars.

What are you talking about saving money on interior materials? Obviously you are out of touch with the latest Ram products. Last time I checked Ram has been outpacing the competition on interior quality sine the 2009 model redesign. Not to mention the Laramie longhorn that makes Cadillacs look tacky. Get with the program please.

Ram has the best looking exterior of any pickup out right now. I love the single cab Texas edition especially the way the exhaust pipes exit through the molded rear bumper. Unfortunately I still can't come to like their interiors. I hate the huge a/c vents. My '98 Ram is all hard plastic inside but the lines flow much better and everything is within reach, it just fits right.

First of all the lil red express was from a totally different generation with much less technology so obviously almost anything know a days would run around it thats not a valid argument to discredit the fact that it was one of the first muscle trucks. And second of all ok Ford doesnt use big motors (5.8,5.4) your right so then Chrysler using the viper v10 and the 392c.i are big motors so once again as I stated before teds a moron fan boy and mopar isnt ripping any one off its just competition. Some of you people here are so stupid I doubt half of you even own anything or have used trucks for anything and are just super fan boys. Theres a reason you dont see some of the really smart guys posting alot around here anymore.

@zrpoo,
I'm leaning towards bias.

#moparman
Read your post again and take a deep breath. Calling people names would not elevate conversation to the higher levels.

Someone needs to STFU!

someone hand frank his ford kool-aid juice box before he starts crying

I'd rather see affordable perfomance truck modifications whether they come from the factory or aftermarket. I like the Raptor but a Canadian Raptor is close to double what I paid for my current F150.
The Ram Runner kit also falls close to the x2 realm if one uses a new truck to start with.
I can get a low 10's breaking into the 9's street bike, and a RZR Polaris for the price difference of a Raptor and my F150.
I'd rather see performance trucks like the Raptor or Power Wagon. If you go with a street performance rig, then it opens the door to any street legal performance vehicle. I love trucks, but if "go fast" was my goal, I wouldn't start with a truck.
(Disclaimer - that is my preference and guys wanting to buy or mod trucks for outright performance - kudos and more power to you)

@Lou. Performance versions of US Pickups seems like a contradiction in terms, a case of having reasonable or pretty quick acceleration with the earlier, Lightnings or Typhoons , but pretty ordinary payloads/handling or non-existent towing capacity.
The performance Utes here have a much better trade off.

Slightly on topic, anybody see the new svt mustang power numbers? 650 HP and 200+ mph! Can you imagine a new lightening?

The ZL1 does not stand a chance.

Moparman - The first gen Lightning would run circles around the Little Red Wagon. Totally different animal. The Lightning was also out before the 454SS, Syclone, Typhoon and Silverado SS. Debuted in around 1993 or so IIRC. The Lightning was more than a big engine in a lowered truck. It was suspension as well. BTW the Lightning ran the 5.8L and the 5.4L. Hardly big V8's. I'd say Ram did the big engine th ing by using a 6.4L and a V10 no?

Posted by: Keith | Nov 15, 2011 9:53:25 AM

That is incorrect. The 454 SS debuted in 1990. I think the Lightning was around 1992 or so.

Someone needs to STFU!

Posted by: Frank | Nov 15, 2011 12:50:33 PM


They sure do, and we know who that person is. Pouring Frank a big, tall glass of STFU.

@Bob,

By popular demand, you have been voted the QUEEN OF DRAMA!

PUTC may now Crown the beeyatch!

@Bob,

By popular demand, you have been voted the QUEEN OF DRAMA!

PUTC may now Crown the beeyatch!

Posted by: Frank | Nov 15, 2011 4:36:47 PM


Why thank you Frankie. I crown you Queen OF THE DI##S, a very fitting title I think. I made sure that I censored my post so we didn't pollute Alton's virgin eyes. Ten year olds shouldn't be allowed to post on forums. Maybe you are his big brother? You have similar personalities.

The Camaro has pulled ahead in the muscle car sweepstakes, with U.S. sales of 76,368 through October this year. The Mustang is second with sales of 61,516 and the Challenger is a distant third with sales of 33,254.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111115/OEM04/111119954/1254#ixzz1dotkTjT0

i say the ZL1 has a chance no one wants them shitstains ford makes GM FTW!!!!

"Why thank you Frankie." - Bob

You are very welcome. You earned it!


"Why thank you Frankie." - Bob

You are very welcome. You earned it!


Posted by: Frank | Nov 15, 2011 5:55


And how does Frankie like his new title? You are royalty now. A royal pain in PUTC's a$$.

Bob is hurt, it's okay to cry as you do it all the time.

Thank you come again, actually no GET LOST!

@ Frankie

I am not hurt by your lame comments. Actually, I get a huge laugh out of all the cocky BS that you spew every day on here. Evidentally I really get under your skin, because you are telling me to "Get Lost". Frankly, Frankie, I have as much right to be here as you do, so get used to it. Bob is here to stay. If it weren't for me this place would be classified as a morgue.

Thank you tnm1176 your just showing what blatant fanboism creates...stupidty. No one is blatantly copying anyone its called competition! Now if Ford came out with some 8liter performance truck they wouldnt be copying mopar but an srt8 Ram is a blatant copy of the lightning...idiotic its good healthy capitalism at its best

I guessing pickup are like wives, girlfriends, etc. We pick the one we find nice looking, and stick with them for the most part.

So is anyone on this site picking on the looks of others mates? No, so why should we comment on the looks of pickups other then hey nice ride... then walk away and say sorry sucker...

I love the looks of my 07 Silverado. But have seen quite a few new Fords I like and a few Rams, but nope not going to cheat on my mate.

Just keep your mate happy and clean. Its 42 in Seattle and I'm sure it will rain for the next month but I was still out washing my mate in the dark.

If any women read this post just think husband, boyfriend or Man-Toy...


Thank you tnm1176 your just showing what blatant fanboism creates...stupidty. No one is blatantly copying anyone its called competition! Now if Ford came out with some 8liter performance truck they wouldnt be copying mopar but an srt8 Ram is a blatant copy of the lightning...idiotic its good healthy capitalism at its best


Posted by: moparmanc | Nov 15, 2011 7:25:12 PM

I'm not trying to be a "fanboi" as you state. I was just merely correcting someone that was giving incorrect information.
The 454 SS came before the Lightning. The facts are the facts. Your fanboism shows in your name and posts.

You take its wrong tnm I was saying that you where correcting the fanboi I was thanking you I am not a fanboi just a fan. The lightning was a sick truck as was the ss silverado far faster than the lil red express obviously I was just saying that a srt8 Ram w/ a 392 is not a copy or a ripoff of a lightning

You take its wrong tnm I was saying that you where correcting the fanboi I was thanking you I am not a fanboi just a fan. The lightning was a sick truck as was the ss silverado far faster than the lil red express obviously I was just saying that a srt8 Ram w/ a 392 is not a copy or a ripoff of a lightning

Posted by: moparman | Nov 16, 2011 12:42:51 AM


Sorry that I interpreted you post wrong. My apologies.

Those are very nice wheels! I wonder if you have the same show for this year? The jeep were so nice!



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