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SEMA 2016 - Gear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Finding fast in Las Vegas

Aaron Bonk
Mar 21, 2017

SEMA's annual Las Vegas trade show is all about the things you care about, like turbochargers that are more capable than what VW thought you ought to have, tires that care more about grip than abating road noise, and adjustable suspension bits that are what turn daily commuters into weekend track cars. SEMA's annual Las Vegas trade show is also all about the things you don't care about, like bike racks and anything that lights up. Behold, and in no particular order, the stuff that'll make you go faster, turn harder, and stop sooner, and with nary a neon light bulb in sight.

EVERYTHING 911

Sema 2016 bbs re 1641 wheel Photo 2/26   |   Sema 2016 Bbs Re 1641 Wheel

BBS RE-1641 wheel: It's the second year in a row BBS has earned SEMA's Best New Wheel and Related Product pick, this time for its RE-1641. A part of the RE-MTSP line, the one-piece RE-1641 is made of forged magnesium and is manufactured by BBS' Motorsports Department exclusively for the GT3 RS. The 21x12.5-inch and 21.3-pound, satin-black-finished wheel is available with a 48mm offset and goes for $5,137.50 per set, or for about as much as that GTI of yours.

Sema 2016 stoptech big brake kits Photo 3/26   |   Sema 2016 Stoptech Big Brake Kits

StopTech big brake kits: StopTech's revisiting '69-'89 model 911s with four different big-brake kits that range from streetable upgrades to race-only applications. Level 1 and Level 2 kits were both designed for street use or the occasional track day while Level 2a and Level 3 kits eliminate the parking brake and are for race-use only. All kits feature StopTech's four- or six-piston calipers at both ends and one- or two-piece rotors.

Sema 2016 kw suspensions variant 3 shocks Photo 4/26   |   Sema 2016 Kw Suspensions Variant 3 Shocks

KW Suspensions Variant 3 shocks: KW wants your '74-'89 G-Body to have independently adjustable compression and rebound so you can dial in its handling just how you like and has introduced its Variant 3 replacement dampers to do just that. The all-new front struts are even paired with the appropriate spindle kits, which make getting everything in place easy, and it also doesn't require you to get rid of the car's torsion bars.

Sema 2016 sp adjustable arms Photo 5/26   |   Sema 2016 Sp Adjustable Arms

SPC front and rear adjustable arms: Introduce +/- 2 degrees of camber by way of SPC's adjustable lower control arms to any 996 or 997 chassis 911. The forged-aluminum arms can be used at either end, are sold in sets of two, and feature rebuildable ball joints and high-durometer bonded rubber bushings.

Sema 2016 world motorsports 991 turbo s Photo 6/26   |   Sema 2016 World Motorsports 991 Turbo S

World Motorsports 991 Turbo S: They built this 911 to go drag racing and there isn't anything you can do about it. The way in which the Turbonetics TNX turbos have been laid out is also going to bother you. Here, equal-length exhaust manifolds were built along with unique collectors that have the versatility to accept multiple turbine housings ranging from T28 to T3 to T4 footprints. It's all mounted higher than normal, too, which means center cartridge lubrication is more straightforward than normal, and a liquid-to-air intercooler's been integrated into the mix, which makes sense if you remember that whole part about going drag racing.

Sema 2016 rwb martini 964 Photo 7/26   |   Sema 2016 Rwb Martini 964

RWB Martini 964: Look past the wide-body panels and the Martini Racing livery that pays homage to the legendary Carrera RSR that won the Targa Floria race in '73 and you'll find 600 hp by way of a Garrett turbo. Porsche didn't release its 911 Carrera RS some 40-plus years ago for you to shlep back and forth to work; instead, the company did it just to get the Carrera RSR homologated for Group 4 racing, and there's pretty much no better reason than that to build a car.

Sema 2016 bisimoto twin turbo sleeper Photo 8/26   |   Sema 2016 Bisimoto Twin Turbo Sleeper

Bisimoto twin-turbo sleeper: Bisi Ezerioha calls it Axle Rose, but all we know is that it's a narrow-body, twin-turbocharged, and water-cooled '77 that's been matched up with a sequential gearbox from Quaife. A sequential gearbox, you'll recall, does away with that pesky H-pattern (among a whole lot of other things), making shifts more direct and, ultimately, a whole lot quicker. Need to find photo

ALL THINGS BMW

Sema 2016 ap racing bmw m car brake kits Photo 9/26   |   Sema 2016 Ap Racing Bmw M Car Brake Kits

AP Racing M2/M3/M4 brakes: Going racing and getting bigger and more capable brakes typically happen around the same time. AP Racing knows this, which is why it's developed its Radi-CAL competition brake kits for select BMWs. Kits include AP's Radi-CAL calipers and larger floating discs all around and are suitable for club racing, autocross, and HPDE and without having to ditch that factory parking brake of yours. Image-08

Sema 2016 aem cold air intake Photo 10/26   |   Sema 2016 Aem Cold Air Intake

AEM '12-'16 335i / M235i cold-air intake: A newer BMW means a more complex and often times more restrictive intake system. AEM's polyethylene tubing simplifies all of this and draws fresh air from outside of the engine bay through its 100,000-mile Dryflow air filter, which leads to as much as 12 more horsepower and sounds a whole lot better while doing it. Image-09

Sema 2016 ati epod Photo 11/26   |   Sema 2016 Ati Epod

ATI F 2/3/4-series ePod: Let's say you've got some important aftermarket gauges to install, and let's say you'd rather they look like they belong. ATI's ABS-plastic ePod replaces that top half of your steering column cover and leaves two spots to mount just about any 52mm gauge you'd like into place—no cutting, trimming, or any other hole-drilling nonsense required. Image-10

Sema 2016 mishimoto e90 intercooler Photo 12/26   |   Sema 2016 Mishimoto E90 Intercooler

Mishimoto '07-'13 E90 intercooler: Aim for enough horsepower and that factory tube-and-fin intercooler won't cut it anymore. Bar-and-plate intercoolers like Mishimoto's typically flow better and make better use of their core space, which means they operate more efficiently. They also soak up heat better in stop-and-go traffic and can endure higher boost levels. Image-11

Sema 2016 yost autosport f82 m4 Photo 13/26   |   Sema 2016 Yost Autosport F82 M4

3.0 CSL Group 4 racer: H&R Special Springs loves you and wants to remind you what performance cars are about; that's why the company goes way out of its way to bring amazing cars to SEMA. It won the 12 Hours of Sebring in the '70s and 41 years later, it's been parked in the middle the Las Vegas Convention Center. Everything about this car is vintage, right down to its three-piece BBS wheels and undersized brakes, its questionably unstable rollcage (by today's standards, at least), and its amazingly wide fenders that are as impressive and functional (they house the engine's heat exchangers) as they are gawky. Image-12

Sema 2016 group a inspired e28 m5 Photo 14/26   |   Sema 2016 Group A Inspired E28 M5

Yost Autosport F82 M4: Endurance racing team Yost Autosport, known for its now-retired E92 M3 race car, dug into BMW's F82 chassis earlier this year, the results of which debuted in Vegas. The M4 betters the M3 with its dual-clutch DCT gearbox and twin-turbo V-6 that Yost has updated with heat exchangers by way of CSF, the booth of which wherein Yost's F82 could be found. Despite the elaborate rollcage, high-tech electronics, and data-logging capabilities, the car relies on its original ECU and wiring harness in an effort to keep costs down and not muck up things like that DCT transmission. Image-13

Sema 2016 essa autosport e46 drifter Photo 16/26   |   Sema 2016 Essa Autosport E46 Drifter

Group-A-inspired E28 M5: You recognize that, technically, it isn't an M5 and that, technically, it's a tribute to roughly 20-something factory-built race cars that barely existed and competed just a single year (and won the European Touring Car Championship), and it doesn't matter. The E28 M5 engine underneath the hood and the build-up that followed the FIA Group-A rulebook from the '80s says otherwise. Outside, the car's livery is a mash-up between the E24 factory race cars of the same era that featured their engines' internals across their bodies and the 635CSi's famous colorway. Image-14

Sema 2016 essa autosport e46 drifter Photo 16/26   |   Sema 2016 Essa Autosport E46 Drifter

Essa Autosport E46 drifter: You've got no intention of going drifting in an E46, but that doesn't mean you don't care about Mike Essa's BorgWarner EFR-turbocharged version that he brought back to life after a brief hiatus with a Camaro. It takes a team of 2,200-cc/min. fuel injectors to provide enough fuel for the near-800 hp and 735 lb-ft of torque that the S54 long-block churns out, which is enough to better the 27th place that Camaro landed him the year before. Image-15

THE FOCUS RS HAS ARRIVED

Sema 2016 mishimoto oil cooler Photo 17/26   |   Sema 2016 Mishimoto Oil Cooler

Mishimoto oil cooler: The shortcomings of Ford's long-awaited Focus RS are few but are ones you'd better not neglect. Like the RS' built-in liquid-to-liquid oil cooler that just doesn't work all that well when the car's subjected to track days. Mishimoto's liquid-to-air cooler keeps the engine's radiator and cooling system out of the equation, which, according to Mishimoto, means oil temps drop from 200 degrees F to a more manageable 170 degrees F at the inlet and 155 degrees F at the outlet and with a modest oil pressure drop of just 7 psi. Image-16

Sema 2016 whiteline maxg1 coilovers Photo 18/26   |   Sema 2016 Whiteline Maxg1 Coilovers

Whiteline suspension: Whiteline's looking to make the RS' already capable suspension even more capable and adjustable by way of its MAXG1 coilovers that feature inverted dampers, adjustable endlinks, and multi-position antiroll bars. Inverted dampers like these can provide better suspension geometry under significant lateral loads and when braking hard. Image-17

Sema 2016 mishimoto gas pedal spacer Photo 19/26   |   Sema 2016 Mishimoto Gas Pedal Spacer

Mishimoto gas pedal spacer: Even if you can't muster a proper heel-toe shift, you know how important it is. If only the guy who designed the RS' pedal assembly did, too. The gas pedal is who positioned just low enough to make that tricky pedal maneuver nearly impossible. Mishimoto's aluminum spacer raises the pedal up the 1.6 inches it needs to move in order to sit directly alongside that brake pedal and make heel-toe shifts that much easier for you to figure out. Image-18

Sema 2016 turbosmart usa wastegate Photo 20/26   |   Sema 2016 Turbosmart Usa Wastegate

Turbosmart USA wastegate: They say you'll get better and more precise control of the Focus RS' exhaust fumes with Turbosmart's replacement internal wastegate. Compared to the stock actuator, it'll provide a flatter, more stable boost curve and with less of a pressure drop at higher engine speeds. The results are better driveability, quicker boost response, and smoother power delivery. Image-19

Sema 2016 full race focus rs Photo 21/26   |   Sema 2016 Full Race Focus Rs

Full-Race Focus RS: Before anybody's gotten the chance to see just how special Ford's Focus RS is, Full-Race has already gone on to make it better. About 450 hp better that comes by way of BorgWarner's twin-scroll EFR turbo, a 3-inch exhaust, and a one-off intake and intercooler that are able to keep up. Twin-scroll turbos are nothing new but have become more mainstream than ever. Their divided housings separate exhaust gas pulses from interfering cylinders, which allows all of that energy to be used more efficiently when it comes time to spin that turbine wheel around. All of this leads to a scavenging effect that draws more air into the cylinders and lets it out more easily. Image-20

FIVE MORE PERFORMANCE BITS

Sema 2016 toyo proxes r888r tires Photo 22/26   |   Sema 2016 Toyo Proxes R888r Tires

Toyo Proxes R888R tires: Toyo wants Americans to have the same DOT competition tire that Europe and Australia are already enjoying, which means it's making its R888R available to you. There's better grip thanks to its specialized tread design that puts more rubber to the ground and gets hotter faster. Get them in 13-20-inch diameters and with a UTQG rating of 100 AA A. Image-21

Sema 2016 garrett gtx 5533r turbo Photo 23/26   |   Sema 2016 Garrett Gtx 5533R Turbo

Garrett GTX 5533R turbo: Nobody's saying you've got any use for Garrett's all-new, 2,500hp-capable GTX turbo, but that doesn't mean you should forget about it. Garrett says its compressor wheels are the lowest-inertia, fastest-spooling, and most aerodynamically efficient wheels you can get. All we know is that they're huge, measuring as big as 98 mm in diameter and good for that 2,500 hp you'll never need. Image-22

Sema 2016 mishimoto intake Photo 24/26   |   Sema 2016 Mishimoto Intake

Mishimoto '15+ GTI intake: Just about any OE intake system can be made better, and the GTI doesn't escape that bit of cost-cutting and average-consumer-ear-appeasing logic. Mishimoto says its all-new intake system is good for another 12 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque by way of the system's more direct intake path and cooler temperatures. You'll need about $400 to reap those benefits and about an hour of your time. Image-23

Sema 2016 os giken s super lock differential Photo 25/26   |   Sema 2016 Os Giken S Super Lock Differential

OS Giken '14+ Mini Cooper S Super Lock differential: You already know a limited-slip differential has the ability to deliver torque to both wheels at the same time depending on the circumstances. For about $1,890, OS Giken says F56 Mini owners can do it by way of its all-new, one-way LSD. Compared to 1.5-way or two-way differentials, one-way LSDs only lock up when torque is applied, which means lifting off the throttle results in an open-diff situation for better turn-in and lift-throttle oversteer. Image-14

Sema 2016 aem aq 1 obdii data logger Photo 26/26   |   Sema 2016 Aem Aq 1 Obdii Data Logger

AEM AQ-1 OBDII data logger: We'll admit it, we're a little overwhelmed with the amount of amazing electronics flying out of AEM's R&D department. It's hard to pick one product, but here we go. Get more out of whatever '08-and-up vehicle you drive with AEM's newest data logger that connects directly to your car's OBD port. AEM's AQ-1 features eight analog inputs, a GPS input, an onboard accelerometer, three switched digital inputs, and up to 32 GB of space for storing whatever it is you've just logged. Image-15

By Aaron Bonk
355 Articles

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