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2012 SEMA Show

We seek out the best cars and parts at the annual trade show

Justin Fivella
May 9, 2013
Photographer: EC Staff Writer: EC Staff

Traditionally, European cars and parts represent but a small part of the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show, but the 2012 event had a better showing than usual. And we played our part, with no less than three project cars on display including our eBay Porsche 911 "Rally" as well as a VW Beetle and Ford Focus ST we'd been asked to build for the event.

The '84 911 appeared on the cover of EC 12/12 and was part of an eBay promotion in collaboration with GSR Autosport. We created a rally-inspired racer that was auctioned on eBay for $33700, with all proceeds going to charity. During the week-long SEMA show, we were involved in a live webcast to present the car to attendees

Elsewhere in this issue you'll find full details of the VW Beetle we built with Revo and FMS Automotive. It was originally intended for a Volkswagen booth but after they backed out it was displayed by FMS - a company we've worked with extensively in the past: they fit and create several dealer-fit styling options for manufacturers including VW/Audi. The Beetle had a retro surfing theme complete with a shower system, Katzkin interior, 19" Fuchs Performance wheels and a full 400hp big-turbo conversion from Revo complete with a front-mount intercooler, intake, exhaust and software. It also boasted Revo big brakes and remote-reservoir dampers, making this one of the most potent Bugs in the show.

The Ford Focus ST is left-field for us but we'd proposed a strong Euro theme in conjunction with Focus specialists FSWerks, who provided the H&R coilovers, stress bars, turbo-back exhaust, intake system and software. The 18" Privat wheels were painted and fitted under pulled fenders by BMW specialists LTMotorwerks, who painted the car GT3 RS grey and provided the custom carbon front spoiler, rear wing, side skirst and diffuser. Along with a number of other parts provided by Ford specialists in Europe, we'll review the finished car next month.

With our project cars parked in different corners of the show, our pedometer app showed we walked almost 12 miles each day, winding between the hundreds of exhibitors. So if ever you visit, remember to bring comfy shoes!

Our exercise was rewarded with a higher number of European cars than normal, with everything from Ferraris, Lambos, Porsches, Jaguars, BMWs and Mercedes to VWs, Audis and Fiats. Each was equipped with the latest wheels, suspension and electronics, from iPhone-controlled suspension and high-tech boost controllers to carbon body kits and everything in between.

The show is almost too big to condense into a few pages here, but we've distilled it down to a select group of cars and parts to bring you our highlights, with other selections online at and

Built for us by GSR Autosport for an eBay promotion, this '84 911 Carrera "Rally" appeared in EC 12/12. It features a retro paint scheme, rally lights, RS spoilers, OZ wheels, Pirelli rally tires plus fabricated GSR exhaust and full rollcage (

Epcp 1304 01 o+2012 SEMA show+84 911 carrera rally Photo 1/40   |   epcp 1304 01 o+2012 SEMA show+84 911 carrera rally

The Bisimoto 930 Porsche 911 Speedster boasted its signature exposed twin-turbo rear-end. Departing from his traditional baby blue paint, Bisi opted for green paint with a distressed red leather interior. Along with its Speedster tonneau cover, the whaletail wing and GT2 fenders made it a big hit (

Epcp 1304 02 o+2012 SEMA show+bisimoto 930 porsche 911 speedster Photo 2/40   |   epcp 1304 02 o+2012 SEMA show+bisimoto 930 porsche 911 speedster

This 1200hp twin-turbo Lambo Aventador from Underground Racing showed up in the HRE booth sporting a set of its new S1 wheels (

Epcp 1304 03 o+2012 SEMA show+undergound racing lamborghini aventador Photo 3/40   |   epcp 1304 03 o+2012 SEMA show+undergound racing lamborghini aventador

Rotiform was part of the same Beetle program as us, choosing to shave its engine bay, fit a new rear subframe and wrap the body in Wraptivo matte aluminum vinyl. Dropped on air suspension it had a set of 19" Rotiform NUE reverse wheels in matte metallic red (

Epcp 1304 04 o+2012 SEMA show+rotiform beetle Photo 4/40   |   epcp 1304 04 o+2012 SEMA show+rotiform beetle

Featured in this issue, IND Distribution displayed its F10 M5 GTS for the first time, complete with carbon roof, spoilers, diffuser, etc as well as a painted roll-bar, Recaros, KW coilovers, BBS FI wheels and new Falken FK453 rubber (,

Epcp 1304 05 o+2012 SEMA show+IND distribution F10 M5 GTS Photo 5/40   |   epcp 1304 05 o+2012 SEMA show+IND distribution F10 M5 GTS

Supreme Power Parts built this 991 Porsche 911 Carrera S using the new Vorsteiner body kit that includes V-GT front spoiler, carbon splitter, side sills, carbon diffuser and carbon rear wing. It usually wears the new SPP wheels but was in the Pirelli booth on stock wheels to promote the award-winning Cinturato C7 tires (,,

Epcp 1304 06 o+2012 SEMA show+supreme power parts 991 porsche 911 carrera S Photo 6/40   |   epcp 1304 06 o+2012 SEMA show+supreme power parts 991 porsche 911 carrera S

CEC Wheels displayed this 991 Porsche 911 in a new Caractere body kit with aggressive bumpers, vented side panels, stacked rear wing and its 21" forged CW1 wheels (

Epcp 1304 07 o+2012 SEMA show+CEC wheels 991 porsche 911 Photo 7/40   |   epcp 1304 07 o+2012 SEMA show+CEC wheels 991 porsche 911

Our own 400hp VW Beetle 2.0T "Surf Bug" featured a Revo big-turbo conversion, big brakes under Fuchs Performance wheels and remote reservoir coilovers. The body kit, paint and shower system were executed by FMS Automotive. Full feature in this issue (,

Epcp 1304 08 o+2012 SEMA show+european car VW beetle Photo 8/40   |   epcp 1304 08 o+2012 SEMA show+european car VW beetle

Our Euro-themed Focus ST had all mechanical work by FSWerks and bodywork by LTMotorwerks, including pulled fenders, Porsche paint and carbon spoilers. The interior had black leather/alcantara Recaro seats with matching rears. Full feature next month (,

Epcp 1304 09 o+2012 SEMA show+euro themed focus ST Photo 9/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Underground Racing also has a 1000hp twin-turbo Audi R8 GT on display with sick matte red paint and a wrinkle-finished black intercooler treatment to offset the carbon detailing (

Epcp 1304 10 o+2012 SEMA show+underground racing audi R8 GT Photo 10/40   |   epcp 1304 10 o+2012 SEMA show+underground racing audi R8 GT

034Motorsport brought its Audi TT-RS racecar to SEMA. Built by the factory for German endurance racing and costing almost $250k, this 380hp FWD chariot will be seen first at the 25 hours of Thunderhill (

Epcp 1304 11 o+2012 SEMA show+034Motorsport audi TT RS Photo 11/40   |   epcp 1304 11 o+2012 SEMA show+034Motorsport audi TT RS

H&R Springs had an otherwise stock 2013 Audi S7 that sported a set of H&R Street Performance coilovers and H&R spacers for the 21" Audi wheels but everybody commented on how sharp it looked (

Epcp 1304 12 o+2012 SEMA show+034Motorsport audi TT RS Photo 12/40   |   epcp 1304 12 o+2012 SEMA show+034Motorsport audi TT RS

One of the most talked about cars at SEMA was AccuAir's all-metal widebody Audi A4 2.0T Avant. Sporting its smartphone app e-level remote-controlled height adjustment system, the wagon looked amazing and the matte red leather interior maintained the quality. Full feature soon (

Epcp 1304 13 o+2012 SEMA show+AccuAir audi A4 Photo 13/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

The fifteen52 Beetle won FelgenOutlet's "Best Wheels" award with its new 20x8.5" f, 20x9.5" r Tarmac TR wheels. It also had Newing-Alpil bumpers from Japan, Air Lift V2 suspension with notched frame and King Ranch baseball stitch leather interior (

Epcp 1304 14 o+2012 SEMA show+fifteen52 beetle Photo 14/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

We gave the 2012 Gran Turismo Award for the Best European Import to the "Super Beetle" from VWVortex, for which APR sacrificed a Golf R to make it AWD in order to handle the 500hp stage 4 conversion. It wore a staggered set of 19" fifteen52 Formula TR wheels over big brakes, with H&R coilovers and sway bars completing the chassis mods (

Epcp 1304 15 o+2012 SEMA show+VWVortex super beetle Photo 15/40   |   epcp 1304 15 o+2012 SEMA show+VWVortex super beetle

Previously featured in EC 10/12, Stance Lab went to town on its Mercedes-Benz E350, retaining the same Carlsson body styling but wrapping the car in3M 1080 Hot Rod Red vinyl and contrasting it with white 19x9.5/10.5" Work CR Ultimate wheels and AirRex air suspension (

Epcp 1304 16 o+2012 SEMA show+stance lab mercedes benz E350 Photo 16/40   |   epcp 1304 16 o+2012 SEMA show+stance lab mercedes benz E350

Italian tuning house Romeo Ferraris tackled a US-spec Fiat 500 Abarth, adding its own body kit. This Cinquone Stradale "USA Tribute" put out 235hp thanks to a FMIC, downpipe, 2.5" exhaust, new pistons, cams and software. The fenders allow 18x8" wheels and a Brembo BBK (

Epcp 1304 17 o+2012 SEMA show+romeo ferraris fiat 500 abarth Photo 17/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Mopar brought several Fiats to SEMA, including this Beach Cruiser with widebody fenders over red wheels, matte paint and a louvered hood. It also had a wood interior and matching roof rack with surfboard

Epcp 1304 18 o+2012 SEMA show+beach cruiser fiat Photo 18/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Rally-inspired, matte white Ford Fiesta 3-door on Motegi Racing wheels in the Cooper Tires booth (

Epcp 1304 19 o+2012 SEMA show+cooper tires ford fiesta Photo 19/40   |   epcp 1304 19 o+2012 SEMA show+cooper tires ford fiesta

GMG displayed this Audi R8 LMS GT3 with carbon parts and a carbon-look wrap. We're expecting to test drive this racer for a future issue (

Epcp 1304 20 o+2012 SEMA show+GMG audi R8 LMS GT3 Photo 20/40   |   epcp 1304 20 o+2012 SEMA show+GMG audi R8 LMS GT3

Ferrari FF with 21" Giovanna wheels and carbon accents, wrapped in matte red by Elevated Auto Concepts (

Epcp 1304 21 o+2012 SEMA show+elevated auto concepts ferrari FF Photo 21/40   |   epcp 1304 21 o+2012 SEMA show+elevated auto concepts ferrari FF

Bobby Duarte from Rotiform displayed his own impeccable Mk3 GTI VR6 with color-matched block and transmission in a shaved and smoothed engine bay with polished engine parts, an ITB setup and KP-Tuned MS V3 management. It also had a custom firewall, raised shock towers and hidden air lines for the Air Lift V2 system

Epcp 1304 22 o+2012 SEMA show+rotiform mk3 GTI VR6 Photo 22/40   |   epcp 1304 22 o+2012 SEMA show+rotiform mk3 GTI VR6

SPC has a solution for VW/Audi caster and camber problems: adjustable upper control arms. They allow +/- 1.5? of adjustment and have forged 6061-T6 aluminum ends with threaded links and ball-joints at either end (

Epcp 1304 23 o+2012 SEMA show+SPC upper control arms Photo 23/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

StopTech unveiled a number of new parts such as Street Performance pads with para-aramid composite construction for more bite and less dust, as well as new Racing STR 600 and 660 fluid with high boiling points (

Epcp 1304 24 o+2012 SEMA show+StopTech products Photo 24/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Named after the Tunisian street circuit, the seven-spoke TSW Bardo is available in 17-20" diameter in a chrome, matte black or Hyper Silver finish (

Epcp 1304 25 o+2012 SEMA show+TSW bardo Photo 25/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

AEM Electronics showed a new wideband air/fuel ratio and boost gauge with a failsafe feature that can be programmed to dump timing, boost or any preset parameter in a lean condition. It also has three hours of datalogging (

Epcp 1304 26 o+2012 SEMA show+AEM electronics gauges Photo 26/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

The new Öhlins Road & Track coilover for Porsche applications offer uncompromised performance from rebuildable units with Dual Flow Valves, a two year warranty and ride height adjustment (

Epcp 1304 27 o+2012 SEMA show+ohlins road track porsche coilover Photo 27/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

The Vossen forged Precision Series wheels were so new only prototypes were on display. The finished products may differ slightly but the designs looks stylish and sharp (

Epcp 1304 28 o+2012 SEMA show+vossen precision series wheels Photo 28/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

The Garrett GT1749V replacement turbocharger and manifold for the VW 1.9L TDI BEV motor has a smart actuator and position sensor to communicate with the ECU (

Epcp 1304 29 o+2012 SEMA show+garrett GT1749V turbocharger Photo 29/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Remus displayed a new Type R cat-back exhaust for the Golf R with a vacuum-operated valve that's quiet when you need it to be but loud when you want it (

Epcp 1304 30 o+2012 SEMA show+remus type r exhaust Photo 30/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Falken Tire released the Azenis FK453 ultra-high-performance tire at SEMA. It's available in 17-22" diameter with a variety of widths. The new silica compound is reportedly long lasting and should grip like glue in both the wet and the dry thanks to its asymmetric tread design (

Epcp 1304 31 o+2012 SEMA show+falken tire azenis FK453 Photo 31/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Scosche released a proprietary head unit with CD, XM, Bluetooth, SD card and USB along with an iPhone App to control the deck from your phone (

Epcp 1304 32 o+2012 SEMA show+scosche head unit Photo 32/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Katzkin is bringing aftermarket leather interiors up a gear with close-fitting covers for seats, door cards, center consoles, roof pillars, steering wheels and headliners. There are an array of leathers and synthetic material in different colors. But don't confuse these with DIY covers; these are meant to be dealer installed by technicians to transform your interior (

Epcp 1304 33 o+2012 SEMA show+katzkin leather interior Photo 33/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Pioneer had its $360 AVH-X1500DVD head unit with a 6.1" WVGA touchscreen, iPhone App Modes, 3 RCA pre-outs and Pandora streaming radio (

Epcp 1304 34 o+2012 SEMA show+pioneer AVH X1500DVD Photo 34/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

The Zeon RS3-S is the latest ultra-high-performance tire from Cooper. It comes with a free 45-day road test and 20,000-mile treadwear protection (

Epcp 1304 35 o+2012 SEMA show+zeon RS3 S Photo 35/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Mackin Xtreme Product (MXP) dropped a new line of stainless steel exhausts for popular Euro models such as the E92 BMW M3 with 2.5" tubing (

Epcp 1304 36 o+2012 SEMA show+mackin xtreme product exhaust Photo 36/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

These High-Carbon rotors are the latest high-performance stoppers from EBC. They feature a new V-groove design that helps dissipate heat, while the high-carbon construction is resilient under extreme temperatures. (

Epcp 1304 37 o+2012 SEMA show+EBC high carbon rotor Photo 37/40   |   epcp 1304 37 o+2012 SEMA show+EBC high carbon rotor

Swiss Trax garage floor systems had neat in-floor LED lighting that would illuminate a dark garage or an under-car work area (

Epcp 1304 38 o+2012 SEMA show+swiss trax garage floor system lights Photo 38/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Mahle provides OEM parts for cars like the E9X M3 and Shelby GT500, but also has many aftermarket applications such as its high- or low-compression pistons for VW, BMW, Merc, Porsche, Lambo, etc. The company is also able to cast low-volume items such as these works of art (

Epcp 1304 39 o+2012 SEMA show+mahle low compression pistons Photo 39/40   |   2012 SEMA Show

Brembo introduced its Club Racing kits designed for racing only and aimed at BMW, Porsche owners, etc. The cast caliper and floating rotors comply with sanctioning bodies and should provide good feel, long life and plenty of power (

Epcp 1304 40 o+2012 SEMA show+mahle low compression pistons Photo 40/40   |   epcp 1304 40 o+2012 SEMA show+mahle low compression pistons
By Justin Fivella
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