The Annual SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center is the biggest automotive aftermarket show in the world, and we wouldn't miss it for... well, the world. And, as your in-house import gurus, we went there to give you a peek into what the near-future holds for the import scene.
As a first-time SEMA attendee, I expected the show to be big, but couldn't help feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of it all when stepping into the main hall. And judging by the number of able-bodied adults I saw zipping around in motorized scooters designed for geriatrics, it's safe to say I wasn't the only one who thought the place was just too friggin' big.
But that's the price that must be paid to have everything automotive under one roof (three roofs and a couple tarps, actually). Our feet and bodies are still paying the price for trudging between the buildings, which were jam-packed with endless rows of monster trucks and pimped-out Monte Carlos, in our relentless search for the best new import bits and pieces to bring to you, the reader. It was hard work and we have the blisters to prove it, but it was worth it and you can bet your life we'll be there again for you next year, navigating through the isles like rats in a maze, searching for that elusive slab of cheese.
Remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We found tons of other cool new things we plan on showcasing and testing in the near future, but here's just a small teaser of some things that caught our collective eye at the 2006 SEMA Show.
GReddy 4G63 MIVEC Camshafts
If the performance of the latest Evo IX camshafts are as good as GReddy's other 4G63 cams, the latest bumpsticks are definitely what you need if you want to take your EVO to the next level. We can't wait to get our paws on a set.
The new V-manage lets users adjust the RPM at which VTEC kicks in on older Hondas, as well as working with newer generation Honda i-VTEC, Toyota's VVTi, Mitsubishi's MIVEC and Nissan's CVTC, just to name a few. Take control of your variable valve timing using a freer, progressive-rate variable-valve-timing control. The V-manage can also be used to retard ignition timing throughout the rev range. The unit uses e-Manage Ultimate software and interfaces easily with an e-Manage Ultimate computer. The V-manage has far too many cool features to cover here, so hit up www.greddy.com.
Cosworth Evo IX MIVEC cylinder head and valvetrain
As good as the stock cylinder head is on the new Evo IX, it can be better. Cosworth has thrown itself into the EVO game once again with its new line of valvetrain parts. Subaru EJ enthusiasts don't fret, there's also a line for your rides.
Camshafts MSRP: $599.00
Cylinder Head MSRP: $3,849.00
Cosworth Evo VIII and IX plug-and-play ECU
With all the plug and play ECUs out there on the market, it should be interesting to see how this computer from the legendary Cosworth stacks up against the competition. We have high hopes. That center diff controller on the right of the ECU looks like an interesting piece of electronics too.
We all know how important it is to regularly check your tire pressure. But checking it every day still won't help if your tire springs a leak while you're driving. Even the federal government has realized this and soon all new cars will be required by law to have a tire pressure monitoring system installed. And like seatbelts before them, these systems are such a good idea; we thought we'd show you a typical one. This wireless kit will display the pressure in all four tires on a small dash-mounted device via a wireless connection, providing real time information.
Innovate Motorsports OT-1 OpenTune OBD-II Interface
There was a boatload of these new OBD-II interfaces this year, and they came in two distinct flavors: those that had their own displays and those that require a laptop to interface with the stock ECU. This device is the latter. Both types have mostly the same features and can log and display multiple vehicle parameters in real time. Take your pick, laptop or standalone. If you go the laptop route, this one is defiantly worth a look.www.tuneyourengnine.com
For some, there can never be too many gauges in a car. For these people, Autometer's Gauge Works line has a dash insert for 2003 and later Mitsubishi Lancers. Hey, there's nothing wrong with wanting to keep tabs on your engine.
Turbo XS's Delta Engine Management is a plug-and-play unit for the Nissan 350Z, Subaru WRX, STi, Forester and the Mitsubishi EVO VIII. With the ability to tune just about any parameter you can imagine, this ECU is definitely worth a peek if you are in the market
Full Race R14 kit car
Nissan S14 owners can now convert to a full Skyline GT-R chassis, drivetrain, engine, suspension and brakes. Sold as a complete kit.
These spiffy new GTK turbos from Turbonetics feature map enhancement porting and are fitted with "F1 turbine wheels. We're not exactly sure how those fluted holes and bright colors make it any better, but we'll take Turbonetics word that they are.
Dymag Carbon-Fiber Magnesium Road Wheel
Come on, who wouldn't want to sport a set of these babies in their ride? Made with a carbon-fiber rim and a forged magnesium center, you can't get any closer to F1 wheel technology for your daily driver. Good looks don't come cheap, though.
MSRP: $2,500 (that's per wheel, folks)