Las Vegas Convention Center
Ahhh, SEMA rolled around once again, and instead of doing what everyone does during SEMA week, you know, partying every night, drinking until the early morning, dancing with all of the hot women who pour into the clubs (Im sorry to break it to you, but that last part is absolutely false), I chose only to restrain myself. A two-hour mixer with American Honda to chat with some of the executives in person was my only outing during the weeklong event. Interestingly enough, of all the hard-core Honda fanatics Ive ever met, none are more dedicated than some of the people who work for American Honda. They represent the brand proudly, sure, but talking with them for even 10 minutes, you understand that they literally live and breathe Honda and have done so for many, many years--its refreshing. Other than that, it was all about the show along with daily meetings, first encounters, catching up with old friends from various parts of the world, and searching high and low for anything Honda related. Here's what I saw...
An ILX in the booth featured CT Engineering's new supercharger system! Great, but what about tuning? Hondata took care of that with its new FlashPro system for the ILX that will be available to the public as you're reading this. Though the exterior portion of the build didn't quite pop, the engine bay told the real story. Great to see groups like CT Engineering and Hondata investing time and energy into creating tuning options for the new models.
Team Research Honda-West did have this awesome ILX that they built after hours, using a body-in-white for 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
After his CR-Z and ninth-gen Civic builds, Bisimoto was expected to add a high-horsepower build to the Honda carpet, but instead, offered more of a street-friendly project based on a 2013 Accord V-6 coupe. The group added a few bolt-ons and a nitrous kit, along with a body wrap, graphics, and this Buddy Club wheel and brake combo. bisimoto.com
Last year we saw a supercharger system on display, and this year it's being put to use as HPD unveiled a supercharged CR-Z complete with sport suspension, upgraded brakes and tires, and an HPD-tuned ECU. Whether or not this kit will make it into production cars is still up in the air. hpd.honda.com
Next to the Honda area was the ever-growing K-Tuned group with plenty of goodies on hand, including this K motor, loaded with K-Tuned parts that brought in plenty of traffic.
The Tony Stark-mobile. Though it's actually a fiberglass body on top of an early '90s NSX chassis, it's still awesome to look at.
Vibrant Performance actually had two booths this year with one displaying the piping, Vanjen clamps, and other performance parts the company has become well known for, while the other booth demonstrated its FUSE welding system that allows you to essentially weld aluminum with low heat-perfect for minor repairs on the road or at the track.
Falken was on hand with its massive multi-sided booth with a number of well-known tire offerings including the legendary Azenis RT615K. falkentire.com
Mackin Industries displayed classic Volk wheels along with some newer options from Ray's Gramlights lineup. In case you didn't already know, Mackin also offers Project Mu brake products including these cool optional colored calipers. mackinindustries.com
Exospeed teamed up with Darton Sleeves for the big show and even brought this brawler from Arizona to display. Get an inside look at this beast in this issue. exospeed.com
Eibach, which has recently begun adding more Honda-specific competition coilovers to its catalog, is always on hand showing off its latest and greatest coilovers and sway bar kits. eibach.com
BorgWarner showcasing its EFR turbo in various trims, from street-friendly to "may inhale small children" sizing! borgwarner.com
AEM Electronics' booth was packed with cutting-edge electronics for tuning, improving, and protecting your engine. aemelectronics.com
SPEC Clutch stayed busy throughout the show, displaying its long list of available clutch kits, many of which include Honda options from street to race. specclutch.com
CSF is making a strong push in the Honda market with it K-swap-friendly radiators. csfimports.com
If you don't know the name JE Pistons, you need to do some research ASAP. One of the premier piston manufacturers for many years, it is always on hand at SEMA to answer questions and offer advice. jepistons.com
Deatsch Werks has quickly made a name for itself in the Honda world, offering a number of injector sizes and performance fuel pumps. deatschwerks.com