Clearly, getting a first-look at all the upcoming toys for cars is the primary reason for hitting SEMA, and these are a few that have us jumping up and down for joy. We also break down how some of these technologies actually work on improving your car's performance.
KW Suspension Dynamic Damping Control
Adjustable-damping coilovers aren't new. Neither are remotely adjustable-damping coilovers. Luxury and high-performance automakers have long embraced this sort of technology as have aftermarket suspension purveyors. Here, an electronically controlled proportioning valve regulates and displaces oil flow within the shocks to allow for varying damping rates. A small electronic actuator or solenoid positioned inside of each shock controls a selector valve that opens and closes orifices within the valving to adjust damping. Controlled by a simple switch within the cabin, or even a smartphone app in some cases, popping the hood or crawling underneath are no longer prerequisites to simple suspension adjustments.
AEM AQ-1 OBD2 Datalogger
The art of retrieving and storing engine information has advanced in strides over the last couple of decades. For years, a tuner's sole method of discovery was a few simplified, mechanical gauges, his ability to eyeball them while not steering into a ditch, and his own sensibilities, however astute they may or may not have been. Today, even the lowliest of factory ECUs can log engine parameters. But factory ECUs are selfish and don't necessarily share any of that information with you, which makes aftermarket datalogging systems powerful tools. Here, anything that a sensor exists for can be monitored and logged for later review. Boost, shock travel, acceleration-it's all up for grabs with the right system. Even not-so-obvious parameters like clutch pressure or injector duty cycle can be monitored. What you do with all of that information is entirely up to you.
Volk CE28NRT Pressed Black Wheels
Wheels are a whole lot more than a place to wrap a set of tires around. They can make or break a car's handling capabilities. Or just break, depending on the wheel. Much has been accomplished over the last few decades in the wheel dichotomy that is weight reduction versus strength. Not all lightweight wheels are strong and by no means are all strong wheels lightweight. All of this makes the quest for the right light-but-strong wheel something you shouldn't overlook. Lightweight wheels like the CE28NRT won't just reduce your car's overall weight, which will improve acceleration, braking, and handling on its own; they'll also reduce your car's unsprung and rotational weight. Unsprung weight is a measurement of everything that's not supported by your car's springs, like its brake assembly, shocks, anti-roll bars, and, you guessed it, wheels and tires. Reducing it allows the springs and shocks to work more effectively and can only mean good things when it comes to handling and a car's ability to comply with irregularities in the road. Finally, rotational weight is as obvious as it sounds and includes just about anything that spins, which, besides the wheels and tires, includes the crankshaft and driveline. The lighter all of this is, the better you'll be able to move and ultimately stop.
HPD Honda 2011-2014 CR-Z Supercharger System
Forced induction by means of supercharging lends itself to more than one type: centrifugal, roots, and screw. Even then, the declassification doesn't end there. Among the two different kinds of centrifugal superchargers are the gear-driven type, that your grandpappy's used to, and the Rotrex, a unique belt-driven design that's instead based off of roller bearings. Like any centrifugal supercharger, the Rotrex features a pulley that's driven directly off of the crankshaft. Inside, the roller bearings operate much like an automatic transmission's planetary gears, except they aren't gears at all. Here, instead of intermeshing with one another like gears would, the smooth bearings preload against a housing and the compressor wheel's spindle that when rotated and submerged within a special oil grip surfaces together, which allows the wheel to spin. Because of their design, Rotrex superchargers allow for above-average gear ratios and, when compared to other supercharger types, operate rather quietly-a perfect match for the CR-Z.
SSR Formula Mesh
While it's not quite the leap back to the golden era of Super Fins, Super Mesh or Neos, we're thrilled that SSR has brought their classic Formula Mesh wheel back -even better, they offer them in even bigger sizes so this vintage look can make its way onto vehicles that couldn't sport them before.
Always quick to jump on developing intake kits and exhaust components for any car that hits the market is DC Sports: here's a Ford Fiesta cold air intake and header for the FR-S/BRZ.
Further enhancing the lighting game for the FR-S/BRZ is Spec D's taillight replacements, your choice of red or clear housing and a sleek lighting design that's sure to complement any look.
While the RAYS, ADVAN and Project Mu line of products are easily Mackin's top items, they do carry their own line of performance goods under the MXP moniker. As usual, these beautiful stainless exhausts are a fitting show piece and power adder for the FR-S/BRZ and E46 M3.
Ok, these may seem like just another headlight replacement for the FR-S/BRZ but it's quite the opposite. Spyder's black-housed piece features the LED strips found on both the JDM 86 (upper) and that of the BRZ (lower), not to mention a halo headlamp. You can custom wire them to light up in a configuration of your choice, so that makes having the option available to you a great thing if you don't want to buy multiple sets of OEM lights.
What was once a JDM-only wheel is now available in the States, thanks to high demand after seeing it on the infamous Rocket Bunny FR-S in Japan. Available in 18, 19 and 20" sizes with a variety of widths and offsets, along with your choice of Sparkle Silver or Matte Dark Gunmetallic colors.