More than 160,000 visitors once again descended upon the cavernous Las Vegas Convention Center for the 2023 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) Show, an annual trade-only event debuting the latest innovative vehicle builds and aftermarket products. A handful of automotive manufacturers joined in on the fun displaying exciting concept models — here are four of our favourites.
Hyundai Kona Jayde Concept
The Kona Jayde adds a little extra flair to the subcompact crossover featuring a bright exterior colour, sporty accessories and adventure-ready gear. Wearing a robin’s egg blue wrap and big brushed-black 20×9-inch wheels shod in 235/40/ZR20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires, the ride height is lowered by two inches thanks to a set of Eibach springs. Air Design provides a few aerodynamic goodies too including an aggressive front lip, side skirts and a rear spoiler.
Inside, a pair of RECARO Sportster CS seats holds occupants snugly, while a Scosche portable charger and inverter ensures mobile devices and recreational toys stay juiced up. When the cargo space is full, the roof-mounted Thule Pulse Alpine box steps in with another 311 litres of storage. Finally, the colour-coordinated Vintage Electric Rally e-bike, attached to the Thule Epos bike rack at the rear, rounds out the package.
Toyota FJ Bruiser Concept
Intimidating doesn’t begin to describe how gnarly this concept looks, which pays homage to the return of the Toyota Land Cruiser to the North American Market next year. The former started life as a 1966 FJ45 pickup and is inspired by the vehicles competing in the King of Hammers off-road race in California, hence the full tube chassis and roll cage, trailing arm suspension with Fox shocks, 20-inch Method Beadlock wheels and more.
Under the hood is a modified version of the current TRD 358 cu.in. V8 NASCAR Cup Car powerplant, producing 725 horsepower, mated to a three-speed automatic Rancho Drivetrain Engineering transmission. A Magnaflow exhaust system expels spent gasses and delivers a throaty sound. Complete Customs from Texas outfitted the interior with plaid-upholstered MOMO Daytona EVO seats, echoing the FJ’s original plaid bench seat.
Nissan Safari Rally Z Tribute
Serving as a nod to the Datsun 240Z rally car that won the 1971 East African Rally, the Tommy Pike Customs-built Nissan Safari Rally Z Tribute dons similar red and black livery. Sitting on higher, robust suspension and 17×7.5-inch prototype NISMO wheels wrapped in rugged Yokohama GEOLANDAR M/T G003 rubber, the fastback also packs a new front bumper guard, skidplate and auxiliary LED lighting for maximum nighttime visibility.
On the performance side the Z utilizes an AMS-tuned 400-plus horsepower VR30DDTT engine and NISMO Track cat-back exhaust, cold-air intake, coolant expansion tank and other upgrades. Check out the full specs on the Nissan website.
Ford Ranger Performance ORV
The blue oval brand chose SEMA to reveal some custom concept packages that are actually being made available for purchase, like this decked-out Ford Ranger Performance Off-Road Vehicle (ORV). Targeting the overlanding crowd, it boasts an ARB overland suspension kit, tougher front and rear bumpers and additional recovery points. An onboard air compressor, SOLIS lights and 44-litre refrigerator/freezer are optional as well.
Consumers will be able to order the ORV packages later in 2024 either online or through a dealer accessory counter, and have everything installed right at the store. Pricing is TBA.