In pictures: the wildest rides at the 2016 SEMA tuning show | CAR Magazine

In pictures: the wildest rides at the 2016 SEMA tuning show

Published: 02 November 2016 Updated: 02 November 2016

► A whistlestop tour around SEMA
► We tour some of the wildest conversions
► Which is your favourite? Let us know! 

The SEMA show is in full swing in the Las Vegas Convention Center – and here we round up the maddest conversions of 2016.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association is the trade body for the US tuning scene and holds its annual motor show every November. 

Here you can see some of the maddest modding in the vibrant US conversions scene. Be warned: the end results could thrill – or shock – with serious consequences.

A guided tour around SEMA 2016

There’s a mix of manufacturer-supported metal at SEMA and more outrageous independent conversions.

The Dodge Shakedown Challenger

Dodge Shakedown Challenger

This rather gorgeous Dodge Shakedown Challenger (above) is a MOPAR creation, based on a 1971 Challenger body. Classic modding tweaks include the deletion of the door handles, drip rails and fuel flap (moved to the boot), while the lights front and rear are nabbed from today’s Challenger. It’s neat mix of old and new – and nowhere more so than the running gear, where niceties such as brakes are borrowed from the SRT Hellcat. Sounds a bit like a Singer rival from Dodge… how about it, Detroit?

Ford Mustang GT4 racer

Ford Mustang GT4 race car

Here’s another SEMA world debut: the new Ford Mustang GT4 ‘turn-key’ race car (above). It’s based on the Shelby GT350R-C and packs a 5.2-litre V8 and six-speed Holinger paddle-shift race ‘box – ready to compete in any GT4 race series around the world. This is our first look at the pretty serious aero tweaks, lowered stance and 18in alloys with full racing slicks.

Kia Sorento Tracks

Kia Sorento Ski Gondola

Need to drop the kids off at school on a snowy day? You’ll need the Sorento Ski Gondola (above), not coming to a Kia showroom near you any time soon. Created by LUX Motorwerks to convert the Korean crossover into an altogether more serious snow- and ice-bashing go-anywhere mobile, it’s dominated by those Dominator Rubber Tracks. They’ve also removed the B-pillar and added suicide doors – easier for skiers to pile into, apparently.

It's in Las Vegas, so SEMA's pretty brash - in every regard

SEMA 2016: it’s loud, it’s brash

It’s in Las Vegas, so SEMA’s pretty brash – in every respect!

Toyota Prius at SEMA

Toyota Prius G

Regular Toyota Prius too dull for you? Check out the Prius G, shown at SEMA this week. Bedecked like a race car with a custom suspension, full roll cage and racing slicks, it pulled 0.99g on the skidpan at Willow Springs International Raceway – rivalling cars like the Corvette and Viper for grip, says Toyota. Remember that, next time you see one cornering around Marble Arch.

A 1950s Dodge pick-up: classic modding style

1950s Dodge pick-up

It’s not just new metal at SEMA. Tuners are keen to showcase resto-mods they’ve worked on too, including this delightful 1950s Dodge pick-up (above).

Lexus LC500

Lexus LC 500 by Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing

The first customised Lexus LC 500 appeared at SEMA (above) after the Japanese firm gave unusually early access to a modifying specialist before the car even hit showrooms. Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing added more aerodynamic bodywork, upgraded suspension, brakes and wheels, while Hard Media swapped the regular 5.0 V8 for a 5.6 spitting out an angrier sounding 525bhp.

Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Tursimo (VGT) concept

Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Tursimo

You’ll also see concept cars familiar from elsewhere at SEMA. This Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Tursimo (VGT) concept is not new – but it’s still arresting in the metal.

Toyota Land Speed Cruiser

Toyota’s 220mph Land Speed Cruiser

Toyota again – this time, with a 220mph twin-turbo Land Speed Cruiser. How so fast? Thank the 5.7-litre V8 and custom ATI transmission. They’re calling it ‘the world’s fastest SUV.’ And at 220mph, it’d presumably leave a Bentley Bentayga struggling in its brick-like wake…

The SEMA show 2016

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words