The 2018 SEMA Awards

SEMA News—January 2019


By Grant Walter

The 2018 SEMA Awards

Recognizing the Most Customizable Vehicles on the Market

The SEMA Award presentation for 2018 included (from left) Polaris President of Off-Road Vehicles Chris Musso; Ford Design Director North America Truck/SUV Craig Metros; SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting; Director of Ford Performance Hermann Salenbauch; Ford Global Body Product/SEMA Planning & Strategy Manager Scott Grandinett; and MOPAR Head of Parts & Service and Head of Passenger Car Brands for FCA–North America Steve Beahm.

A poll is taken of exhibitors every year at the SEMA Show to ascertain which vehicles they feel are the most customizable. The SEMA Award winners that result represent the cars, trucks and SUVs that aftermarket manufacturers are investing in and developing products and accessories for. That allows SEMA to formally recognize the year’s trends and promote synergy between OEMs and the aftermarket. Consumers can be confident knowing that these vehicles have an array of options for customization. The traditional vehicle categories were adjusted this year to include an award for Powersports Vehicle.

Ford continued its long history of collaboration with the aftermarket community in 2018 with the F-Series taking Truck, Mustang taking Coupe and Focus taking Sport Compact. The automaker was among the first to participate in the Tech Transfer program and provide details to aftermarket manufacturers for product development.

Jeep retained its perennial dominance, with the Wrangler JL getting the nod as the Sport Utility Vehicle of choice for manufacturers in that category.

Finally, Polaris took the newest category with the RZR Turbo S recognized as Powersports Vehicle for 2018.

The 2018 SEMA Show was full of examples of what can be done with each model.

’18–’19 Ford F-Series

Truck: ’18–’19 Ford F-Series

This luxury take on the Ford F-150 came from a collaboration between SpeedKore and country music star Brantley Gilbert. The supercharged 5.9L Ti-VCT V8 engine is equipped with a Borla exhaust system. The lowered suspension was done by Max Trac and Crown. The HRE TR106 22-in. wheels shod with Pirelli 305/40/22 Scorpion tires are fitted with Brembo 8M-8 brakes. The exterior features a factory spray-in bedliner. The carbon-fiber valance, fenders, brake vents, mirror covers, cab panels, tailgate applique and more are all by SpeedKore, as is the Brently Gilbert-inspired guitar and amp rack in the back. Gabe’s Custom Interiors is responsible for the distressed European leather seats and bronze French stitching.

SOTA Offroad F-350 Supercab

SOTA Offroad 

SOTA Offroad featured this F-350 Supercab in its booth, showing off the company’s own beadlock wheels. The modifications are focused on off-road performance, including a MagnaFlow exhaust, a Stealth Performance module, a Pedal Commander throttle response controller, SOTA Offroad Pro Series S.S.D. 20x10-in. wheels, Nitto Ridge Grappler tires, a BDS 6-in. suspension system, and Fox Factory Race Series 2.5 DSC coilovers. The F-350 also features Rogue Racing Enforcer front and rear bumpers, a Warn Zeon 12-S Platinum winch, and a Factor 55 fairlead and ultrahook. The bed features a Backflip MX4 cover, a rug, and a B&W Tow & Stow. The paint was done by Rookers Collision Center, with window tint by BC and graphics by Black Dog Graphix.

Nitto Tire F-250 Lariat

Nitto Tire 

This F-250 Lariat was dressed to impress in all white. It rolls on Nitto Trail Grappler M/T 40x15.50R20 tires and American Force wheels. The lifted Super Duty features Fox coilovers, a BDS suspension with BDS Recoil traction bars and a BDS front swaybar. A Mag-Hytec differential drives the axles, and the aggressive front bumper is completed with Rigid LED foglights and lightbar.

Jeep Wrangler JL

SUV: Jeep Wrangler JL

Presented as a concept, this Jeep was modified using Jeep Performance Parts. The most notable modification is the 2.5-degree angle in the rear of the bright white hardtop. A 2-in. lift kit and 2.5-in.-diameter aluminum-body shocks are paired with oversized 37-in. BFGoodrich KO2 tires. The beadlock-capable 17-in. wheels have body-color accents, and the exterior features a satin-black inner grille, a powdercoated fuel door, LED headlights and foglights, exterior mirrors, a winch kit and a Rubicon steel rear bumper and tailgate. Inside, a custom tubular rollcage replaces the sport bar, and an additional tire is secured with a custom in-cabin spare-tire carrier. Katzkin seats with Rubicon Red Jeep logos and stitching accent the red instrument panel.

SB Filters
S&B Filters Jeep Rubicon

S&B Filters

The S&B Filters Rubicon was built to show off a new style of hood vents that the company is developing for the Jeep JL. It also features Bodyguard accessories that include a roof rack, A-pillar brackets, front and rear bumpers, rock shields/running boards and fenders. A Warn winch sits in front along with a Factor 55 rope guard flat link. Heise LED lightbars and cubes are integrated in multiple places as well. A Skyjacker suspension with Falcon shocks is fitted over the American Force wheels and Nitto Trail Gripper M/T 38x15.50R20 radial tires.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles/MOPAR

Bruiser Conversions Jeep


This Bruiser Conversions Jeep has a 450hp LS3 engine that powers an eight-speed automatic transmission and Dana 60 axles turned by 5.83 gears. It rolls on 20x10 Bruiser beadlock wheels and 40-in. BFG tires. It features a 4.5-in. X-Factor suspension system, custom bumpers, a Warn Zeon 10S winch, a Factor 55 flat link and Rigid LED lighting all around. The fender flares are custom units by Bruiser, as are the coatings and armor. The custom leather seat covers are by Katzkin.

Neil and Collin Tjin Ford Mustang Coupe

Car: Ford Mustang Coupe

Under the hood of this all-purple creation from Neil and Collin Tjin rests a 2.3L I4 EcoBoost engine with a Borg Warner turbocharger and a six-speed manual transmission with a short-throw shifter. The strut tower brace is by Ford Performance, and the engine’s manifold, down pipe, intercooler and charge pipes were made by Full Race.

Suspended by Air Lift airbags fed via VIAIR compressors, the Mustang features Baer Brakes and Grizzly calipers, and the Forgeline 20-in. wheels roll on Michelin tires. The paint is custom electric purple by PPG, and the custom bodywork and paint were done by LTMW. RTR Vehicles made the fenders, illuminated grille, chin spoiler, rear diffuser, splitters, bumper inserts, hood vents and wing. Inside are Recaro front seats and Katzkin rear seats along with Kicker 12-in. subs, amps and mid-highs.

  Ford Mustang
Bojix-designed Ford GT350

Ford Motor Company

With the glimmering carbon-fiber body of this Bojix-designed GT350, it can be easy to overlook what is sitting under the hood. The Mustang sports a 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Spent gasses exit via a Bojix exhaust finished with Borla mufflers. Mishimoto made the radiator hoses, oil catch can and JMS Pedal Max drive-by-wire throttle enhancement device. The car features plenty of Ford Performance equipment, including the suspension, the tie-downs, the driveshaft and the hubs and wheel studs. The Brembo Type 3 brakes work with Savini SV67 20-in. wheels clad with Nitto NT05 tires.

Ford Performance provided the hood struts and deck-lid trim panel. Air Design provided the front bumper, rocker panels and hood vents, and Bojix Design made the front grille, lower front bumper grille and custom rear diffuser. APR made the carbon-fiber rear drag wing, and the interior features Recaro Sportster CS black leather front heated seats and a Zenclosures subwoofer box. Kicker Audio supplied the 10-in. subwoofers, A-pillar tweeters and a set of 5.25-in. door and rear deck speakers.

4 Wheel Parts
4Wheel Parts Polaris RZR Turbo S

Powersports Vehicle: Polaris RZR Turbo S

4Wheel Parts

This Polaris is packed with performance parts. The actuated spare-tire carrier, race cage, race bumper and Hi-Bred door system came from SDR Motorsports. The undercarriage features a suspension system and radius rods by HCR Racing as well as Fox Live Valve Dynamix electronic coilovers. The dual exhaust was made by Empire Industries. The UTV features several lighting systems by KC Hilites, with a Pro-6 LED light bar for the top, Dual Flex LEDs for the bumper as well as rock lights and a dome light. The rig rolls on BFGoodrich KR2 32x9.5R15 UTV Baja T/A tires.

Raceline Polaris RZR Turbo S


Also performance focused, this build features a Prostar engine and Big Gun mufflers. The Fox coilovers are paired with Dynamix technology and Raceline wheels with BFGoodrich Baja KR2 32x9.5-in. tires. IMG Motorsports provided the cage system, with Baja Designs pods and lights. The UTV sports EPS electronic steering, a Buggy Whip antenna, PRP seats and harnesses, Assault mirrors and a Power Tank tire-inflation system.

SCT Tuners
SCT Tuners Ford Focus

Sport Compact: Ford Focus

SCT Tuners

Tuned by SCT, this Focus boasts a host of exterior and interior modifications. The 24.5-in. Michelin Pilot Sport tires are mounted on Fifteen52 wheels with lug nuts from True Spike, and R1 Concepts brakes provide the stopping power. Beneath the grille rests an Avec light bar, while the rear window vents were done by Billetworkz. The spoiler is by Rally Innovations, and the exhaust is from MBRP. On the inside, the Focus features seats by Roadwire and a Likewise shifter. Amsoil provided the fluids, and project management was undertaken by SR 

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