If you are not pumped up about the 2023 SEMA Show, then whatever, I do not want to even know you. You can scoff at the over-the-top ridiculousness, you can laugh at the WTF were they thinking, and you can certainly admire the premium craftsmanship and passion that the automotive aftermarket industry is known for.
With that being said, we are hyped up, cocked, locked, and ready to pull the trigger with a boatload of content and regular day-of SEMA Show coverage. The massive Las Vegas, Nevada-based trade show will feature 1.2 million square feet of floor space, more than 1,800 exhibitors, and topping 120,000 attendees all focused on the latest and greatest, classic and modern, from automotive culture.
Just like every year, the regular Joe public can access certain portions of the SEMA Show located outdoors and in the parking lot properties all week. And just like last year, anyone can purchase a SEMA Show Friday Experience Ticket which includes a Friday entry into the indoor halls of the SEMA Show from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. An entry for SEMA Ignitedis also included the car show exit parade, from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday, November 5 in Las Vegas. For more information on all the packages check out SEMA Fest.
If you don’t have plans already to go, or you cannot make it out, stay tuned here for all the news and happenings. Until then, we have this comprehensive preview of some of the things we are excited about for the 2023 SEMA Show.
2023 SEMA Show Preview: Vehicles And Products We Are Excited For
If you are like us, you must be a gear nut, a car guy, and just an all-around enthusiast. As a regular SEMA Show attendee, I have gone as a fan, showcased a personal project vehicle, displayed as an exhibitor, and sponsored many vehicle builds. Now I get to work the entire show floor producing content and event coverage. Having done all of that in just under two decades, many SEMA Show veterans will still say I have not even been broken in yet. It is hard to believe that some of the old timers have been going for 30 to 40 years. Just for the record, the first SEMA Show was held in 1967 in the basement of the Dodger Stadium.
2023 SEMA Show Preview: The Builds
What I do know is that the SEMA Show is all about the vehicles and that is the eye candy we are hoping to see. Here are a few of the new builds for 2023 that caught our eye.
Icon Vehicle Dynamics Instagram Hooked Up 2023 GMC Canyon
This just might be one of the coolest stories I have heard about a SEMA build in some time. ICON Vehicle Dynamics is unveiling of a custom-built 2023 GMC Canyon AT4. The special feature of this reveal is the remarkable story of a chance encounter with an enthusiastic fan-turned-collaborator.
ICON posted a ‘want ad’ on their Instagram, seeking a 2023 GMC Canyon AT4 for a routine R&D measuring session. A random Instagram follower, Zack Cosby, answered the call. ICON then asked his permission to take his truck for the 2023 SEMA Show. Zack agreed and ICON embarked on a two-month journey of innovation and craftsmanship, building anticipation for an extraordinary SEMA Show reveal.
The fully customized GMC Canyon build, inspired by Zack’s idea of a “dream desert truck,” will showcase an array of quality crafted components, including a cutting-edge suspension package built for high-speed, ICON Alloys wheels, and custom-fabricated ICON Impact armor. Top industry partners such as Yukon Gear & Axle, KC HiLiTES, Nitto Tires, BOXO Tools, Pro Eagle, MagnaFlow, Rugged Radios, Schosche Industries, and Canyon Coolers also contributed.
“We are thrilled to bring Zack’s vision to life and share it with the world at the 2023 SEMA Show,” stated Coelette Chenier ICON’s marketing manager.
The build reveal press event is scheduled for Thursday, November 2, at 11:30 a.m. in the Randys Worldwide booth #57169 in the West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Renowned host and avid off-road builder and enthusiast, Ian Johnson, widely recognized for his role in Big Tire Garage on the Motor Trend network, will be on hand to orchestrate the much-anticipated reveal. Witness the excitement as Zack Cosby experiences the stunning transformation of his truck, created through the collaboration of ICON’s expert engineering team and a league of industry-leading partners.
2024 INEOS Grenadier by EGR USA
One of the most exciting new 4×4 vehicles to hit the U.S. market in some time is the INEOS Grenadier. Think of it as a modern throwback to and inspired by the rugged Land Rover Defender. EGR USA will have one tricked out and on display sporting the products that the brand is well known for, truck accessories.
Be sure to stop by the EGR Booth#57103 in the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall for exciting new products, a Happy Hour event, TruckShow Podcast, and much more.
Custom Steeda F-150 Tribute To Steve McQueen Unveiled By RealTruck
RealTruck is one of the most active umbrella brands in the automotive aftermarket space. They encompass over twenty different brands including a major online marketplace and wholesale distribution. RealTruck rallied some of its house brands and partnered with Steeda Performance Parts to build a special McQueen Racing edition Ford F-150.
The McQueen/Steeda F-150 was built as a tribute to the decades-long relationship between the McQueen family and the Ford brand. Look for this one at the RealTruck booth #50027 in the West Hall.
“The McQueen-Racing X F-150 is the perfect embodiment of our vision for a modern ‘McQueen’ off-road truck,” said Chad McQueen on behalf of his family. ”
RealTruck will host a press conference on 11/1 at 11:00 a.m. to introduce three notable custom builds including the McQueen/Steeda F-150 as a tribute to the decades-long relationship between the McQueen family and the Ford brand. After the press conference, the McQueen family will be on hand for a special meet and greet and celebrity signing.
Magnaflow X Camburg Unveils New Kinetik SPEC Unlimited TT Race Truck
MagnaFlow Group acquired Camburg Engineering in December of 2022 and they have been working hard to create the best in off-road performance. For SEMA 2023, on Tuesday October 31 at 10:00 a.m. in the MagnaFlow Central Hall Booth #23243 the first MagnaFlow x Camburg Race Truck will be unveiled.
The MagnaFlow x Camburg “Kinetik SPEC Unlimited TT” will be making its debut at the Parker 400 in Parker, Arizona.
Stay close by because at 11:00 AM, as TJ Hunt and Co. unveil their latest Streethunter Designs wide-body kit for the Subaru BRZ. Plus, we’ll also be hosting a group of MagnaFlow Ambassadors from all areas of the automotive industry, check out all the special appearances happening at the MagnaFlow booth #23243 in the Central Hall.
Tuesday, October 31st – Mario Andretti, TJ Hunt, Leah Pruett, Rutledge Wood
Wednesday, November 2nd – Chip Foose, Jimmy Shine, Richard Petty, Lite Brite Nation
Thursday, November 3rd – Aaron Kaufman, Joey Logano, ThatDudeinBlue (David Patterson), TrailRecon (Brad Kowitz)
Forsberg Racing Nissan Frontier Off-Road Desert Racing Concept Truck
Nissan USA has teamed up with Forsberg Racing and multi-time Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg to build a Forsberg Frontier Off-Road Race Truck concept. Forsberg just raced the specially prepared Nissan Frontier at the grueling NORRA 500 race in Baja California and took home 1st in-class victory.
Nissan will showcase the Forsberg Frontier Off-Road Race Truck – in as-raced condition. Chris Forsberg will also be on hand for autographs, interviews, and photos at Nissan’s Thrill Street exhibit in the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall, booth #52141.
The Forsberg team worked closely with Nissan to outfit the Frontier with NISMO Off Road parts for the rigors of the desert race. Competing in the stock vehicle class allowed the Forsberg team to explore the impressive factory capabilities of Frontier as well as the performance enhancements enabled by NISMO Off Road products.
“We took a Nissan Frontier and outfitted it with Nismo suspension, wheels, and more! Ran the NORRA 500 and took home 1st in class! Going through with a stock truck was a challenge,” said Chris Forsberg
Key equipment on the race truck includes:
- NISMO Off Road lift kit and high-performance suspension kit
- NISMO Axis Truck Beadlock 17-inch wheels with Yokohama GEOLANDAR M/T G003 tires
- NISMO Off Road lighting upgrades
- NISMO Off Road rock sliders
- NISMO Forsberg Racing designed graphics package
All-New 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter
The Toyota Trailhunter Tacoma goes from concept to real life with the introduction of the all-new production-ready 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter model. Toyotas has scheduled a press conference and the TrailHunter Tacoma vehicle reveal for Tuesday, October 31, 10 a.m. PDT:
Toyota Motor North America’s theme for the 2023 SEMA Show is “Track or Trail, Your Thrill Awaits,” which will showcase performance both on- and off-road in Booth #22200, Central Hall.
Lexus to Take Attendees Through Its Off-Road Journey
The Lexus brand will highlight six vehicles, including each generation of the GX, a 2022 LX 600, and the latest offerings. Be sure to visit booth #22250 in Central Hall to see more innovations up close and personal all SEMA Show week!
I am sure that we will see the 2024 Lexus LX 600 on display too!
EMP Proof M1979 Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) By ORACLE
ORACLE Lighting will unveil some of the most advanced off-road lighting solutions on the market. In addition, the company’s EMP-proof Stewart & Stevenson M1979 LMTV global expedition vehicle build will make its first public appearance.
The ORACLE Lighting booth will display a full selection of the company’s new and most popular products for Jeep, Ford, Ram, Toyota, and more at its booth #20555 in the Central Hall. But to see the huge LMTV, you have to visit the Overland Experience (Diamond Lot, adjacent to West Hall)
This is where ORACLE Lighting will debut its global expedition vehicle build. The EMP-proof and fully built Stewart & Stevenson M1979 Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) has been designed by ORACLE to handle overland and off-road exploration into remote places for extended durations while also serving as a showcase for the future of off-road lighting technology.
Crazy Exotic Over-The-Top SEMA Builds
If that is not enough to wet your whistle, check out this guy’s insider scoop on some other hot builds.
2023 SEMA Show Preview: Hot Brands, New Products, And More Vehicles
The vehicles and builds might be the eye candy, but the SEMA Show would not happen without the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and the member manufacturing companies that make up the automotive aftermarket accessory industry. Here are some of the main mover brands that have exciting new products.
New Ultimate Dana 60 Rear Semi-Float and Ultimate Dana 44 Front Drive Units for Ford Bronco
This new Ford Bronco upgrade from Dana is a direct-fit replacement item and features Spicer chromoly steel axle shafts, Spicer ring and pinion gearing, a nodular iron diff cover, and heavy-duty brackets, the Ultimate Dana 60 rear semi-float axle is a direct-fit solution built for superior strength and optimized for less weight. Bronco owners will be able to keep costs down as they do not have to replace the factory six-bolt wheels or brakes to accommodate these upgraded axles.
Fully loaded and ready to install right out of the crate, Ultimate Dana 44 AdvanTEK front-drive units are heavy-duty units. They are built to handle high-torque engine loads and provide increased strength and durability. A choice of gear ratios and other driveline components, such as half shafts are also available. Spicer Extreme TM half shafts are easy to install and deliver greater strength and durability for extreme off-roading.
“The new Ultimate Dana 60 rear semi-float axle and Ultimate Dana 44 front-drive unit are designed as bolt-on upgrades and are built to work together to meet the needs of the most demanding off-road enthusiasts,” said Bill Nunnery, senior director, sales and marketing, global aftermarket for Dana.
To learn more, visit the Dana Aftermarket booth # 60087 in the West Hall.
MaxTrac Suspension Announces Vulcan 2.0 Elite Series Performance Shocks
Max Trac is a leading suspension manufacturer that specializes in lifts, leveling kits, and lowering systems. They now have bolstered their lineup with their Vulcan 2,0 Elite Series performance shock line. These come at a very affordable price point. The 2023 SEMA Show will mark the first debut.
The Vulcan Shock line is made of premium materials and craftsmanship. they are available in IFP mono-tube reservoir and non-reservoir options. These are vehicle-specific applications for the most popular late-model applications and are priced between $200 and $323. Go check out the new shocks and all the wares at the Max Trac Suspension booth #56153.
Putco Inc. Unleashes The Future of Automotive Accessories
Another heavy hitter in the automotive aftermarket is Putco Inc. The 50-year-old company manufactures high-quality automotive and truck accessories. This year they are set to debut an array of products that apply to a wide variety of vehicles. There are also some great options to customize the Ford Bronco and F-150 truck.
Catch all of the new and exciting in the Putco booth #58119.
The Wheel Group
Attendees can expect to see The Wheel Group (TWG) and its brands Body Armor 4×4 and Tuff Stuff Overland in two booths. Over 40 new products will be on display at the New Product Showcase and 20 vehicle builds throughout the show.
The Wheel Group is hosting two official press conferences for exciting vehicle debuts and new product announcements. The first will take place on Wednesday, November 1, at 11:30 a.m. at TWG booth #44037 in South Hall. A second press conference is at 2 p.m. in the Body Armor 4×4 booth #58099 in West Hall.
Everything You Need Is At Your Finger Tips With The SEMA Show App
When you are working the SEMA Show, every footstep counts. As we said, the show floor is massive and will challenge anyone trying to cover it wall-to-wall. I know I am worn out after three days. The one thing I have in my back pocket is the SEMA Show App. The smartphone application provides directions, presents the complete schedule, as well as a detailed directory and more. There is even a Locate Me function that can help in more ways than you know. It is a lifesaver when you discover the booth you are looking for is right around the corner.
We recommend downloading the app beforehand and make a plan with the My Schedule function.
2023 SEMA Show Preview: Places To Be
Besides all of the rides, the exhibitors, and the activity inside the SEMA Show, there is much to see outside. This of course can be accessed by anyone and not just registered attendees. Some of this is free with no pass or credentials required. Then there is SEMA Ignited and SEMA Fest which both require paid entry but can be purchased by anyone.
Optima Unleashed: Ultimate Street Car Invitational Autocross, Drifting, And Ride-Alongs
All of the outdoor portion of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s is open and free to the public. This includes the Bronze Parking Lot where the OPTIMA Unleashed takes place. Expect exclusive product debuts, live autocross and speed/stop racing, celebrity autograph sessions, drifting, stunts, ride-along with Tanner Foust, Chris Forsberg, Christopher Polvoorde and other OPTIMA-sponsored drivers. The debut of the brand’s first RV and marine lithium batteries will make for an action-packed SEMA Show week.
Our week-long extravaganza promises an exhilarating fusion of stunts, breathtaking cars, heart-pounding OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational racing and live drifting. We’re proud to work closely with our trusted and new partners to create an unforgettable SEMA experience!”said Cameron Douglass, director of marketing at OPTIMA Batteries.
High-performance classic and modern cars, from the Ultimate Street Car Invitational, will go head-to-head in live autocross racing. The competition unfolds Wednesday to Friday, setting the stage for the grand finale. On Saturday, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, competitors will battle to be crowned as OPTIMA’s Ultimate Street Car.
OPTIMA Unleased is located in the Bronze Lot on the south side of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s outdoor area. See the full schedule of all the week’s activities here.
SEMA FEST: Motorsports, Car Culture, And Music Festival And SEMA Show Ignited
SEMA Fest is an exciting two-day festival celebrating car culture all things automotive. This ultimate automotive playground is filled with cars, trucks, demonstrations, music, food, art, and vendors. Featured musical performances include Incubus, Wiz Khalifa, AJR, Third Eye Blind, Bush, Walk the Moon, and more. Imagine Dragons will headline. The event will also feature automotive brands and a full slate of immersive automotive lifestyle events. A consumer marketplace, world-class drifting, motorsports competitions, and freestyle motocross will take it over the top.
Get updates and ticket information on www.SEMAFest.com for the latest SEMA Fest announcements.
Featured attractions include:
- World-class drifting demos by Formula DRIFT teams.
- Extreme motorsports action by Hoonigan.
- Freestyle motocross and BMX Big Air show from Nitro Circus.
- Ride With Us: learn-to-ride motorcycle experience.
- Consumer marketplace with vendors, craft food, and more.
- E-Gaming experience and competition by NACL.
- Two festival stages featuring 22 diverse acts over two days showcasing a wide variety of musical genres.