Many myths and legends surround the SEMA Show in Las Vegas – primarily due to the allure of the unknown and a completely different market than in Europe. This is because what is usually shown on European TV channels and social media channels about the SEMA Show is always only a fraction of what plays a role at the largest aftermarket trade show for the independent aftermarket in the United States.
For example, there are no general admission ticket for the public at the SEMA Show. Only trade visitors can apply for a registration to attend the show.
The reason we exhibited a rare Nissan Skyline (R34) GT-R M-Spec Nür as an eye-catcher on the KW stand in the “Central Hall” is that these models will no longer be illegal to import to the United States as of January 2024.
For our colleagues at KW automotive North America, the SEMA Show is pure business, an opportunity to engage with buyers from accessory chains. After all, the US market is still the world’s largest market for sports car tuning, accessories, and the passenger car replacement parts market. In 2023, there were 2,200 exhibitors alone and the organizers say that 163,000 trade visitors from all over the world attended the four-day event.
But the SEMA Show is not about typical original equipment parts, which would be pretty boring, but about everything that makes cars more beautiful, louder, and sportier. However, for car enthusiasts in the USA, a car is not just a passenger car. In the United States, it’s basically all about pickup trucks or so-called light trucks. In 2022, 13.7 million new cars were sold in the United States, of which 10.9 million were light trucks (source Statista).
The expanded BBS unlimited wheel program was also a topic for the aftermarket in the United States, as it offers numerous added values thanks to its flexible and universal mounting options as well as the extensive customization options. More about this on the BBS homepage.
While the Toyota GR Yaris is not available in the United States, we in Germany are currently left with nothing but envy when it comes to the new Toyota GR Corolla. We can only dream of being able to buy the 300-horsepower Corolla for under $40,000. Our colleagues at BBS have equipped the “KEüROLLA”, whose body kit is based on a rendering by industrial designer Iung Anissa, with a set of 19-inch BBS LM-R wheels.
In numerous enthusiasts blogs and enthusiasts magazines, Gregory Parks’ Ferrari F40 is the ultimate “Love it or Hate it” show car. Because it is a Ferrari and at the SEMA Show European vehicles are the exception.
Gregory is a familiar face to us, and his Ferrari F40 has been a controversial show car at the SEMA Show in recent years. Purists are divided on his color choices. After all, only 1,315 Ferrari F40s were ever made.
The Ferrari is fitted with classic 18-inch BBS “E88” motorsport wheels. It also has a KW special-build suspension that is based on the KW V3 Racing suspension. This suspension is adjustable in low-speed compression and rebound damping, and it also has an external reservoir and a hydraulic lift system.
KW automotive has been manufacturing suspensions for any type of car for years. Even if a legendary car like the Nissan Skyline GT-R M-Spec Nür (R34) or a Ferrari F40 isn’t available in our online shop, we can custom-built coilovers for them. We also offer coilovers for many Nissan Skyline models, including the Datsun Skyline, R32, R33, and R34.
The M-Spec Skyline, which also belongs to Gregory Park, is even fitted with a prototype KW V3 Clubsport coilover suspension. It is also based on a KW V3 Racing suspension that is adjustable in low-speed compression and rebound damping. JDM enthusiasts know that it can be challenging to find top mounts. That’s why we equip many of our custom-built suspensions for older cars made in Japan, such as the Datsun 240Z, Mazda RX7, Toyota Supra Mk IV, and others, with our Clubsport top mounts. If you drive a Nissan Skyline R32, you can even get a three-way adjustable ST XTA plus 3 coilover suspension with German parts certificate.
But of course, not only the conversation about custom-built suspension kits was a big topic at the SEMA Show, but also our wide range of suspensions.
From all product categories such as Street Comfort, Street Performance and Track Performance, we showed current suspension highlights that we offer worldwide.
For example, our new hydraulic lift system, which has become significantly lighter thanks to its new hydraulic pump unit, will also be on display at the Essen Motor Show soon. The KW V5 coilover suspension with its solid piston design for the modern Honda NSX was also on display for the first time in the USA.
The famous Porsche SVRSR “Hoonipigasus” was on display in Las Vegas to honor Ken Block.
Lia Block, daughter of the American rally legend Ken Block, took on the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the 1,400-horsepower Porsche in tribute to her father.
The Porsche, which was built by BBi Autosport from 2021 to 2022, is equipped with four-way adjustable KW V5 Racing dampers. You can also find out more about the extraordinary “Hoonipigasus” on our German blog.
In addition to the global Ford Performance Team, the Ford Design Team Cologne, and the rally and motorsport specialists STARD (Stohl Advanced Research and Development) from Austria, we also made a contribution by developing a KW V5 Racing suspension for the van. Romain Dumas finished second at the 2023 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the US state of Colorado with a time of just 8:47.682 minutes.
And in the world of motorsport, the KW automotive Group is simply represented globally. There is basically hardly a championship or race anymore in which no products from our brands BBS, KW suspensions or Reiger Suspension are in use.
Luxury supercars and classic sports cars are the exception rather than the rule at SEMA in Las Vegas, despite all the social media hype. But whether it’s a McLaren P1, Ferrari F8 Tributo, Corvette C8, or Lamborghini Aventador, the supercars pictured above are all equipped with either our coilovers, Hydraulic Lift System, or BBS alloy wheels.
Also in some Gunther Werks Porsche, components from the KW automotive Group are always in use, such as our hydraulic lift system (KW HLS) on this model.
The Gunter Werks models are unique cars based on a Porsche 911 (993) in order to be able to drive the last air-cooled 911s in a very exclusive way.
For NISMO (Nissan’s motorsport division) and Tommy Pike Customs, we developed a KW V3 Racing coilover suspension in a Safari version. The Nissan Safari Rally Z Tribute from NISMO is a tribute to the old Datsun 240Z with which Nissan won the “East African Safari Rally” in 1971. Our custom suspension for this project raised the Nissan 51 millimeters.
Yes, friends of lateral acceleration and rotary engine enthusiasts, we also manufacture custom-built coilover suspensions for the Mazda RX-7 (FC3S) on request. More to come soon on our social media channels.
For years, the coolest and craziest show cars have been on display in the Toyo Tires Treadpass, between the Central Hall and South Hall. While we equipped the widebody Supra with an HLS Kit, Jonny Grunwald’s Toyota GR 86 has an ST XTA coilover suspension installed, and the Mercedes-Benz 190 E is equipped with a KW V3 Racing. We also have a KW V3 Classic suspension for the W201, but the vehicle owner Stan Chen definitely wanted a racing suspension with MacPherson struts – things we can build on a daily basis.
What surprised us Germans in Las Vegas in 2023 was the fact that the new BMW M2 (G87) has not yet had as big of an impact on the community as the BMW M3 (F80), BMW M4 (F82), and BMW M2 (F87) did in previous years.
Our new KW V4 Clubsport coilover suspension with inverted struts is used in the BMW M2 from IND Distribution. You can find more information about our M2 coilovers and a small buying guide on our blog. Just click here or on the BMW M2 images.
From Germany to Vegas – JP Performance’s crazy Beetle from the Essen Motor Show 2022 and aggressive KW coilover suspension was one of the few Volkswagens that was there in Nevada for the fan club of cars from Wolfsburg (home of Volkswagen).
BMW M3s based on the E9x series and the Porsche 911 (993) are still very popular in the United States. On Jason Wipple’s stylish red “Hoonigan Porsche” with Ruf body kit, a KW V3 Clubsport coilover suspension is responsible for making him enjoy driving through the California canyons so much. Daniel Song’s GR 86 is also on the start at many track days with a KW V3 Clubsport.
ST suspensions has been a popular choice for current “JDM vehicles” in the USA. ST was founded in the late 1970s in Southern California. Whether the Nissan Z from Hollywood actor Daniel Wu or Jonny Grunwald’s Toyota GR 86 are equppied with ST XTA and ST X coilovers.
In “Sir plz Larry Chen’s Toyota GR 86 project”, the three-way adjustable ST XTA plus 3 coilover suspension is put to use. What was or is the big trend of the SEMA Show 2023? A difficult question, because apart from light trucks and pickup trucks, most of it always revolves around iconic cars from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, as well as current sport compact – and anything goes.
So it’s no wonder that you see cool projects like a full-carbon Datsun 240Z with classic BBS wheels at the SEMA Show, or even legendary air-cooled Porsche motorsport icons given new life.
Two years ago, our buddy Bisi Ezerioha and former Need for Speed designer Khyzyl Saleem brought the Porsche 935 “Moby X” to reality. Since then, the extraordinary electric Porsche has been one of the many flagships to showcase electric mobility in a exciting way.
A KW V3 Clubsport with KW HLS was installed in the very special Porsche 935. If you want to learn more about Bisimoto Engineering’s crazy Porsches and projects, you’ve come to the right place on the KW automotive blog.
This Porsche G-Body in Outlaw Style raises concerns for purists; did someone genuinely allow a Porsche 911 RSR to degrade, to put it mildly? Well, in a way.
The 911 is basically “just” a classic Porsche 911 SC, which is driven with a 934 body kit and KW V3 Clubsport coilover suspension kit.
The 1991 Chevrolet C1500 on our booth is one of the winning vehicles of the Belltech Icon Calendar Competition.
Belltech celebrated its big anniversary throughout 2023. The suspension manufacturer, founded in California in 1983, specializes in American light trucks and pickup trucks and has been part of the KW automotive group since 2005.