Trucks and Supra – a European Review of the SEMA Show 2019

End of October beginning of November the international aftermarket industry meets at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

More than 160,000 visitors and 2,400 exhibitors attended the trade fair in Nevada – for four days.

Just like in previous years, the halls and outdoor areas were rather overcrowded.

Outdoor and Off-road

From a European perspective, the trend that most SEMA exhibitors choose to concentrate exclusively on the US market has unfortunately intensified in recent years.

There was no quick trend to adapt to the European scene unless they also want to start using outdoor equipment on their cars.

At the SEMA show, the focus has long ceased from primarily hot rods, muscle cars, pony cars or various cars from US manufacturers.

Instead, the industry is concentrating on pick-up trucks and their accessories, including the popular wheel designs of compact cars and sports cars. For mid-size trucks, pick-up trucks, and oversized off-road vehicles, the focus is clearly on off-road now.

Hardly any pick-up truck or off-roader featured were not equipped with a fold-out roof tent rack this year. Some exhibitors even offered all-terrain trailers including a smoker grill, party tent including stylish rims for trailers and Midsize Trucks – things you don’t find in Europe at all!

New trends for “Euro Imports” and “JDM Bolides”? No way! Tuned Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, and even Japanese vehicles – whether young classics, vintage cars or current models were almost a minority.

In the spotlight: New damper technology for off-road and trucks

At the KW automotive booth, the colleagues from our KW-USA subsidiary also concentrated on the “US-Off-road- and Pick-up-Truck-Market” at this year’s SEMA-Show appearance.

With a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and two Chevrolet Silverado pick-ups, our US chassis brand “Belltech” played the leading role.

Accordingly, we also had “US off-road celebrities” such as Jason Anker and Chad Isbell from the “Gas Monkey” reality TV show as well as “Diesel Dave” Dave Kiley and “Heavy D” Dave Sparks from the Discovery Channel/DMAX reality TV show “Diesel Brothers” at our booth.

In addition to an autograph session, the “Diesel Brothers”, also supported us in presenting the new Belltech Dynamic Tuning System high-performance dampers.

These new dampers are based on our KW solid piston dampers from GT3 touring car motorsport and provide a never-before-seen plus in driving dynamics in the pick-up truck segment.

With their modern KW valve technology for separate 4-fold tuning of the damper forces (low/high-speed compression and rebound), the Dynamic Tuning System Belltech dampers with their solidpiston principle provide a much more direct response in damping with lower gas pressure and lower hysteresis than with ordinary pick-up and off-road dampers.

Thanks to the new dampers, even off-road vehicles finally drive much more like a German sports car on roads and off-road, the shocks are a game changer too!

Supra and more

But fortunately for fans of European and Asian vehicles, it wasn’t just about trucks and the likes at the SEMA show.

The current Toyota GR Supra stole all the “imports” from the SEMA Show the show.

Since we were one of the first chassis manufacturers with a coilover suspension kit for the new Supra, KW suspensions were strongly represented at the show.

Even at the official booth of Toyota, we had two Supra GR equipped! In addition to the new GT4 racing car from Toyota, which is equipped from factory with our 2-way adjustable racing shocks (GT4 homologation)s, Toyota USA also presented the over 750 hp “GR Supra HyperBoost Edition” from the former TopGear-USA presenter Rutledge Wood, whose Supra is also equipped with a KW Variant 3 Coilover suspension kit.

Rutledge, the automobile enthusiastic American loves almost every sports car and drives a KW Coilover suspension kit in one or more vehicles of his collection. No wonder that he didn’t miss the opportunity to be available for an autograph session at our booth, even though he presented his one of the few Rauh Welt Porsche with KW Clubsport Coilover suspension kit exhibited in Las Vegas.

Also, at our booth was the former stunt driver, stuntman, and racing driver David Ankin, who is currently causing a sensation on US TV with his custom build show ToyMakerz and for example conquered the US custom scene with a rather crazy 1941 Willys Coupé.

Top location: Toyo Treadpass

For years, the so-called Toyo Treadpass has been one of the best-frequented hotspots at the fair and there was another brute Toyota GR Supra on display.

Although this time with a Pandem TRA Kyoto Widebody Kit. As with the Toyota GT86, Subaru BRZ, and the Scion FR-S, our V3 Coilover suspension kit and the Japanese bolt-on fender kit are already conquering the GR Supra fanbase.

In comparison to previous years, the hype about the “Rauh Welt Begriff” and air-cooled Porsche 911 seems to have fallen asleep. We hadn’t even discovered ten of them.

In Vegas, “Porsche 935 replicas” are the next hot thing. They reanimate the Porsche Motorsport cult Seventies.

A cool example is Bisimoto Engineering’s electrified former “Krämer Racing Porsche” (935 K3) – don’t tell this to the Porsche Purists in your neighborhood!

“Heroes of the 90’s”

In the front of the “Central Hall” we presented our “Heroes of the 90’s” to the visitors.

Jamie Orr surprised the crowds with his colorful “VW Polo Harlekin”, a car that was created over 20 years ago as a special series limited to 1,000 pieces from Volkswagen Germany. Due to the high demand, VW built and sold around 4,000 “Harlekin Polos” from the factory!

Jamie’s Polo is a tuned homage to the colorful special model and even the installed ST Coilover suspension kit has a “harlequin look”.

Behind it parked a Nissan S13 Silvia with a KW Clubsport Coilover suspension kit, which is also available as an official HotWheels model car for all fans. At our “Heroes of the 90’s” of course, the cult car of this decade can’t be missing: the Ferrari 348!

After all, the 348, with its sporty Pininfarina line was in the late Nineties and early Millennium Years the inspiration for numerous shops that used the Ferrari design for various body kits.

News for your wheelhouse from Fichtenberg

Of course, we used the SEMA Show to give the trade visitors an outlook on our current new developments of ST and KW.

From 2020, for example, we will also be introducing our ST XA Coilover suspension kits with adjustable rebound damping in North America and expanding our range of spacers.

JDM fans and enthusiasts of the Corolla AE86 are happy about our new KW Competition racing suspension for the cult “Initial D”-Levin!

At the SEMA Show, there was already a preview of the expansion of our “Street Performance” category with a new KW Coilover suspension with four-way adjustable damper technology – more about that soon!

Photos SEMA Show (1x), Automotiv Media (Eddy Paesschezzone)

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