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The Best of SEMA - #SEMA17

Out of 3,000 new products, these are the 10 you'll want most

Aaron Bonk
Nov 14, 2017

Every year Las Vegas' annual SEMA tradeshow features thousands of new products you've yet to learn about, many which fall into the category of "why would anyone ...?" - your wheels that light up, or Car Lashes, that sort of thing. And every year there's a handful of new wares you really do need to know about and that've yet to reveal themselves, even to the Internet. Here is that list, in no particular order.

GREDDY FR-S / BRZ ITB CONVERSION

  |   Best Of SEMA Greddy FRS BRZ ITB Conversion

GReddy, the spinoff of famed Japanese tuning firm Trust, made known a series of new things you'll want that ranged from titanium exhausts to Civic turbo kits to signature steering wheels by way of drifter Ken Gushi. It's the Toyota 86 individual throttle body conversion kit you really care about, though, which features throttle body's from Toyota's 20-valve 4AGE engine along with a cast-aluminum manifold and piping, silicone couplers, and an air filter, all of which are designed to bolt into place and are compatible with the engine's existing sensors. The system, which can do away with GReddy's manifold and piping and suck straight through a quartet of velocity stacks, does require some sort of aftermarket tuning solution in order to properly integrate with the FA20, though.

BRIDE A.I.R SERIES SEATS

  |   Best Of SEMA Bride AIR Series Seats

Remember that time you tried to fit those aftermarket seats in that S2000 of yours? About that - Japanese seat maker Bride introduces a seat just for open-top, two-seaters like Honda's roadster, as well as other models, like the Miata. Bride's FRP-based A.i.R bucket seats feature an ultra-low design that suits taller drivers who'd otherwise have trouble with something like an S2000 and a streamlined shape that takes into account what happens to all of that airflow once that roadster's top has been let loose. According to Bride, 3D modeling was applied to the design in order to carefully shape everything from the size of the belt holes to the lines of the headrest. Currently, the A.i.R seat is offered in black and red fabrics and tips the scale at just 6.8kg apiece.

SSR GT X03 WHEELS

  |   Best Of SEMA SSR GT X03 Wheels

What's SEMA without a new wheel release? We won't know so long as companies like SSR continue doling out new designs like its GT X03. The all-new, flow-formed wheel features two finishes—platinum silver and black graphite—and is available in 15-, 16-, 17-, 18-, and 19-inch diameters with bolt patterns ranging from 4x100 to 5x100 to 5x114.3, as well as in offsets that'll make just about any size fit the way they're supposed to. Complementing SSR's existing GT X01 wheel, the GT X03 features unique, weight-reducing cutouts along the spoke's internals and specialized notches along their faces, giving it a look exclusive to the wheel maker's latest five-spoke design.

BORLA CAT-BACK ATAK CTR EXHAUST

  |   Best Of SEMA Borla Cat Back Atak CTR Exhaust

American exhaust maker Borla might not be the first name you think of when you go looking for an exhaust for your Honda, but maybe it ought to be. The impending system retains the CTR's three-outlet design out back and integrates things like carbon-fiber exhaust tips, T-304 stainless steel tubing from head to toe, and precision-machined brackets that tie the exhaust up to the chassis in a beautiful sort of way. Borla's latest system features its Polyphonic Harmonizer, which the company explains by comparing the whole thing to how an organ works. Here, pipes of varying diameters and lengths housed inside of a single unit create just the right note for each application, and because each one of those pipes is straight, none of this comes at the expense of performance.

VIBRANT PERFORMANCE TITANIUM COMPONENTS

  |   Best Of SEMA Vibrant Performance Titanium Components

When you're done fiddling around with more conventional fabrication materials like stainless steel, chromoly, and aluminum, it's time for you to explore titanium. Now, the lightweight alloy often used in things like aerospace applications, of which its cost is typically reflective of, can now be yours by way of purveyor of fab components Vibrant Performance. The Canadian-based manufacturer now offers an array of titanium tubing, pie-cuts, tabs, u-bends, resonators, mufflers, and more, all of which you can use to put together the exhaust system of your dreams—provided you know how to handle that welder of yours. And when you go to start and realize that welding filler rod you've got isn't compatible with exotic alloys like titanium, Vibrant's got you covered there, too, offering one-pound boxes of titanium filler rod right from its website.

SPEC CLUTCH CTR CLUTCH ASSEMBLY

  |   Best Of SEMA Spec Clutch CTR Clutch Assembly

As capable of a car as Honda's new CTR may be, like any other mass-produced vehicle in its price range, its clutch has got to be a compromise between the occasional track day and you being able to do things like get back and forth to work. SPEC thinks it's struck an even better compromise, though, and one that no doubt errs more toward the side of those track days if you should choose. And by choose, we mean you taking your pick between any one of seven different clutch configurations SPEC's introduced for the CTR. Clutch packages range from Stage 1 systems that feature carbon-kevlar-based organic discs that are typically more forgiving yet are up to the abuse of the occasional track day, all the way to high-clamping-capable discs made of semi-metallic materials, even multi-disc applications for those looking for a no-nonsense, high-performing combination.

HONDATA 50 STATE LEGAL FLASHPRO

  |   Best Of SEMA Hondata Flashpro

Hondata's FlashPro is nothing new. For years it's been helping Honda owners do things like adjust fuel and ignition parameters and data log all of that and more by way of an OBDII diagnostic port connection and a laptop. The only problem is that tuning devices like FlashPro aren't always legal, and for some that can be a deal-breaker, relegating the rest of that Civic's lifespan to the slow zone. Until now - the emissions-friendly version of FlashPro, which includes the same data logging features as the original FlashPro and is available for newer Hondas ranging from Accords to Civics to CRZs to Fits, is limited by what sort of tuning adjustments it's capable of making but still makes for a potent and entirely legal upgrade.

EIBACH PRO-PLUS CTR ANTI-ROLL BARS AND LOWERING SPRINGS

  |   Best Of SEMA Eibach Pro Plus CTR Anti Rollbars Lowering Springs

Like any other Civic owner, it won't take CTR buyers long to decide to drop that ride height, and when they do Eibach will be there. Its new Pro-Plus lowering springs reduce body roll, squat, and nose-diving, as well as bring that center of gravity down a whole .8-inch by way of progressive-rate coil springs that, according to Eibach, don't interfere with the car's original ride quality characteristics. Complement those springs with Eibach's equally new anti-roll bars. Eibach knows that the CTR's handling characteristics were already pretty good, which made developing bars that'll actually show improvements a challenge. Eibach says it's nevertheless made those improvements, and points to its front and rear anti-roll bars that get rid of those brief moments of understeer that the CTR can reveal, reduce weight transfer, and fine tune those little handling details. Up front, the 32mm hollow bar results in a 55-percent rate increase while out back the two-position, 22mm hollow bar offers 42-percent and 65-percent rate adjustments.

AUTOMETER ULTRA-LITE DIGITAL GAUGES

  |   Best Of SEMA Autometer Ultra Lite Digital Gauges

Chances are, if you bore witness to the import tuning revolution of the 1990s, then you're familiar with things like uni-wipers, clear corners, and AutoMeter monster tachs, of which were often of the company's Ultra-Lite product line. The distinct, silver-faced instrument line was a mainstay among anybody who cared about things like knowing what their water temperature was or their boost pressure, and today is complemented by an all-digital replacement gauge that pays homage to the original. AutoMeter's Ultra-Lite Digital gauges measure the same sort of parameters as their predecessors—oil pressure, exhaust gas temperature, fuel pressure, and more—but do so by way of a red-lit, digital LED readout that's markedly more advanced than that lone windshield wiper of yours.

FUJITSUBO SUPER EX SKYLINE / FAIRLADY Z EXHAUST MANIFOLD

  |   Best Of SEMA Fujitsubo Super Ex Skyline Fairlady Z Exhaust Manifold

High-end Japanese exhaust maker Fujitsubo's exhaust applications for classics like Nissan's S30-chassis Fairlady Z and Skyline, for example, aren't exactly new, but according to the company a new push is being made to make sure people like you know these applications exist. That is, if you own an S30. Super EX exhaust manifolds are made from T-304 stainless steel and feature lightweight brackets and mandrel bends throughout for proper flow characteristics. The manifold's six-into-two design is made up of 45mm piping that merges into 45mm-50.8mm tubing and weighs just 8.7kg, and is directly compatible with the exhaust maker's Legalis R muffler.

By Aaron Bonk
389 Articles

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