In Depth

Specialty Equipment Market Association 2017: the craziest cars on display

From six-wheeled trucks to racing-inspired supercars, here's our pick of the best cars so far

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (Sema) motor show in Las Vegas, one of the largest aftermarket events in the world, is officially underway. 

Unlike conventional motor shows, where manufacturers bring their latest production cars designed for the masses, Sema has typically been a place for vehicle tuners to showcase their latest projects.  

But, in recent years, carmakers have cottoned on to the show’s popularity among enthusiasts and have begun developing their own custom cars for the event. 

The event runs until 3 November, so there’s still time for more experimental vehicles to be unveiled by carmakers and tuners alike. Until then, here’s our pick of the craziest cars on show so far. 

Hennessey VelociRaptor

On the lookout for a six-wheeled pickup truck but missed out on the Mercedes-AMG G63 6x6? Then Texas-based tuning firm Hennessey has the perfect car you.

Its new six-wheeled VelociRaptor is based on the Ford Raptor pickup, reports Auto Express, boasting “three pairs of 20ins off-road tyres” and a 600bhp V8 engine. It comes with a price tag of “around £225,000”, although it’s not yet known whether Hennessey will sell it outside of the US.

Audi TT Clubsport

Audi’s history in motorsport spans decades, ranging from the mid-engined grand prix cars of the 1940s to its utter dominance of Le Mans 24h in recent times. 

At Sema, the German carmaker unveiled a special edition version of its TT Clubsport inspired by the 90 IMSA GTO race car from the 1980s, says Car magazine. It comes with the same red, black and grey stripes as the firm’s old racer, along with wide wheel arches and unique multi-spoke wheels from BBS. 

Lexus LC 500 Black Panther 

Lexus’s luxurious LC 500 grand tourer received an unusual paint job at Sema, which the carmaker says is inspired by the Marvel superhero - Black Panther.

Built in collaboration with West Coast Customs, the California-based vehicle tuning workshop made famous by the TV show Pimp My Ride, the car features wider wheel arches and blue neon lighting. There are even small talons on the wing mirrors and Black Panther’s helmet painted on the bonnet. 

Acura NSX Dream Project

Acura, the moniker Honda sells its cars under in the US, has teamed-up with Arizona’s Science of Speed workshop to create a tuned version of its NSX supercar inspired by the company’s GT3 racing programme. 

The standard car’s V6 hybrid engine has been upgraded with a pair of “liquid-cooled” turbochargers that add an extra 36bhp, says Auto Blog, bringing the NSX’s total output to 602bhp. 

Custom carbon fibre winglets on the front bumper and a large rear wing add to the supercar’s racing looks, the site adds, as do the gold powder-coated brakes and five-spoke Advan wheels. 

BMW M3 30 Years American Edition

BMW has created a special American Edition of its M3 super saloon to celebrates its 30th anniversary in the US. 

While the car’s power output is unchanged over the standard M3, the 30 Years American Edition sports a bespoke matte red paint job with gold coloured wheels. It also comes with a small boot spoiler, as well as red, white and blue-coloured leather seats. 

But what really separates the American Edition from all other M3s is that BMW is making just a single unit, says Car & Driver, which will cost the owner $129,630 (£98,000) - around $58,385 (£44,000) more than a regular M3.

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