Automotive

Start your engines – Sports cars of SEMA 2016

The sports cars of SEMA 2016
The sports cars of SEMA 2016
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BMW brought a batmobile of a different type to SEMA 2016
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BMW brought a batmobile of a different type to SEMA 2016
The BMW 3 Series kitted out with a full range of M Performance goodies
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The BMW 3 Series kitted out with a full range of M Performance goodies
BMW used SEMA to show off the range of customization options available to buyers on the 7 Series
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BMW used SEMA to show off the range of customization options available to buyers on the 7 Series
The Dodge Challenger Shakedown wraps a modern powertrain in a throwback body
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The Dodge Challenger Shakedown wraps a modern powertrain in a throwback body
The Shakedown sits lower than the standard Dodge Challenger, and power comes from a big HEMI V8
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The Shakedown sits lower than the standard Dodge Challenger, and power comes from a big HEMI V8
The Mustang GT4 takes the Shelby GT350R-C racing
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The Mustang GT4 takes the Shelby GT350R-C racing
The Full-Race Motorsports Focus RS
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The Full-Race Motorsports Focus RS
The Mustang GT4 puts its V8 power to the road through a paddle shift gearbox
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The Mustang GT4 puts its V8 power to the road through a paddle shift gearbox
The Bojix Ford F-150 has a blinding LED lightbar on its roof
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The Bojix Ford F-150 has a blinding LED lightbar on its roof
The Mustang GT4 is a purpose-built racer, so you won't see one on the road
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The Mustang GT4 is a purpose-built racer, so you won't see one on the road
The RC F GT3 by Lexus stands out with its chrome paintjob
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The RC F GT3 by Lexus stands out with its chrome paintjob
The Lexus RC F GT3 is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 with more than 500 hp
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The Lexus RC F GT3 is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 with more than 500 hp
The Lexus RC F GT3 sits on BBS wheels
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The Lexus RC F GT3 sits on BBS wheels
The V8 in the RC F GT3 is hooked up to a six-speed paddleshift gearbox
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The V8 in the RC F GT3 is hooked up to a six-speed paddleshift gearbox
Spoiler alert: there's a big one on the back of the Lexus RC F GT3
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Spoiler alert: there's a big one on the back of the Lexus RC F GT3
The Lexus RC F GT3 is significantly lighter than the regular RC F, a prerequisite for racing 
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The Lexus RC F GT3 is significantly lighter than the regular RC F, a prerequisite for racing 
The Lexus GS F by Clark Ishihara is all about making the standard car wider and more aggressive
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The Lexus GS F by Clark Ishihara is all about making the standard car wider and more aggressive
The GS F by Clark Ishihara is powered by the standard V8 engine, albeit with a freer-breathing exhaust
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The GS F by Clark Ishihara is powered by the standard V8 engine, albeit with a freer-breathing exhaust
The Lexus RC F by Clark Ishihara sits on special air suspension
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The Lexus RC F by Clark Ishihara sits on special air suspension
The RC F by Clark Ishihara follows the path set by its GS F big brother
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The RC F by Clark Ishihara follows the path set by its GS F big brother
The Lexus LC500 isn't even on sale yet, but it's already fallen into the hands of tuners
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The Lexus LC500 isn't even on sale yet, but it's already fallen into the hands of tuners
The LC500's V8 has been worked over by Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing
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The LC500's V8 has been worked over by Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing
The LC500 by Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing proves Lexus is no longer a golf-club car
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The LC500 by Gordon Ting/Beyond Marketing proves Lexus is no longer a golf-club car
The Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution takes a gorgeous approach to lightweighting
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The Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution takes a gorgeous approach to lightweighting
The Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution is 350 lb lighter than the standard MX-5 
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The Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution is 350 lb lighter than the standard MX-5 
The Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution breathes through a new centre-mounted exhaust
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The Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution breathes through a new centre-mounted exhaust
Mazda has lopped the windscreen off the MX-5 Speedster Evolution
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Mazda has lopped the windscreen off the MX-5 Speedster Evolution
Lightweighting is at the core of the Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution
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Lightweighting is at the core of the Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution
The Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro is blacked out
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The Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro is blacked out
The Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro is a standard car with a new paintjob
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The Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro is a standard car with a new paintjob
Mazda has channeled the Porsche 911 Targa in the MX-5 RF Kuro
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Mazda has channeled the Porsche 911 Targa in the MX-5 RF Kuro
The Chevrolet Camaro COPO is ready for the drag strip
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The Chevrolet Camaro COPO is ready for the drag strip
The Camaro COPO is available with three engines, and just 69 will be built for 2017
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The Camaro COPO is available with three engines, and just 69 will be built for 2017
The All-Star Performance Honda Civic 
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The All-Star Performance Honda Civic 
The THRW Civic is race ready, and will be taking on Thunderhill
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The THRW Civic is race ready, and will be taking on Thunderhill
The THRW Civic is race ready, and will be taking on Thunderhill
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The THRW Civic is race ready, and will be taking on Thunderhill
Honda celebrated SEGA with this Sonic Civic
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Honda celebrated SEGA with this Sonic Civic
Sonic the Hedgehog celebrated a birthday this year, and Honda has tried to cash in on the act
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Sonic the Hedgehog celebrated a birthday this year, and Honda has tried to cash in on the act
The Sonic Civic sits lower than the standard Civic
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The Sonic Civic sits lower than the standard Civic
Honda celebrated Sonic the Hedgehog with this Civic
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Honda celebrated Sonic the Hedgehog with this Civic
The new Honda Civic Coupe has been worked over by MAD Industries
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The new Honda Civic Coupe has been worked over by MAD Industries
The new Honda Civic Coupe has been worked over by MAD Industries
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The new Honda Civic Coupe has been worked over by MAD Industries
The new Honda Civic Coupe has been worked over by MAD Industries
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The new Honda Civic Coupe has been worked over by MAD Industries
The Hyundai Veloster Gurnade cranks up the drama
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The Hyundai Veloster Gurnade cranks up the drama
Hyundai offered up five concepts at SEMA, this hotted-up Elantra is one of them
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Hyundai offered up five concepts at SEMA, this hotted-up Elantra is one of them
The Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept might look mean, but there's no V8 under the hood
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The Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept might look mean, but there's no V8 under the hood
The Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo engine
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The Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo engine
The Chevrolet Camaro SS Slammer is all about matching the V8 noise with some over-the-top attitude
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The Chevrolet Camaro SS Slammer is all about matching the V8 noise with some over-the-top attitude
The Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept proves the modern muscle car can be turbo powered
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The Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept proves the modern muscle car can be turbo powered
Chevy has fitted a big, shiny exhaust to the Turbo AutoX Concept
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Chevy has fitted a big, shiny exhaust to the Turbo AutoX Concept
The turbo in the Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept breathes through new bonnet vents
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The turbo in the Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept breathes through new bonnet vents
With less weight over the nose, the Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept should handle better than the V8
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With less weight over the nose, the Chevrolet Turbo AutoX Concept should handle better than the V8
The Chevrolet Camaro SS Slammer sits on 22-inch front wheels and 24-inch rear wheels
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The Chevrolet Camaro SS Slammer sits on 22-inch front wheels and 24-inch rear wheels
Chevrolet has wheeled the Chevelle out for SEMA 2016
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Chevrolet has wheeled the Chevelle out for SEMA 2016
The Chevelle Slammer combines old-fashioned looks with modern performance
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The Chevelle Slammer combines old-fashioned looks with modern performance
Not finishing the build doesn't mean it can't be shown off at SEMA
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Not finishing the build doesn't mean it can't be shown off at SEMA
The Toyota 86 is a popular base for tuners at SEMA
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The Toyota 86 is a popular base for tuners at SEMA
Some old-fashioned style at SEMA 2016
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Some old-fashioned style at SEMA 2016
Some old-fashioned style at SEMA 2016
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Some old-fashioned style at SEMA 2016
The Maserati GranCabrio was treated to a new set of wheels at SEMA 2016
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The Maserati GranCabrio was treated to a new set of wheels at SEMA 2016
Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
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Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
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Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
Nitrous is a tuner favorite, and Hyundai used it to boost the Ioniq this year
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Nitrous is a tuner favorite, and Hyundai used it to boost the Ioniq this year
Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
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Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
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Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
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Hyundai used a nitrous-injected Ioniq to set a new speed record at Bonneville. The car was also on show at SEMA
The Subaru WRX isn't known for being subtle at the best of times, but this takes it to all-new levels
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The Subaru WRX isn't known for being subtle at the best of times, but this takes it to all-new levels
Japanese tuner Kuhl racing turned the Nissan GT-R gold for SEMA
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Japanese tuner Kuhl racing turned the Nissan GT-R gold for SEMA
Fiat is pushing back into the USA with its 124 Spider
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Fiat is pushing back into the USA with its 124 Spider
The new Toyota GT86 was lowered and stiffened by F1R Wheels
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The new Toyota GT86 was lowered and stiffened by F1R Wheels
This Nissan GT-R caught plenty of attention on the Phancy Colors stand
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This Nissan GT-R caught plenty of attention on the Phancy Colors stand
Zero to 60 made this Mustang as a tribute to the upcoming Ford GT
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Zero to 60 made this Mustang as a tribute to the upcoming Ford GT
The Limitless Cayman GT shows off its impressive mid-mounted engine
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The Limitless Cayman GT shows off its impressive mid-mounted engine
This AutoDrop Lexus RC is all about stance 
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This AutoDrop Lexus RC is all about stance 
The sports cars of SEMA 2016
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The sports cars of SEMA 2016
The Ford Focus RX is all ready to take on rallycross
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The Ford Focus RX is all ready to take on rallycross
The Mustang was treated to a full carbon fiber makeover at SEMA this year
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The Mustang was treated to a full carbon fiber makeover at SEMA this year
The Corolla Extreme is part of a bigger Toyota display at SEMA
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The Corolla Extreme is part of a bigger Toyota display at SEMA

Among the world's car shows, the annual Specialist Equipment Manufacturer Show stands out by virtue of its own special brand of automotive lunacy. Held at Las Vegas Convention Center, SEMA serves as a launchpad for modified cars pushing the limits of performance and design, from both big players and relatively small tuning houses. Following on from our top trucks and SUVs photo gallery, here's a look at the best low-slung sports cars and racers from this year's show.

Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution

Lightweighting is at the core of the Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution
Lightweighting is at the core of the Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution

Last year, Mazda wowed the SEMA crowds with the pared back Speedster. It took the lightweight focus of the fourth-generation MX-5 to new levels with no windscreen, custom wheels and adjustable coilover suspension. The Speedster Evolution takes that focus to new levels.

The windscreen has again been given the chop, but the addition of a GreenLite G20 Lithium battery and lighter brakes contribute to a total weight saving of 100 lb (45 kg) compared to the 2015 Speedster. All up, the Evolution is 350 lb (159 kg) lighter than the standard MX-5. It also looks incredible, like the lovechild of a Porsche 550 and first-generation Miata.

Chevrolet COPO Camaro

The Camaro COPO is available with three engines, and just 69 will be built for 2017
The Camaro COPO is available with three engines, and just 69 will be built for 2017

The Chevrolet Camaro has been a long-time hero for devotees of the traffic-light drag race, but it's also a favorite of professionals. Launched at SEMA this year, the COPO Camaro is ready for amateurs racing in the NHRA Stock Drag Eliminator class.

Gone are the standard rear tires and brakes, and in their place is a set of unassisted drag brakes, different wheels and sticky Hoosier tires with a taller sidewall. Three V8 engines are available, all three of which are hooked up to a three-speed automatic gearbox. Just 69 examples will be built for 2017, and potential buyers need to apply to an independent panel for the right to buy one.

Hyundai Veloster Gurnade

The Hyundai Veloster Gurnade cranks up the drama
The Hyundai Veloster Gurnade cranks up the drama

Hyundai isn't necessarily known for its sports cars, and it doesn't have the same tuner history as some of the Japanese brands out there, but that hasn't stopped it from diving headlong into SEMA this year.

The Veloster Gurnade is fitted with overblown fender-flares, three-piece wheels and a custom rear-spoiler. There's more power from the turbo four-cylinder engine, thanks to a new intercooler, downpipe and cold-air intake, breathing through a performance cat-back exhaust.

This is just a taste of the action at SEMA. Head through to the gallery to see more of the exciting sports-car concepts from the show and when you're done there, head off-road to check out the best trucks and SUVs of SEMA 2016.

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