Gallery: Trucks go BIG, bold, bright and bonkers at SEMA 2018
Each year, the SEMA Show creates a nice, clean split of insane, otherworldly vehicles. We looked at the 2018 cars of the show last week, and this week we dive into the trucks, utility vehicles, vans and basically anything that looks big, boxy and tough. That group includes the usual mile-high semi-monster trucks and gaudy Wranglers along with some different twists, like Iceland-ready adventure vans, UTV/pickup truck half-and-halfs, and super-sized classic military jeeps.
The Ford Ranger shows its range
Ford began production of the all-new Ranger about a week before SEMA, so it's no surprise that a big part of its always-large presence at the show was dedicated to its new-generation mid-size truck. It showed seven Ranger concepts in all, pulling inspiration from everything from backcountry camping, to Baja pre-running, to video games.
Our favorite Ranger of the bunch – the Project Ranger X – is designed to work, play and explore in the backcountry. Above its 6-in (152 mm) BDS Suspension-lifted chassis, the modded pickup has a custom long-bed conversion topped by a Knapheide utility box with custom rack for carrying tools, supplies and recovery gear. That system doesn't fill the entire bed with cabinets, leaving room for the dirt bike that Ford slid in for effect. Other upgrades include LED off-road lighting, a WARN front bumper with winch, a Dometic electric cooler and underbody skid plates.
To hell you ride ... with Kia
Despite giving the Telluride full-size SUV a weird debut at New York Fashion Week, Kia seems quite determined to ensure that people think of it as a legitimate off-road adventure vehicle, not just a soccer team-hauler. Toward that end, the Texas-inspired Fashion Week show Telluride was accompanied at SEMA by a series of ruggedized concepts.
Ordinarily we'd choose one specific concept to look at, but these four Tellurides are much the same, save for different paint jobs and accessory sets. More substantively, they rely on the same KW Motorsports suspension makeover with 3-in (76-mm) widened front and rear tracks and an extra 2 in (50-mm) of travel up front, 1.5 in (38-cm) out back. They proved more than just SEMA show trucks, as Kia sponsored a large off-road Torque Track, giving visitors the chance to buckle up in the passenger seat and experience the beefed-up Tellurides on dirt trail, jumps, climbs and water crossings.
Kia's having some fun with Telluride show cars for now, but it will get back to business early next year when it debuts the official production Telluride at the North American International Auto Show in January, before getting it to market in the first half of 2019.
Nissan helps Red Cross turn compassion into action
For a while now, Nissan has been all about showcasing the Titan's rugged, outdoorsy nature with builds like the Surfcamp and Project Basecamp. The new Ultimate Service Titan looks at first like it was born to that same family of camper trucks, appearing like a Titan with a rugged off-road trailer body bolted to its bare-back chassis. And that's half right. It's not a camper or overland truck, but it does in fact use a well-known off-road trailer in its construction. Nissan adapted the ultra-rugged, pop-top Conqueror UEV-490 Extreme trailer for the build, turning the truck into a functional mobile response headquarters complete with slide-out kitchen, solar power system, desk, bed and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
The one-of-a-kind Ultimate Service Titan was built for the American Red Cross, designed to work in disaster and emergency response. When it needs to brave harsh, post-disaster conditions, upgrades like the Icon lift kit, adjustable-height coil-over shocks, body armor and WARN winch are there to help it muscle through. Nissan first revealed the new Titan at the Miami Auto Show earlier this month before donating it to the American Red Cross in South Florida and giving it another showing at SEMA.
Of course that's just the tip of the iceberg. SEMA had many more trucks, 4x4s, vans, buses and more. Jump to our SEMA 2018 truck gallery to check 'em all out.