In photos: Trucks and 4x4s run bigger and meaner at SEMA 2017
One of the best parts about the annual SEMA Show is the virtually even split between crazy cars and towering trucks. At other auto shows, trucks and 4x4s often spend most of their time in the shadows of major production and concept car debuts, but at SEMA they're front, center and impossible to miss. And the lifted pickups and fully fortified off-roaders are as much a draw as the crazy car concepts. Here are our favorites, from massive trucks that brush the deep-blue Vegas sky and 6x6s made to live in the dirt, to ruggedized vans and beyond.
It would seem that the world is very ready for the return of the Ford Bronco. It's been a few years since we've attended SEMA, but we don't remember seeing too many Broncos last time – it was Wranglers, Wranglers and more Wranglers. This time around, it seemed like there was a Bronco around every other corner, which we assume has something to do with the enthusiasm around the imminent return of the venerable 4x4.
Every Bronco we saw had been dipped in the fountain of youth for perfectly polished, meticulously detailed creations that might as well have just rolled off the production line. Our favorite was this WD-40/SEMA Cares "Boosted Bronco." A full update to an original 1966 Bronco, the Boosted Bronco's name refers to the turbocharged EcoBoost powertrain that provides a mix of modern-day power and efficiency. Some might think the WD-40 mix of deep blue and yellow is a bit gaudy, but we think it complements the Bronco's lines quite nicely. Plus, this one was built specifically to be auctioned for several SEMA Cares children's initiatives, so it gets bonus points there.
Even in a show that specializes in huge and huger trucks of every make, the 6x6s stand out in the crowd. We knew we'd see the Hennessey Velociraptor 6x6, but we weren't really expecting to see any others. There were a couple, including this here Bruiser 6x6, a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited transformed into a gorgeously detailed six-wheeled pickup. In addition to the extra axle and the necessary frame extension, Bruiser Conversions has added all kinds of upgrades and mods, including a 480-hp LS3 engine conversion, NAG1 transmission, overhauled suspension, LED lighting, 40-in Toyo M/T tires on 17-in beadlock wheels and custom roll cage. Touches like the Katzkin leather seats and bed decking soften it up with a little upscale style.
Hauk Designs Bootlegger
Clearly designed for a Mad Max-like dystopia, the Hauk Designs Bootlegger turns a 2010 Chevy Camaro into an AWD, go-anywhere machine of mayhem. Yes, the Camaro is a car, but unlike the Kelly-Moss Safari 4 rally Porsche we featured in our cars gallery, the Bootlegger is so big and rough around the edges, we just didn't feel right including it anywhere but with trucks and 4x4s.
Hauk has disguised the Camaro underpinnings by fitting a custom off-road suspension with Bilstein coilovers up front and Fox coilovers in back, steel roll cage, full underbody protection, and 35-in Pitbull Rocker tires hugging 17-in wheels. GM's LS3 engine sends power through the AWD system. This one won't keep up with other Camaros on the street or track, but it will leave them way behind once the pavement crumbles away into dirt and dust.
You can see dozens of other awesome truck, 4x4 and van builds in our extensive photo gallery.