SEMA is overwhelming. I know, I know, that’s not exactly a surprise. But it is positively a barrage on the senses, a sensory overload of epic proportions. There is just so much stuff there. The four-day show is one of the biggest conventions on the planet, and it’s nigh impossible to see everything. Even on Friday afternoon, we were uncovering corners of the show we’d never encountered before.
The show takes up the entirety of the Las Vegas Convention Center and it parking lots, as well as a portion of the nearby Westgate Hotel and even more adjacent buildings. Products for trucks and SUVs are largely confined to the Upper Central Hall, which makes our job somewhat easier, but there’s still much to see. Aside from that, though, the exterior parking lot is flooded with modified vehicles, and it’s always a treat to take a stroll through the sea of lifted trucks and marvel at how someone would drive such vehicles on a daily basis.
Last year, there were Fords absolutely everywhere you turned, and while that was largely true this year, there were more Chevrolets around, thanks to the recent release of the L5P Duramax engine. As it turns out, people like taking brand-new trucks and tricking them out. Upgrades to the L5P were scattered among the diesel-oriented booths, though it’s still too early to tell when we’re going to get some actual power upgrades to the platform. We even saw a good handful of Nissan TITAN XDs, which was a nice treat after that truck’s introduction at the show two years ago.
Every year we hand out five Show Stopper awards over the course of the week. So what did we see at the show that caught our eye?