SEMA has stood as one of the most important shows and conventions for automotive enthusiasts, because of the education, announcements and unveilings the car brands and manufacturers bring out each year. For 2023, the spectacle and presentation was as strong as ever, and it showed heavily with the cars and builds we saw.
While there’s no way to document each and every car at the show, 2023’s edition of SEMA (short for Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association) highlighted a good mix of traditional tuning and built vehicles with new-aged techniques in design and modification. Overall, the show brought roughly 160k people to the Las Vegas Convention Center grounds with more than 2,200 vendors across 140 different countries – record numbers for the show, according to a SEMA representative. Another noteworthy stat is that the show brought in 20 percent first timers – an achievement since 2023 is only the second year the show allowed a public attendance, and was industry-individuals only since its inception.
Throughout our three-day visit, we saw a plethora of outstanding cars and builds from brands, OEMs, smaller parts companies and more, with a few trends and patterns we observed throughout the multiple convention halls. For instance: electrification of course is not a new element of the automotive world, but we were happy to see it was featured alongside ICE (internal combustion engine) builds to a healthy degree – not quite 50:50 ratio, but love of EVs are growing more and more each year. Brands are becoming more familiar with the technology and utilizing the potential for power gains just as much as efficiency. This year we couldn’t help but notice a larger focus on track-oriented builds, of which honed in more on suspension technology and aerodynamics rather than raw power, although that wasn’t absent either of course. And perhaps it’s a personal observation, but networking between individuals was also a key takeaway, as we were able to converse with a large group of attendees about their brand as well as their familiarity with Hypebeast and Hypedrive.
But enough of the stats and takeaways, here are some of the cars we couldn’t help but stop and snap a photo of. Humble Skyline GT-R builds and super-clean classic muscle cars, show-stopping Group B beauties like the clean-and-green 190E and Ford Merkur XR4Ti, a handful of Porsches, RWBs, wrapped Ferrari F40s and even some wild ratrod and Kei truck builds – unsurprisingly, SEMA 2023 did not disappoint.
Check out just a few of the amazing builds we were able to grab a shot of. In case you missed it – Toyota announced the FJ “Bruiser” Special Vehicle Project which, after checking it out in person, is just as awesome as you would imagine.