Gallery: the best of SEMA 2012
Pat Devereux reports back from Vegas and the biggest tuner show… in the world
Posted: 02 Nov 2012
Couple of things to note here. First one is that Jeep is about to go all in on the power war. First sign of this is that it is offering massive 5.7 and 6.4-litre HEMI V8 conversion kits for the Wrangler. As absurd as that sounds - like fitting an outboard motor to a mosquito - we like the idea. Power has never really been the big problem for the Wrangler. Handling has. So it will be entertaining to see how long one of these hot-motor'ed Willy's descendants can stay on all four wheels. Seconds is our bet.
Talking of seconds, the other sign of Jeep's pursuit of power was the Grand Cherokee SRT8 ACR. Basically an SRT8 GC with everything but the driver's seat removed and a roll cage installed, the ACR name is the giveaway bit. The last vehicle in the Chrysler stable to use that suffix was the Viper. It stands for American Club Racer and the SRT team takes that moniker very seriously. A racing Jeep might sound like it's on a par with an ocean-going anvil, but it's so wrong it's right.
Speed was also clearly on FIAT's mind when it dreamt up its concepts for the show. It's mini streamliner concept, complete with café racer and micro trailer, didn't make a jot of sense, but looked great all the same. From its spun aluminium wheels to its three-inch lowered roofline and neat side-exiting pipes, it looked neat and fun. Words you want people to associate with your smallest car, so job done.