Gallery: the best of SEMA 2012
Pat Devereux reports back from Vegas and the biggest tuner show… in the world
Posted: 02 Nov 2012
You know when a car is really hot at SEMA when it doesn't even need a stand of its own - they are scattered throughout the show on everyone else's booths. This year, that car was the Scion FR-S (Toyota FT86) and Subaru BRZ. There were so many of them it was almost harder to find stands that didn't have one on display than those that did.
Not that that was in any way a problem, as Top Gear's Performance Car of the Year obviously absorbs tuning attention like a plant absorbs water. Even though it was hard to pick a winner, Scion tried by staging a build off competition. All built with a tuning budget of $15k, the three contenders took three very different routes, but the light green Minty FReSh (geddit?) took the honours on the day.
But the real winner was another breathed on FR-S, this time by drift king RJ de Vera. Far more understated and tasteful - or as much as any orange car can be - it featured a beautifully minimalist spec and remarkable intent. If you play Forza on Xbox you'll be able to drive it soon as it's been snapped up to be included in a forthcoming download pack. Dorifto!
The other key bit of tuning news around the flat-four-engined car, was that the lusty WRX engine is almost a straight swap for the weedier standard unit. Engine mounts are the same, just the bulkhead needs the attention of a hammer. And then it's a goer apparently.