The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It normally draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to the Las Vegas Convention Center, but this year due to the Pandemic, it went virtual as SEMA360. While there are normally thousands of amazing vehicles on site for the show, we try to concentrate on the builds that are brought to the show by the auto manufacturers, where they’ve taken current models and shown what is possible with the right amount of creativity, aftermarket parts, and budget.
Due to the virtual nature of the show, the selection of builds is much smaller this year, but still we’ve compiled a collection of our favorite off-road vehicles from the show. There were some amazing on-road vehicles built for the online show too, but the rugged off-road / overland segment is red-hot and is closer to our heart.
Toyota Overland-Ready Tacoma
The Overland-Ready Tacoma, created by 4WD Toyota Owner Magazine, is the ultimate outdoor lifestyle rig featuring a slew of off-road performance upgrades that align with the Tacoma’s “go anywhere now” personality and the rising popularity of overlanding adventure. Overlanders leverage their vehicle as the key to their adventure to help push their journey forward. It is their basecamp and provides them the self-sufficiency and capability they need to get them to their destination and back. They are passionate about exploring the outdoors and are at the forefront of nature and getting to experience it all.
“The word Overlanding may be a new word to some, but it’s become increasingly popular this year as more and more people are exploring roads off the beaten path with friends and family,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president – Toyota Division Marketing. “We were excited when the 4WD Toyota Owner Magazine editors shared their idea for this project, and we naturally thought it would be cool to include the build in our SEMA360 presentation.”
Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept
Using exclusive Jeep® Performance Parts (JPP) and custom accessories, Mopar designers transformed a 2020 Jeep Gladiator into a fun concept vehicle for serious mountain bikers.
“Loaded with nearly 20 Jeep Performance Parts, we built this go-anywhere Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept for passionate mountain bike enthusiasts,” said Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA – North America. “Across the entire Jeep lineup, we offer more than 500 quality-tested, factory-backed parts and accessories.”
“Built to handle the demands of an active lifestyle and offering one-of-a-kind open-air freedom, Jeep Gladiator is the perfect canvas for Mopar to push the envelope even further with the addition of an array of Jeep Performance Parts,” said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. “Mopar’s new Top Dog Concept results in even more clever functionality and versatility for Jeep Gladiator.”
Ford Bronco Filson Wildland Fire Rig
Based on an all-new Bronco Badlands four-door SUV with available Sasquatch Package, the Bronco + Filson Wildland Fire Rig concept blends rugged off-road capability and durable Filson materials to pay tribute to classic Bronco SUVs and the outdoor gear of the U.S. Forest Service.
“The Filson and Bronco collaboration was a natural fit, given the deep histories both brands have with the U.S. Forest Service dating back to the midcentury, when crews relied on the Filson Cruiser jackets and first-generation Broncos to reach remote terrain and protect them in harsh conditions,” said Doug Thielen, director of marketing at Filson. “Our resilient materials and innovative product designs are the perfect complement for the rugged Bronco SUV, and honor wildland firefighters who risk it all to protect our forests and natural resources.
1977 Chevrolet K5 Blazer-E
At SEMA360, Chevrolet showcased a 1977 K5 Blazer converted to all-electric propulsion. The K5 Blazer-E is a functional proof of concept of the upcoming Electric Connect and Cruise package Chevrolet Performance plans to sell in the second half of 2021.
“As GM introduces a new fleet of electric vehicles, it creates an exciting opportunity to bring EV technology to the aftermarket,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. “Our vision is to offer a comprehensive line of Connect and Cruise systems from Chevrolet Performance – delivering a solution for every customer ranging from LSX V-8s to eCrate conversions.”
BONUS : Graham Adams Jeep Gladiator 6×6
Designed for serious backcountry travel, this Gladiator 6×6 conversion is home to some crucial parts for overlanding, including a Warn winch, Road Armor bumpers, Maxtrax safety mats, Factor 55 recovery gear, a Cascadia tent, a Viair portable air compressor and Lock’erDown storage solutions. A Jamo Performance exhaust helps with aspiration under the hood. The Jeep’s suspension receives an assist from a set of Fox remote-reservoir coilover shocks, and the lift accommodates a set of big Black Rhino wheels. KC HiLites provide auxiliary lighting, a Kicker audio system resides in the cab, Hornblasters air horns make a loud statement, and Keg Media supplied the original rendering.