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Start Your Engines:  Must-See Auto Debuts at SEMA Opening

The auto industry’s biggest trade show is finally back.

By Audrey Davis
November 02 2021

And if you found yourself missing the drama of a big SEMA reveal last year, when the show was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns, don’t worry – this year’s event is aiming to bring all of that drama back.  

2015 SEMA show: 

Over the years, SEMA has grown into one of the largest and most anticipated automotive events of the year, but this trade show remains closed to the general public. That exclusivity can be attractive to automakers, most of whom want a grand unveiling for their buzziest models, while also enticing fans who want to keep a finger on the industry pulse. But SEMA really just stands for “Special Equipment Market Association,” emphasizing the show’s origins as a purveyor of aftermarket gear. 

But SEMA, which is located in Las Vegas and will be the largest convention of 2021, has grown into far more than just tires, tech, and other accessories. These days, the products being sold by vendors are often just the icing on the cake, with the real excitement coming from all the new models and concepts debuting. Some of this year’s showstoppers include Ford’s Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT concept, a wild new Jeep Wrangler, and Toyota’s highly anticipated Supra Sport Top. 

What do all of these concepts have in common? Like at many other auto shows, nostalgia seems to be a key factor. The Toyota Supra is an obvious throwback to the nineties, while the Shelby branding on the new electric Mustang is a clever way to combine Ford’s racing history with their more eco-conscious present and future. And Jeep has come prepared with a blast from the past, too: along with the impressive new Wrangler, they’ve got an off-roader customized from a 1967 Kaiser military ambulance 

Chevy announces plans for 2021 SEMA show: 

But the most impressive vintage car on display this year is also the most unexpected. Chevrolet has brought along a 1957 Chevy Bel Air – dubbed “Project X” – that’s been converted into an EV, an undertaking that required an experimental battery the brand is still testing out. The project could be a glimpse of a future where vintage car enthusiasts can switch their own vehicles over to EVs, but for now, customs fans at SEMA already have a lot to be excited about.  

2021 SEMA show: 

To top it all off, the show will also feature a huge collection of 20 Chip Foose custom show cars, with a presentation from the Overhaulin’ host himself. The exhibit, called the “Chip Foose Experience,” will be the largest-ever display of Foose’s cars, promising to give every brand’s new concept cars a run for their money. Is this the kind of drama you were looking for? Then look no further, because the wait for SEMA is finally over. 






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