24 Vehicles Get Moparized for Annual Aftermarket Event
Although the annual SEMA Show is billed as an industry-only event, automakers like the Chrysler Group know that the event's influence far outweighs its attendance. The gathering is ground-zero for the automotive aftermarket and—sort of like New York’s fashion week—it provides an inside look at the year’s upcoming style trends, as worn by some of the world’s hottest models. But you don’t have to travel all the way to Las Vegas to see what Chrysler has in store for the show, and you don’t have to wait until SEMA opens on October 31, either.
The company recently pulled the wraps off a handful of its 24 SEMA superstars, including the six profiled here—one from each of the Chrysler Group brands and all boasting plenty of Mopar merchandise.
“The SEMA show is the perfect place for us to showcase our vast portfolio of proven, quality-tested Mopar performance parts and accessories,” said Pietro Gorlier, president and CEO of Mopar, the Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “We hope that show-goers look at each of these vehicles and get inspired to customize and accessorize their rides.”
Although Mopar would have gotten our attention even if it had stopped after wedging a 5.7-liter HEMI beneath the hood of a Jeep Wrangler, but it didn’t. Along with a new Mopar conversion kit that helps squeeze 375 hp and 410 lb.-ft. of torque from its V8 engine, the Sand Trooper also super-sizes its tires. This Wrangler rolls on huge 42-inchers that are wrapped around performance bead-lock wheels with a painted matte-black finish. Also going to the matte are the Sand Trooper’s Dune exterior finish and black off-road bumpers, grille, fuel-filler door, tail-lamp guards and door-sill guards.
Further helping make sure the vehicle is ready for rock-crawling, Mopar introduced a prototype underbody skid plate that stretches the full length of the Wrangler Sand Trooper, while front and rear portal axles improve ground clearance by 5 inches.
The result is a hard-core off-road performer—with easy-to-love premium amenities like Katzkin Leather seats—that is impossible to top. Literally, since the Jeep Wrangler Sand Trooper goes the open-air route, without a roof but with unique Mopar half doors.
2012 SEMA Show: Dodge Charger Juiced
In theory, the Dodge Charger Juiced edition was designed to create a “custom-rod feel with a restrained subtlety,” but there’s nothing subtle about its massive Viper V10 crate engine. Backed by a Mopar-managed heart transplant, the car now pockets a robust 650 hp, “but tones down the emissions to remain eco-friendly.” Now, some folks may wonder about that power number, as the SRT Viper itself makes “only” 640 horses, but credit here goes to Mopar’s cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust—which has the added benefit of enabling a more aggressive roar when drivers stomp the gas.
The Dodge Charger Juiced also has equally aggressive looks, enhanced by a sophisticated two-tone appearance. Most of the car is coated in a unique Copperhead Metallic finish, but the spoiler, hood and roof are done in a darker, matte hue for a further dash of custom cool. And speaking of “cool,” that hood also makes sure the car’s engine stays that way, thanks to a prototype design with a functional, forward-facing intake scoop.
2012 SEMA Show: SRT Viper
The all-new SRT Viper doesn't get a fancy name for its SEMA debut, but it does get the carbon-fiber treatment. For example, the Mopar mob swapped out the factory’s underhood X-brace for one made of carbon fiber, significantly reducing weight without sacrificing rigidity. Of course, since the brace is on display in the engine bay, it also gets a satin-finish trim with the Viper “Stryker” logo. And in keeping with the carbon-fiber theme, the SEMA Viper adds a carbon-fiber and aluminum engine cover and a full carbon-fiber aero package. There’s even a carbon-fiber digital-camera mount for keeping track of track-day performances.
As befitting a show car that draws its inspiration from racecars, the Viper also has been fitted with Sabelt hard-shell sport seats, with six-point safety harnesses. But as befitting a show car of any sort, the SEMA serpent also benefits from premium upgrades like a billet aluminum shift knob, HVAC bezels and climate controls; bright pedals made from sand-blasted aluminum; “Track Pack” hyperblack wheels; and LED fog lamps.
2012 SEMA Show: Chrysler 300 Luxury
The Chrysler brand’s flagship can be configured with some impressively upscale amenities right out of the box, but Mopar has released a wave of further premium enhancements to create the Chrysler 300 Luxury edition—with an assist from Mopar and the automaker’s Product Design Office.
Although its beauty goes much more than skin deep, the 300 Luxury also shows a brilliant complexion with an exclusive True Blue Pearl Coat exterior finish. The striking color is accented by a platinum-mesh grille, 20-inch satin-carbon wheels (with Mopar logo center caps), and, peeking out from behind those wheels, black-painted brake calipers. The cabin of the Chrysler 300 Luxury gets some attention as well, in the form of premium Katzkin Leather seating with a high-end quilted look, along with premium floor mats, illuminated door-sill guards, bright pedals and a leather-wrapped shift handle.
Mopar took a slightly subtler approach to boosting performance, deploying a 3:91 rear axle and Mopar coilover kit.
2012 SEMA Show: Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser
This Italian fashion plate will come to Las Vegas looking like it hit the the Golden State first, where it was re-imagined as a bodacious beachcomber complete with a hula-girl dash figurine. Paying further homage to California’s custom-car culture, the Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser has seen some significant bodywork that delivers notably wider proportions, classic fender flairs, brushed-satin metal accents, new hood and rear-deck pieces from Mopar, rear-glass louvers, and—naturally—a custom surfboard rack with teak woodwork and an actual surfboard.
There is more teak inside, too, for another nod to the West Coast woodie scene, and the interior also benefits from brushed-satin design cues, a cueball shifter, and high-gloss naugahyde seating. And get this: The chairs feature red-and-white inserts designed to mimic the appearance of beach towels.
Mopar also devoted time and resources—and a cold-air intake and hi-po exhaust system—to improve the power of the Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser, while also kitting it out with a strut-tower brace for enhanced handling.
2012 SEMA Show: Urban Ram
This Urban cowboy holsters a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 that’s usually worth 525 hp and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, but after Mopar got its hands on the truck—along with its cold-air intake, headers and dual-exhaust system—you can be sure that’s just the starting point. The stopping point? It comes up even quicker, courtesy of SRT brake components. A Mopar handling kit is in the mix as well, for all-around performance, and designers have ensured the truck also looks the part.
It wears an aero-style body kit and sport-performance hood for a more aggressive presence, while riding on 22-inch hyperblack wheels that feature matching Ram-logo center caps. Out back, the Urban Ram’s pickup bed is protected from the elements by a fiberglass tonneau cover and illuminated by ambient lighting.
Finally, the package is capped off by a blue-on-blue exterior appearance that includes a Modern Blue paint scheme and Mopar Blue striping—which will certainly leave Ram rivals feeling blue, too.