Let’s face it: There just aren’t that many Volkswagens at SEMA. We’d hoped for a couple of pimped Phaetons, and expected a number of modded R32s and were surprised by what we found, or rather, what we did not find.
Outside, one lone R32 represented Volkswagen’s performance flagship on the cement in front of the North Hall while no Phaetons showed up that we could find. Unlike the Phaeton though, we found several Touaregs, including a silver Folia Tec show car, a green Touareg by GreedSpeed and our own Project Touareg that has was displayed in the booth of its co-creators AutomotiveRhythms.com.
Amidst the stereo manufacturers we found uber wild versions of both new and old-Beetle alike. The systems were kicking from both a sonic and visual impairment perspective, though frankly even more interesting were the headlight treatments – bubbling goldfish bowls for the New Beetle and recessed LCD Screen placement featuring Eminem video for the old. Useless, but cool looking – It’s a common theme we sometimes find at SEMA.
Elsewhere throughout the show, we spotted several show Volkswagens spreading the love including Eurosport’s GTI looking great on its OZ Racing 18s, a stunning orange GTI 1.8T from H-Sport, Euro Gear’s R32 look-alike, an HPA R32TT, and a great looking silver third-generation GTI that could be found in one of the adjoining hallways.
SEMA isn’t a large show for Audis either. Nevertheless, many quality examples of the 4-ring brand pop up amongst the hundreds, if not thousands, of modified SUVs and Japanese compact cars.
On display, we found some seriously modified Audis that still remained fairly tasteful. Widebody treatments on A4s and S4s seemed the norm at SEMA, with several known widebodies and some not-so-known widebodies surfacing. One might have been jaded enough to begin considering the amazing bodywork as “typical” due to the number of cars like it there, but that sells the story and these beautiful cars entirely too short.
In the outside exhibit area, we also spotted Zev Barnett’s Avalon Motorsport blue S4 sedan sporting handsome “Fourtitude.com” decals. Zev’s S4 was one of several Audis that could be seen outside the halls as well.
Inside the halls, performance parts for Audis were there for the digging. Neuspeed was on hand with Tangelo Pearl TT to display their wares. Also of note, BorgWarner presented their Air Werks line of turbo upgrades and appear to be offering upgrades for Audis now, while companies such as Hella and EuroStar offer some taillight designs. Dig even deeper and you’ll find oddball products for older cars as well such as Alf Otto’s guage faces for 5000s and the UrQuattro.
Not your typical performance find at SEMA, one product we stumbled across was a fiberglass trailer manufactured by the Second Trunk Trailer Company of Bend, Oregon. Appearing as if made with the rear clip of a B6 A4, the moulded fiberglass trailer is not surprisingly quite the accessory for the B6 owner in need of more space.
Last but not least, Champion Motorsport displayed one of their ALMS dominating R8 prototype racecars, as well as their RS6 Speed GT competitor.
As for Audi themselves, the company has yet to take part in the SEMA Show in an official capacity. Like the rest of the German marques, SEMA has yet to show its worth, though that could change. We heard that several of Audi’s staff were walking the show this year, evaluating future participation. In our opinion, it’s only a matter of time, as this show is entirely too important to the automotive world for the German big three to continue to sit on the sidelines.
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