2021 SEMA Show Returns to Las Vegas, Nevada!
2021 SEMA Show brought the automotive aftermarket back to Las Vegas, Nevada. Manufacturers, vendors, buyers and hardcore enthusiasts supported the event. A burgeoning aftermarket of new products was evident. 4WD Mechanix Magazine focused on the ever expanding 4×4 light truck and SUV aftermarket, fabrication tools and service equipment. The off-road community remains in the limelight at the SEMA Show’s new West Hall filled with 4×4 and SUV overlanding equipment and upgrades.
Launching each SEMA Show is the New Products Breakfast and announcement of the SEMA Awards. For years now, the ‘SUV of the Year’ winner has been the Jeep® Wrangler. The JK/JL Wrangler and JT Gladiator following is immense. Ford’s introduction of the Bronco, however, has restacked the deck. Out of the chute, this model’s potential for modifications, upgrades and eye-grabbing appeal filled the halls at the SEMA Show. One two-door model’s upgrades drew like a neodymium magnet at the Cooper Tires™ booth!
Move over Jeep® Wrangler, you now have serious competition from the new Ford Bronco. Aftermarket vendors and manufacturers are preparing for the surge. Watch the Bronco closely as its popularity spreads. We’ll stay tuned!
Among the 4WD Mechanix Magazine readers and viewers, there is always interest in tool and equipment coverage. There has been an upsurge in DIY work in recent years. Serving every size and type of shop plus serious DIY needs, BendPak’s booth drew professionals and enthusiasts. The newest QuickJack™ systems are popular with independent builders and shops that perform wheel, brake, transmission, differential and quick service without the benefit of a BendPak chassis lift or hoist. (Fully equipped shops use the QuickJack™ for faster wheel-and-tire or light service work.) The BendPak product line serves the entire automotive service community.
Electricity is in the air. Ford Motor Company brought an electric powerplant to the New Products Showcase. Diesel power remains popular with retrofit turbodiesels still the rage. Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers displayed two “resto-mod” FJs complete with turbo-diesel engine transplants. The blend of retro and contemporary is a theme from Ford’s new Bronco to the 4×4 enthusiast/restoration aftermarket.
We always keep inline six-cylinder Jeep® owners in mind, a valued segment of the magazine’s audience. The 4.6L stroker’s popularity has fostered Scat’s recreation of the 4.2L crankshaft. This 4.0L based engine can benefit from the Scat crankshaft and connecting rod kit. Rather than chasing down used AMC/Jeep® crankshafts and rods, a builder can source these new stroker parts from Scat. The snout of this crank is the short version that readily accepts the late crank damper and serpentine belt pulley.
New and Notable Tires for Light Truck and SUV Owners
Tires are a perishable and ongoing consideration. The magazine has stepped up the pace with tire testing and will focus on tires like the new Cooper ‘Discoverer Rugged Trek™’ and Mickey Thompson’s M/T Baja Boss™ T/A and Legend EXP. Our studio/shop is now equipped for tire mounting, balancing and wheel service in house. This assures accurate, consistent tire test results. Expect tests on these leading edge tires in 2022.
Mickey Thompson and Cooper Tire claimed the top three spots in the 2021 SEMA New Product Awards in the Tire and Related Product category. Mickey Thompson’s Baja Legend EXP off-road tire was given the Best New Product Award. Another impressive light truck and SUV tire, Cooper’s Discoverer Snow Claw was named a Runner-Up, a tribute to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s 2021 purchase of these two legendary brands.
- Discoverer Snow Claw – The latest innovation from Cooper in pickup truck and SUV tires built for extreme winter conditions, featuring patented Snow Groove Technology, which allow for grater traction, handling and stopping power. Note: This tire was a Runner-Up in the 2021 SEMA New Product Awards’ Tire and Related Product category.
- Discoverer Rugged Trek* – Initially introduced to consumers in May 2021, Cooper has added Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) designation to eight tires sizes now available at retail. These tires provide increased grip in snow and ice while featuring customizable sidewall designs, a first for any Cooper tire.
- Endeavor and Endeavor Plus – Made available for consumer purchase in September, this new design excels in tread wear, wet performance and steering while functioning well in all seasons, especially during rainy and snowy driving conditions.
- Discoverer EnduraMax – Offers Durable-Tread Technology that helps extend tire tread life and resists wear and tear from rough road conditions. The design provides excellent winter and snow performance with Winter Grip technology that enhances snow traction.
New Products Showcase Packed With Innovation!
The 2021 SEMA Show ‘New Products Showcase’ was the best place to catch the latest and most innovative wheel products, tires, tools, safety equipment and towing devices. This has always been a stop on our SEMA Show to-do list. 2021 did not disappoint. Manufacturers have been busily inventing and manufacturing prototype products. Many leading edge designs launched at the SEMA Show.
Every item in the New Products Showcase deserves attention. Our top picks from the ‘New Product Showcase’ at the 2021 SEMA Show reflect our reader/viewer demographics. If you like tools, light trucks that tow and utility items, you will appreciate our product picks for this year. We applied the same guideline in our 2021 AAPEX Show coverage.
We picked items based on their value to 4×4 maintenance, towing safety and light truck utility. There is no intended slight to the many manufacturers who make new, high quality and innovative products for their end users and market. To appreciate the manufacturers at the leading edge of technology, take your time touring this sampling of new, winning products.
The 2021 SEMA Show and AAPEX Show proved the vibrancy and resilience of the American automotive aftermarket. Large crowds, enthusiasm for new products and every indication that the future is bright, fossil fuel IC engines versus electric motor power did not dominate conversations. Accessories, upgrades and modifications abound regardless of the powertrain. The news is good as these live events return full force.