Advance auto zone blog about fast cars and auto trader

Advance auto zone blog about cool fast cars, and auto trader



Messin’ in Essen: We take a peek at ‘Euro-SEMA’

To really see every booth at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in family-friendly Las Vegas, you would need three days and 24 hours in each day. But this is Essen, Germany, and one dense eight-hour shift will do. Even so, the Essen motor show grows a little every year and is bound to soon overreach its humble home in the Messe Essen—a similar story to what has happened with SEMA.

This year Volkswagen once again increased its serious involvement, loaning several Golf GTIs for customization and tuning. And, just as with the increased manufacturer presence at SEMA, VW also introduced three new production models—the Audi Q7 S-line, S4 convertible and VW Polo Cross.

Other manufacturers getting more involved included Mazda with a specially trimmed RX-8 Contest, Suzuki with a Grand Vitara Baja edition, and Toyota with a revved- up 214-hp Corolla TS Compressor with a force-fed 1.8-liter VVT-Li— the same engine used in the latest Lotus Elise and Exige, only better.

Along with the GTI, cars of choice for upgrades were: Mazda 3 five-door, BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 Sportback, Porsche Cayman S, Nissan 350Z and Volvo S40.

For sheer fun there are the Pirelli PZero tires in red designed by Ferrari tuner Novitec. It’s hard to imagine anyone buying these and messing them up on the street, but kids have been doing it for years on BMX bikes. So who’s to say?

Perennial favorite Germany’s Tuner Shop came through again with a 1969 Mercedes 220 D hearse, tricked out with a chain-link lowrider steering wheel and a coffin in back that opened to reveal one of the finest sound systems at the show.

One last thing that could recommend Essen even over SEMA is the lack of uptightness in Europe regarding gratuitous showing of the female midriff and sternum area. There’s more every year to attract the boys, while SEMA is inevitably cracking down on the naughty bits.

It’s the little things that make a show a show.

© autoweek.com

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