By on November 2, 2016


For the automotive aftermarket, SEMA is all about showing off the latest and greatest gear, and more often than not that comes in the form of vehicle builds around the Las Vegas Convention Center. There’s everything from mild to wild, but there’s also plenty of trucks and SUVs that go so far over the top that they reach a level of absurdity.

That leads us to this collection of trucks. Although fitted with suspension lifts and aftermarket wheels, in spite of the aggressive tires these trucks and Jeeps at the 2016 SEMA Show will live their lives on asphalt and never see the dirt.


This Ford F-250 is confusing, and the brown-white color scheme is just the start. Think this thing will every sniff the dirt? Can you imagine the paint repair job for just a short trip down a fire road?


‘Merca. Although the patriotism translates, the upgrades certainly don’t translate to the trail.


Ram this 2500 down the trail and you’ll sand blast the $1,000s of chrome off this truck in no time.


Of all the trucks, this Tundra might have the most realistic shot of getting its tires dirty for a second (you know, like dipping your toes in the pool), but all that painted suspension means it’ll live a life in the garage and the show circuit.


Climb into this Wrangler for a mall trip or cruising main street downtown because the only rocks it will ever see are pebbles on the highway.


This Silverado HD dually is chromed to the nines and is complete with murder wheels.


The Denali badging up front takes cues from the first-gen Ford Raptor, but don’t expect any expect the suspension on this bad boy to flex any further than a few inches for curb climb.

This article originally appeared on

[Images: Josh Burns/]

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32 Comments on “Seven Off-Roaders You’ll Never See Off the Asphalt...”

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I just returned from Paris and I didn’t see too many Wranglers.

    That red,white and blue Bastille 4 door Wrangler might see one or two in France.

  • avatar

    Next generation of car show trailer queens!

  • avatar

    A old fashioned Hot Road show looks better

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      These so called “off road” vehicles might be in a designated playground area similar to a McDonalds playground. Just drop off the kids so you and your spouse can take in the serious part of SEMA.

    • 0 avatar

      You clearly don’t go to many high-end Rod shows, because those cars don’t even get left out in direct sunlight.

      Look at the Riddler entries – you would be insane to drive cars with multiple, hand-rubbed coats of paint on underbody components on the street. They literally have mirrors installed on the ground so you can look at that shit.

      This trend exists in pretty much every car sub-culture, it’s just easier to laugh at the BroDozer crowd because they are too thick to understand.

  • avatar

    A collection of utterly, embarrassingly pointless and stupid vehicles. These make an ’80s widebody kit on a 560 SEC in flip-flop paint with golden spoke wheels look positively tasteful.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Everyone needs a pastime. They don’t look purposeful, but tweeny kids might like them.

      • 0 avatar

        Sure, to each their own. I guess.

        But still, I get a strong feeling of “WTF — I don’t even … I mean … WHAT?!” from looking at those pictures. Not even an urge to pour ridicule like I do with rice racers, just complete lack of understanding whatsoever.

        We have a fitting word in German: “sich fremdschämen”, which translates as “to feel ashamed on someone else’s behalf”. You know, like someone you know makes an utter fool of themselves, yet you cannot interfere to save them and are forced to watch. That about sums up the feeling.

        • 0 avatar

          Most of these look like marketing vehicles to me. So once the company builds another one to showcase its latest products these will get sold to someone who may actually put proper tires and wheels on them and use them off road. The tip off is most of them have 8-10″ lift kits designed to run 44″ tires but only have what appear to be 35″ tires. All the better to see all the pieces of the lift kit the company is selling which of course is why they are painted white, chromed ect so you know what is for sale.

          • 0 avatar

            +1 Scoutdude. That is an excellent observation about the builders wanting to show off their wares, not hide them behind tires.

  • avatar

    Their owners must be compensatin’ for something.

    • 0 avatar


      Seemingly having too much money burning a hole in their pockets – problem solved…

    • 0 avatar

      Yep, they don’t like what you like, so condescending remarks about their genitals seems in order.

      Wonder what S-Class and 7 series owners are compensating for?

    • 0 avatar

      Some tiny-peni guy (wife’s words – not mine) owns a F-250 nearly exactly like the one pictured above just down the street from us. One day it was parked at the neighborhood Wally-world and I went up closely to get a good look at it. No surprise – not a single scratch on the body or undercarriage. Definitely confirmed my theory – never. seen. the. off-road. I guess wife was right after all.

  • avatar

    Yay! Look at all those stupid LED light bars! Looks like at least five have them; the two RAMs have two long ones, stacked. Just the thing for blinding oncoming drivers.

    • 0 avatar

      They are useful off-road, and I believe they are “off road use only”.

      No different than a 1980s 4×4 truck with K.C. lights.

      • 0 avatar

        A friend of my dad’s back in vo-tech school in the early ’80s mounted aircraft landing lights on his brand-new Power Ram. They had something like a 24-hour lifespan, but you could scare up every deer in the pasture.

  • avatar

    Wait, we’re stretching off-road tires now? I thought that was done so you could be hella flush, but this is the exact opposite of that.

    I’m lost.

    • 0 avatar

      These have those small diameter tires to better show off the suspension pieces that these trucks were built to sell.

      • 0 avatar

        I hadn’t thought of that. You’re probably right. I’m not sure that’s the best way to do it though. All I see when I look at these is a way to modify your truck so that it’s useless both on-road and off.

        But I have a mechanical engineering degree, so I suppose I’m about as far from their target market as it gets.

  • avatar
    Mr. Orange

    A very misleading headline considering 4 of the seven are actually not sitting on asphalt.

  • avatar

    Proof reading anybody?

  • avatar

    Yeah so they’re useless for most of fhe things god intended, but that’s not my problem. I don’t have a problem with them and do enjoy the artistry and mods taken to the extreme. It give me ideas and showcases new products I might get for my own truck, on a much lower level.

  • avatar

    That thar be some premium bradozers, bra.

  • avatar

    Eh, SEMA goes so far off the deep end that it’s hard to get self-righteous about them. Nobody there is under any illusion that their stuff would ever be taken off-road anyway.

  • avatar

    Check the craigslist pages around Houston and Dallas to see these people trying to sell those trucks for $90k by saying it’s a “sema build,” as if that’s a good thing.

    Those wheels and tires are domestic rice; tires stretched out to match their anus.

    • 0 avatar

      You aren’t kidding. We have them here in the OKC and Tulsa areas as well. There are only slightly-less customized versions in front of suburban 3-car garages (they won’t fit in the doors) all over.

      Actual trails are getting harder and harder to find and use, and taking your shiny sedan Wrangler to Disney (off road park, not the mouse) just results in broken axles, so I guess this is the natural offshoot?

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    Jeepers call rigs like these “Mall-rated.”

  • avatar

    When I was a kid, I wanted to run a set of tires like that, or at least the ones on the blue Tundra, on my Tamiya Blackfoot R/C truck to make it look more like a “stadium truck”.

    Running those on a REAL truck, especially one that is also lifted, just looks dumb. However, as Scoutdude pointed out above, the point is probably for vendors to show off their products, which are truck suspension parts, not tires.

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