Watts Up: EV News of the Week For November 4, 2022

The big news this week, for just about everyone who exists in and around the automotive industry, was SEMA. The world’s largest automotive trade show has, once again, descended on Las Vegas and brought with it thousands of vendors and exhibitors, each vying to outdo the others with increasingly wild displays of automotive excess.

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Nissan Shows Z GT4 at SEMA

The SEMA news comes unabated. Add Nissan to the number of brands that took the wraps off some new hotness in Vegas.

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Ford Goes All Out for SEMA 2022

While there is no shortage of digital ink being spilled about the viability of traditional auto shows, it seems that some events remain worth the effort. Witness the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas, an industry-only bash originating as a trade show for aftermarket suppliers but since ballooning to a multi-day event drawing attendance from all corners.

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Borla Developing Customizable “Exhaust System” for EVs

Borla Exhaust is a staple at SEMA and usually has some new product on hand. However, they’re usually supposed to be attached to vehicles sporting a combustion engine, making the Ford Mach-E that’s taken pole position at the company’s display area feel like a prank. Though it isn’t. The all-electric model needed to be there so Borla could show off its all-new “exhaust" kit that relies on speakers to make noise. 

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VW Brings Jetta GLI Performance Concept to SEMA

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI has long been the middle ground in performance for people who wanted a Golf GTI but needed sedan legroom. At this year’s SEMA Show, however, VW is giving the car its due with a motorsport-inspired concept car. Given its stated goal of going electric, it's unlikely we'll ever see this car in production, but it would be a great day for enthusiasts if it did.

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Dodge Puts Horsepower Numbers to Charger Daytona SRT Concept

Earlier this year, the speed freaks at Dodge rolled out their Charger Daytona SRT Concept car, an all-electric glimpse into the brand’s future. At the time much noise (literal and figurative) was made about its style and so-called Fratzonic chambered exhaust – the latter remains the source of much debate.


What they didn’t tell us were power numbers – until now.

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Ford Bronco Now Available With Factory V8 Power

Did that headline grab your attention? As proponents of unmuffled V8 engines, it certainly grabbed ours. Gearheads have been shouting for an eight-cylinder Bronco ever since the first sketches of the Wrangler-fighter appeared all those years ago. Yesterday, in the desert near Las Vegas, Ford finally introduced such a rig.

There’s a catch, of course: the Bronco DR is strictly meant for off-road racing. And it’ll cost a cool quarter-mil.

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Rare Rides: The Gorgeous Foose Speedbird, a 2002 SEMA Winner

Today’s Rare Ride is a one-of-one – a light gold metallic and roof-free speedster. Underneath its considerably revised bodywork is none other than a 2002 Ford Thunderbird, a car Rare Rides has covered previously.

This very special Chip Foose design won at least one award in its day, and now it’s for sale (though not in Florida as one might expect.) Let’s check it out.

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SEMA Vs. the EPA's Attempt to Outlaw Race Cars

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is embroiled in a lawsuit with Gear Box Z, Inc., contending that the Clean Air Act (CAA), doesn’t allow you to convert your street car into a competition-only race vehicle.

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Is the Auto Aftermarket Healthy? SEMA Says Yes

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, has released its Fall 2020 State of the Industry report, which denotes the health of the automotive aftermarket despite the disruption caused by COVID-19. This report provides companies with the information needed to make good business decisions, not to put a positive spin on a time of uncertainty.

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Sacrilicious: Chevrolet Builds Bolt-powered K5 Blazer for SEMA

Chevrolet plans on showcasing a 1977 K5 Blazer converted over to all-electric propulsion for SEMA360, foreshadowing the Electric Connect and Cruise package General Motors hopes on selling in the latter of 2021. But it would first like to take the public’s temperature on the concept by surveying SEMA attendees interested in building their own electric projects before finalizing its “eCrate” offering.

That makes the modified Chevrolet Blazer-E a proof of concept to help customers realize what kind of projects might be possible and get the creative juices flowing — something which never seems to carry over when it comes to naming EVs.

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The 2020 SEMA Show Is Toast

Big gatherings of people who’ve traveled from across the country — and globe — continue to be unpopular, and for very obvious reasons. So it’s no shock to hear that the 2020 edition of the popular Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show will not go ahead as planned.

Scheduled for early November, the show, as in past years, would have provided the usual catnip for the aftermarket crowd. Assembled at the Las Vegas Convention Center, they’d ooh and ah over the latest accessories on offer from aftermarket manufacturers and OEMs alike. Organizers claim they still haven’t decided what, if anything, will take its place.

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The (SEMA) Show Must Go On

Spending the last three months chronicling every every single cancellation related to the coronavirus hasn’t been any more enjoyable than reading about it. And, while we apologize for putting you though that, there honestly isn’t much else to report on when every manufacturer on the planet suddenly enters into a panicked lockdown. Thankfully, we seem to be nearing the end of being forced to issue updates on the latest cancelled soirée you had your hopes set on attending.

Despite automotive trade shows being canceled in Detroit, Geneva, and Paris this year, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show scheduled for November is still on. We may also see the New York Auto Show, which was rescheduled, take place in August — assuming the Javits Center remains underutilized for COVID patients through the summer and NYC doesn’t see a sudden spike in infection rates. However, SEMA is the first major event that seems like a sure thing in the automotive realm and, boy, are we glad to hear it.

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Ahead to the Past: DeLorean Production Could Start Next Year

DeLorean’s plan to produce updated versions of its only model has been delayed due to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) dragging its feet on the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act. The car was supposed to be here as a turnkey classic years ago, but the regulator failed to act after the 2016 election. The NHTSA doesn’t currently have an administrator, and the acting administrator would not sign off on the regulations. Vintage automobiles probably aren’t very important to an agency that’s also trying to manage autonomous and electric vehicles.

However, the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act was supposed to be the keystone in allowing DeLorean and the like to assemble new cars. Noticing three years had passed with no progress, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) decided to sue the NHTSA last fall. James Espey, vice president of DeLorean Motor Company, has taken this as a good sign — and he believes the company could start production in 2021.

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Rare Rides: The Very Special 1998 Ford Expedition SeaScape

There’s nothing especially unique about a first-generation Ford Expedition, given that the company sold hundreds of thousands of them in the late Nineties. But things get a bit more exciting when the Expedition in question was a custom build for SEMA.

So today let’s remember the boat times, with this 1998 SeaScape.

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  • Jeff S E-Vettes are coming to your nearest Chevrolet dealership. I reserve judgement on this I will have to see these and see the pricing. So far Lyriq is about the only GM vehicle I have any interest in.
  • Kukala J. Machus GM has an extensive history of bad decisions.....and it continues.
  • FreedMike Assumption: GM is making this "brand" into a Porsche competitor, which I think is a great idea. The problem is how to fit a Porsche-esque dealer experience into a Chevy dealership. I don't see that happening - the hoity-toity types who buy Porsches aren't going to want to rub elbows with the brodozer and "get me bought on a Trax with my 530 score" crowd. The ideal situation would be a standalone store, or a Tesla-esque "boutique" store. I also could see this being an add to Cadillac stores. The problem is that I don't see the Chevy dealers who currently make money selling Corvettes giving up the business willingly.So, unless GM comes up with some kind of separate sales channel for this, I vote thumbs down on viability.
  • Stuart de Baker Wyoming is the 9th largest state, but has the lowest population of any state, and so with ~580,000, it's the most sparsely populated state. Of course they're not interested in EVs. And the ranges do tank in the frigid Wyoming winters. Anyone who is in a one car family, and drives long distances with any frequency, is not going to be buying an EV at this point. I'm saying this as someone who thinks that global warming is the biggest, most urgent problem humanity faces right now, and I live in the Boston area. But I'm a one car person, I drive long distances multiple times a year, and I love my Civic (stick).
  • Michael500 It will flop like the Corvette boat did. The bankrupt GM management will probably rebadge a Volt/Cobalt/Sunbird/Vega and think everyone will like it.