The annual SEMA show in Las Vegas may be a trade show for the automotive aftermarket, but it’s also become an important place for automakers to show off. Unlike conventional auto shows, the concept vehicles unveiled at SEMA aren’t built to show off future styling or technology, they’re just built to be cool.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is out in force at SEMA 2016, with no less than six customized vehicles representing models past and present. That includes the Dodge Shakedown Challenger, a classic 1971 Dodge Challenger with some modern touches. It’s got a 485-horsepower Hemi V8, mated to the six-speed manual transmission from a Viper. Stopping power comes courtesy of the Brembo brakes from a Challenger SRT Hellcat. The Shakedown borrows headlights and taillights from a 2017 Challenger as well.
Taking the concept of blending old and new parts even further is the Jeep CJ66. It combines a 1966 Jeep CJ body with the frame from a Wrangler TJ (the version built from 1997 to 2006), along with some styling elements from a current-generation Wrangler JK. The Franken-Jeep rides on 35-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tires, with a 2.0-inch lift kit and beefed up axles straight out of FCA’s Mopar parts catalog.
FCA also brought a couple of modern trucks, including the Ram Macho Power Wagon. This rolling pile of testosterone is based the Ram Power Wagon off-road truck, and features enhancements like a 4.0-inch lift kit and 37-inch Nitto Trail Grappler MT tires. Focused more on on-road performance, the Dodge Durango Shaker features a 6.4-liter Hemi V8, similar to the one used in various FCA SRT performance models. It’s possible this concept previews a future Durango SRT.
It’s kind of hard to turn a Ram ProMaster delivery van or Chrysler Pacifica minivan into a performance vehicle, so FCA didn’t bother. The Ram ProMaster pit stop is a bar on wheels, complete with keg storage and four onboard taps. The Chrysler Pacifica Cadence is basically a showcase for accessories available for Chrysler’s recently-redesigned minivan, from a surfboard carrier to custom 20-inch wheels.
FCA’s gaggle of concept cars should attract plenty of attention on the SEMA show floor, and some of their less-crazy features may even make it to production as factory options or accessories.
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