This year’s edition of the SEMA Show saw the debut of several Fiat Chrysler custom builds and concepts, such as the Dodge Challenger Shakedown and Speedhunters’ Dodge Dart, so we decided to count down our five favorites.
Our favorite vehicle on the show floor at the Las Vegas Convention center this year was Speedhunters’ 1975 Dodge Dart. The muscle car blends American and Japenese styling tastes, resulting in a mash-up that would look as at home in a tiny Japanese workshop as it would driving down Route 66.
The Dart is also powered by Mopar’s new 5.7-liter HEMI V8 crate engine, which it debuted alongside its new 6.4-liter V8 crate engine at the show. In Speedhunters’ Dart, the engine is connected to a four-speed manual transmission and sending just shy of 400 horsepower to the rear wheels.
The star of Mopar’s booth at SEMA was the Challenger Shakedown, which is basically Mopar’s attempt at creating a pro touring muscle car. The Shakedown is based off of a 1971 Dodge Challenger, but it has been modernized with a slew of Dodge performance parts.
The highlight of those modern performance upgrades is a 485 horsepower 6.4-liter crate HEMI V8 engine, which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission from the Dodge Viper. Other parts from the Dodge performance portfolio on the Shakedown include the wheels and brakes from a Challenger Hellcat, the headlamps and taillights from a 2017 Challenger and the seats and steering wheel from a Viper.
Professional drifter Ryan Tuerck and sponsors Gumout and GoPro sort of stole the show at SEMA this year with Tuerck’s Ferrari V8-powered Toyota GT86. The car, which has been dubbed the ‘GT4586’, started out as a standard GT86 but was transformed into a tire-smoking drift missile by swapping the old four-banger for the V8 from a Ferrari 458.
You have to appreciate any build that features a swapped Ferrari engine as it’s so rarely seen. Even at SEMA, the home of wild and outrageous custom car builds, seeing a car with a Ferrari V8 stuffed under the hood is very uncommon. Here’s to hoping we’ll see the GT4586 in action during the 2017 U.S. Formula Drift season.
The Jeep Wrangler CJ66 makes our list of favorite SEMA cars for 2016 for one very simple reason: it’s a V8-powered Jeep Wrangler. Jeep fans have been clamoring for a V8 Wrangler for years and while not a production car, the CJ66 is exactly the type of SUV those enthusiasts want.
Not only does the CJ66 house a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 under its hood, it features retro styling thanks to the 1966 CJ universal Tuxedo Park body. The body has been brought into the 21st century somewhat with a hood that resembled the current day Rubicon’s along with modern-day beadlock wheels, Mopar Wrangler bumpers and modern Jeep headlights and taillights.
The Dodge Durango Shaker Concept has made our list as we see it as near-production. Spy shots of a Durango with a performance front fascia were spied earlier this year and rumors that a Durango SRT are inbound have all but confirmed its eventual arrival.
The Durango Shaker features Dodge’s 485 horsepower 6.4-liter V8 engine, along with the special Shaker hood scoop from the Dodge Challenger 392 Scat Pack. Other upgrades include a performance wheels and brakes, different front and rear fascias, and a center-exit exhaust system. We’ll find out which of these upgrade parts the production Durango SRT will wear, if any, when it debuts early next year.