Get it all: 2002 SEMA Show Coverage (11/6/2002)
The sport-compact car culture from nearby California has always had a convenient outlet in Las Vegas — and this year’s SEMA show proved that, if anything, Japan’s automakers are more committed than ever to keeping the sport-compact crowd enthralled.
Now, the SEMA show has been a tradition for Asia’s automakers for as long as tuners have been manhandling Civics and Sentras and wedging impossible amounts of power into them. But the flourish of tuners and factory efforts made previous shows seem slight.
With more manufacturers showing more of their own “aftermarket” efforts than ever, the Japanese brands made a showy splash with new packages and pieces coming to dealers and to their accessories outfits. Grouped by manufacturer, here’s just some of what they brought:
Honda’s longstanding support of after-factory racing has led to more bits and pieces for its performance coupes — and for the Accord Coupe, which the company is ladling with far more post-factory attention than in the past.The ’03 Accord Coupe’s Factory Performance (FP) package brings better suspension pieces, as well as 17-inch wheels and tires and unique body trim. The suspension pieces lower the ride height by about an inch, and tighter shocks are said to cut body roll. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels get 50-series tires, and the underbody gets smoother airflow with the addition of an underbody kit. It goes on sale, Honda says, in early 2003 for less than $5000. The Accord FP package will join the Civic EX FP and Acura RSX Type-S FP packages on the Honda/Acura showroom floors, and gets the standard Honda three-year/36,000-mile warranty.
2002 Honda Accord Coupe ConceptEnlarge Photo
2003 Honda Civic Si ConceptEnlarge Photo
2002 Honda Civic Si MugenEnlarge Photo
2003 Acura RSX Type-S FPEnlarge Photo
In addition to their RSX Type-S FP package, Acura also showed a CL Type-S unlike any you’ll find in a showroom. The supercharged concept gets body flares, a six-speed manual gearbox and a Comptech supercharger for its V-6 engine. Horsepower is quoted at 312; 19-inch wheels and tires channel that power to the ground, in theory.
2003 Mazdaspeed ProtegeEnlarge Photo