2002 SEMA: GM’s Massive Outing

November 6, 2002

Get it all: 2002 SEMA Show Coverage (11/6/2002)
Has SEMA been conquered? From the vast display of GM vehicles both from the company and from allied tuners, one might be led to believe it’s at least had a flag or two planted in its backside.

This year’s display of 39 vehicles from General Motors made the company’s latest credo plainly clear — the company intends to become the platform of choice for tuners and aftermarket modifiers. It may be working: GM claims that more than 300 GM vehicles have been modified by it and other tuners and are on display in Las Vegas.

With vehicles on display from nearly all its divisions —Chevrolet, Cadillac, Pontiac and Saturn were represented, and even newly minted Hummer had an idea to spin on the SEMA crowds — GM’s Gary Cowger says the company is out to prove its commitment to the aftermarket crowds gathered at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Brand by brand, the GM vehicles on display showed included the following:

CADILLAC

The Escalade EXTm is a Spinal Tap truck if ever there were. Ebony Diamond paint is paired with an all-black interior in this concept, based on the 2003 Cadillac Escalade EXT and a preview of the vehicles you’ll see being piloted in the upcoming sequel The Matrix Reloaded. Black leather inside and black chrome trim get 22-inch ASA TRS II wheels with Pirelli V-rated performance tires. A power tonneau cover and power-release tailgate outside and a Bose premium music system and a six-disc CD changer with XM Satellite Radio. The powerplant is a supercharged and intercooled Vortec 6.0-liter V-8 pumping out over 500 horsepower and 500-plus lbs.-ft. of torque. Full-time all-wheel drive is standard. The same idea works on the CTSm, too.

2002 Cadillac DTS Icon Concept

2002 Cadillac DTS Icon Concept

The DTS Icon morphs the steamer-ship Caddy into an executive lounge. New interior lighting brightens up the rear-seat workspace, and twin LCD screens are integrated into the front seatbacks. OnStar telematics and a Bose premium sound system keep the infotainment coming, while entire meetings could be catered from the Icon’s heated and cooled cupholders and tray tables. Wireless headphones and wired-in 110v outlets complete the package in back.
2002 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum concept

2002 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum concept

Caddy’s Escalade ESV Platinum concept doles out luxury gear to large-capacity SUV drivers. A cashmere headliner complements ebony leather, silver and walnut trim. A Bose audio system has a six-disc changer and XM Satellite Radio; the nav system is DVD, of course. The grille is sterling silver, and the 20-inch Kruz "Whitney" wheels are silverplated like teapots.

CHEVROLET

Chevy’s sprawling product lineup will get a common thread in the form of two letters: SS. Those historic initials, worn by some of the brand’s most revered muscle cars, is coming back as the signifier for Chevy’s new range of performance vehicles.

2003 Chevrolet Silverado Regular Cab SS

2003 Chevrolet Silverado Regular Cab SS

The 2003 Silverado SS extended cab is the first production vehicle in the new range, but others are sure to follow. Could the Silverado Regular Cab SS be one? It gets a 395-hp V-8 in concept form, a six-speed manual transmission and a Centerforce clutch, plain-jane seats, manual steering and rubber floor mats.
2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS concept

2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS concept

The TrailBlazer SS concept brings the strong-selling SUV into more muscular territory. Somehow, a 345-hp 6.0-liter V-8 is wedged under its hood and teamed to a heavy-duty four-speed automatic. Underneath, new springs lower the truck two inches; 20-inch Budnick wheels boost its profile, along with four-piston brake calipers.

The Tahoe SS relies on rear-wheel drive to transmit its power to the road. Chevy calls the 345-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 package “production ready,” down to the suspension derived from the Chevy police package and a new set of wheels and body fairings. Leather upholstery and white-faced gauges are common to other SS models, as is the black paint shroud and revised fascia.

2002 Chevrolet SST concept

2002 Chevrolet SST concept

Clad in bright orange instead, the Silverado SST is a striking, smoothed-out four-door truck with a shortened wheelbase and a carbon-fiber hood. The Corvette influences are duly noted: there’s a 480-hp 6.6-liter V-8 with a six-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential on loan from the sports car. The suspension is all independent, with front and rear air springs; anti-lock brakes are fitted to the four-wheel discs.

2002 Chevrolet Lucchese Suburban concept

2002 Chevrolet Lucchese Suburban concept

The Lucchese Suburban does for Chevy what the King Ranch does for Ford’s F-150 — gives it “remote Crawford ranch” appeal. This ‘Burban wears lovely leather inside and sterling silver trim on its grille, tow hooks and door handles. A slick revamp of the Suburban’s front end matches the sleek ostrich leather interior, which is also trimmed in walnut. In back, a walnut Truckvault storage system features two deep wooden drawers integrated beneath the rear cargo floor. An 8.1-liter V-8 with 460 hp slots in the engine bay.

2002 Chevrolet Cavalier supercharged concept

2002 Chevrolet Cavalier supercharged concept

A 262-hp Cavalier? The Ecotec-powered Cavalier shown here gets supercharging to reach the near-mythic mark. Forged pistons and titanium con rods enable the power, as does the Z24 suspension package and four-wheel disc brakes. Axis-Hagen 19-inch wheels and a 1.75-inch drop complete the Cavalier boost job.
2002 Chevrolet Cavalier 2.2 Sport Turbo concept

2002 Chevrolet Cavalier 2.2 Sport Turbo concept

Another Ecotec Cavalier hits a slightly lower mark — but still puts out 220 hp, more than any Cavalier than before. The Cavalier 2.2 Sport Turbo puts the power through a five-speed manual gearbox. A Borla exhaust complements three-piece Racing Hard 19 x 7.5-inch wheels and TOYO Proxes FZ-4 P225/35R19 tires. New front and rear-end styling and a ram-air hood scoop match up with a rear spoiler and clear taillamps.

GMC

GMC’s lineup of trucks gets modified often enough by owners. This time around, GMC is doing the modifications itself, and at SEMA, two trucks showed their allegiance to the home-improvement crowd and to the professionals that GMC grades itself against.

2002 GMC Sierra Landscaper Pro concept

2002 GMC Sierra Landscaper Pro concept

The Sierra Landscaper Pro is based on the Sierra pickup with Quadrasteer, but with key features to make putting in fall pansies much easier. Dual loading ramps alleviate mulch back, while a Warn bed-mounted winch makes it easier to load a riding mower or tiller into the bed. A Lyco Loader power tailgate picks up 500 pounds of peat moss (or five Kate Moss?) and the entire bed wears spray-in bedliner protection. Inside the console gets all sorts of outlets for cell phones, laptops, and 7-Eleven coffee, and spill-proof seat fabric, too.
2002 GMC Savana Installer pro concept

2002 GMC Savana Installer pro concept

The tool gear for the Landscaper is supplied by Home Depot, as are the pieces supplied to the Savana Installer Pro. That cargo van speaks in megawatts to electricians, who will savor its all-wheel-drive chassis and wireless networking with advanced job-tracking software. Stainproof seat fabric, rubberized interior paint and a ladder rack finish off the project van.

HUMMER

2002 Hummer H2 Upscale concept

2002 Hummer H2 Upscale concept

The sole Hummer entry at SEMA, the Upscale Performance H2, carries a trump card in its considerable portfolio: a 450-hp supercharged V-8. Luxurious interior trim includes alloy metals and carbon trim, and leather trim that could make its way into the 2004 version of the H2. Seventeen-inch polished wheels and 37-inch tires complement Fabtech/Fox suspension mods front and rear.

PONTIAC

2002 Pontiac GXP Concepts

2002 Pontiac GXP Concepts

Pontiac’s performance intentions for the future amount to three letters: GXP. The brand will launch the newly minted family of performance variants in 2004, with the introduction of a new Bonneville GXP powered by a new 4.4-liter, 280-hp version of the Northstar V-8. At SEMA, the GXP family included concepts for the rest of the vehicles in the current Pontiac lineup, some looking more than production ready.
2002 Pontiac Bonneville GXP concept

2002 Pontiac Bonneville GXP concept

The 2004 Bonneville GXP is breathing through a 32-valve V-8 engine in its GXP iteration. New front and rear fascias and gallons of black paint grace the sleek concept, which Pontiac says will be modified somewhat before it enters production late in 2003.

A supercharged version of its stock 1.8-liter four-cylinder is shown in the Vibe GXP, making 35 percent more power than the stock motor. Lower ride height, 18-inch forged aluminum wheels and ceramic-coated brake calipers make it the toughest Vibe this side of Snoop Dogg.

The Grand Prix GXP also gets its suspension lowered, but the powerplant underhood is considerably larger — a 285-hp version of the 3800 V-6. Like the other GXP concepts it gets shadow-black paint, new instruments with metallic bezels, a more tightly tuned suspension and beefy brakes.

Pontiac’s Grand Am GXP delivers much of the same bite with a 275-hp supercharged V-6 and a better flowing exhaust system.

And the last concept in the new family, the Sunfire GXP sports a 180-hp supercharged Ecotec four with revamped instruments, metallic interior trim and a lowered suspension.

2002 Pontiac Sunfire American Tuner concept

2002 Pontiac Sunfire American Tuner concept

Elsewhere, Pontiac’s Sunfire American Tuner show car addresses the needs of modifieds who might not be able to outlay the initial $12,000 or $15,000 for a basic compact. Loosely styled after the GTOs, the pieces are penned to fit existing Sunfires from 1995-2002. They include a spoiler, new rocker panels, side exhausts and a supercharger that boosts the engine to 190 hp.

SATURN

2002 Saturn ION EFX concept

2002 Saturn ION EFX concept

Saturn’s portfolio of aftermarket and tuner cars will be growing, according to GM officials. While the 200+hp ION tuner Quad Coupe won’t be out until early 2004, all the pieces on the ION EFX concept will be available through Saturn retailers starting next year. Those pieces include ground effects, aluminum pedals, carbon-fiber-look roof rails, a rear spoiler and lowering suspension springs contribute to the tuner-look package. The 140-hp Ecotec four in the ION gets HKS performance exhausts, too.
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