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Wednesday Coverage | 2023 SEMA Show

We survived the initial flurry of activity and miles of walking on the first day of the 2023 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today we are back at it, and on the prowl seeking the coolest new hardware. While the show is known for its glitz and flash, plenty of performance hardware is on hand, particularly for the Detroit Iron which is near and dear to our ears.


Stay tuned here for the next couple of days to see what we spotted at the show.

Holding court in the Anderson Composites booth at the show is the latest Cruise For A Cause 2024 Mustang Dark Horse. You can win this car in the company’s raffle, which benefits cancer research. It is VIN #3, and it went straight to Anderson Composites, where the company used the car to develop its carbon fiber upgrades for Ford’s first new performance model in decades. There are still a few more upgrades to come for the car, but the Blue Ember beauty looks fantastic with the carbon fiber accents.

Performance and the LS platform go hand in hand, and for those enhancing the output of an LS3 engine COMP Cams developed this Max Lift BSR Shaft Rocker System. Utilizing a single-shaft design, tri-layer bushings, and a durable plasma-nitride finish, these rockers are stiffer so they deliver maximum valve lift, and their durability allows for running a more aggressive cam profile.

If the idea of running a quiet 8.8-inch gear set in your 9-inch rearend housing sounds appealing, Detroit Speed developed this assembled center section to do just that. Based on a 31-spline Eaton Truetrac diff, it employs a nodular iron case, a solid pinion preload spacer, a forged-steel carrier, a 1350 forged-steel yoke, ARP fasteners, and more to get the job done. It can accept ratios ranging from 3.08 to 4.10.

HP Tuners has tuned and datalogger factory engine control units, but the company expanded its offering with a potent, new standalone ECU known as the CORE. Built from the ground up to deliver what tuners and enthusiasts need from a control system, the CORE is tuned via bespoke HP Tuners software. This potent combination delivers robust datalogging and all the expected fuel and ignition tuning. It also supports a wide range of features from flex fuel and dual throttle bodies to boost control and progressive nitrous control.

Electric Power Assist Steering has long been in the OEM toolbox offering a tunable steering experience in modern cars. Now IDIDIT delivers that experience to car builders with EPAS Performance systems and compatible steering columns for a wide range of classic domestic vehicles, including Corvettes, Mustangs, and Tri-Five Chevys. The systems allow you to dial in the amount of steering assist to suit your driving style.

Ford enhanced the performance of the 2024 Mustang GT and Dark Horse with a class-first dual-inlet intake and K&N is ready to unleash even more airflow and power with its new Typhoon Intake System. Based on mandrel-bent aluminum tubing that mounts twin K&N high-flow filters protected by heat shields, this system is said to improve engine output by 18.84 horsepower and 23.04 lb-ft of torque.

There is an influx of new performance gear for Ford’s 7.3-liter Godzilla V8 at this year’s show, geared toward improving engine performance. However, a high-output engine needs a transmission that is up to the task. To support these engines with a TREMEC TKX, TKO, or TR-3550 transmission, Lakewood created this Bellhousing kit. The lightweight, aluminum bell is great for street machine swaps that don’t need full SFI protection.

Speaking of Godzilla engines, MAHLE Motorsport now offers these -20.5cc-dished pistons in its Ford Godzilla 7.3L POWERPAK Piston Set. Built from a 2618 alloy with a hard-anodized top, these rugged slugs are ready for a big blower or turbo boost. 

While they are still in prototype form, Proform will soon offer these fetching alternator upgrades for classic Chevy builds. Not only will they improve the charging performance of your Bow Tie machine, but they will also round out the look of the engine compartment in the process.

The latest offering from the drivetrain specialists at Richmond Gear is the RGI-5 five-speed manual transmission. These units use an internal-rail shifting mechanism with steel shift forks that deliver a positive shift feel. Housed in a compact case for easy fitment, the RGI-5 is available in Ford and GM configurations with a range of gear ratios, including the choice of .82 and .64 overdrive ratios. They are rated to handle as much as 600 lb-ft of torque and five shifter location possibilities make it easy to swap into a range of vehicles.

In addition to slaying tires with Shell in their demo cars in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the RTR Vehicles team were engaged in a live build of a 2024 Mustang RTR Spec 2, which will eventually be sold through Leif Johnson Ford in Texas.

The TH400 is a popular automatic transmission option for drag racing applications. Building one to prep it for drag duty requires rugged internals, and Sonnax offers this TH 400 Heavy Duty Forward Drum. Hewn from chrome-moly steel, it is lightweight — 3 pounds lighter than a steel unit and just 3 ounces heavier than an aluminum piece — while still delivering strength.

Trick Flow unleashed two new cylinder heads for Bow Tie engine fans, including a new 215-degree head for small-block Chevys as well as this new Gen X 225 Cylinder Head for the GM LS2. Featuring an all-new, CNC-machined port and powered metal valve guides engineered to improve performance, these heads are ready to rumble.

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