SEMA Names Hottest Car, Sport Compact, Truck, and 4x4s for 2012

SEMA Awards

The annual SEMA Show, as you may know, is all about customization. Taking a car and making it your own. And it’s an enormous industry. Unfortunately, it seems like every year that passes, vehicles become less customizable. Look at the American musclecars of the 60s and 70s for example. They were so simple – anybody with some basic mechanical knowledge and a willingness to learn (and make mistakes) could do whatever they damn well wanted to their cars with little consequence.

Nowadays though, it’s a lot tougher. The more computers that manufacturers put on their cars (and there are a LOT of computers in new cars,) the more difficult it is to tinker with them. That leaves us, the garage-mechanics who just want to replace a few parts here and turn a few dials there, in a tough spot.

Luckily, there are still a few manufacturers out there that build vehicles that allow us to mess around with them under the hood. It’s still not as easy as it used to be, and it never will be. But for now, at least, we still have a few options.

That’s why SEMA put together their annual “Hottest” award in four categories, telling us which car, sport compact, truck, and 4×4 SUV are the most “tuner-friendly.”

So, how are these winners determined? Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO, tells us: “The SEMA Award helps guide consumers toward the hottest-trending and most accessory friendly vehicles on the market. Our SEMA Show exhibitors are industry visionaries who determine the winners of the SEMA Award based on the vehicles they showcase in their booths. Each booth vehicle represents a ‘vote’ and the most prominent models in each category are the winners.” Easy enough to calculate, no judges needed. So, who are the winners?

Hottest Car: Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet

Right, act like your surprised. There are more parts and accessories available for this car than there are cars available to buy. Even Ford can’t seem to stop making new and special editions of it.

Hottest Sport-Compact: Scion FR-S (Toyota GT86)

Scion FR-S 2012 SEMA Tuner Challenge

This is good news, because I wants me an FR-S. Or a Subie BRZ…haven’t decided yet. Brings me back to the good ol’ days of the early 90s, where small, front-engine, RWD sports cars were still cool (they were never not cool, BTW.) I’m hoping to see lots of new products for this car, and I don’t mean a crapload of steering wheels, stickers, and wheels.

Hottest Truck: Ford F-Series

Ford F150 by Truckin

No surprise here either, the F-Series is the most popular truck in the world, by far. And rightfully so. I’m alright with people customizing this thing, just please leave off the Truck Nutz. Seriously.

Hottest 4×4-SUV: Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Sand Trooper concept

Another good choice – I’m not much of a 4×4 guy, but if I were to buy one, I’d go straight to the Wrangler.

What do you think of the winners? Do you think they got it right?

Chris Burdick

Chris Burdick

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Hi! I founded Automoblog.net in May of 2006. I'm an avid sports car and supercar enthusiast. My favorite cars include the Audi R8, Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT, and Koenigsegg CCX. I think the Ferrari 360 Spider is still one of the most beautiful cars in existence. For “normal” cars, I tend to lean towards imports - Nissan, Audi, and of course the Italians. I'm in love with my Pearl Yellow (don't judge) 1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo and plan to get around 550 HP to the rear wheels one day. I'm also a world traveler and have been backpacking Europe since March 2012, writing about cars along the way
Chris Burdick

@Automoblog

The car blog where auto enthusiasts mouth off to one another
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