Coming up with our Top 10 Jeeps of the 2016 SEMA Show was not easy. There were hundreds of Jeeps on the floors of the show halls, and plenty more in the outside display areas. And while we may not all agree on what and why, the massive number of Jeep vehicles we saw had to be winnowed down to two handfuls. So cue the drumroll, and here it is: our picks for the top 10 Jeeps of the 2016 SEMA Show. Tell us what you like and don’t like; and if you have something in your driveway, garage, shop, or barn that you think should made this collection, post a photo and some information about it in the comments section below this article.
WRANGLER JK M7
One of the Jeeps at the 2016 SEMA Show that got a lot of attention was the red M7 conversion from Bawarrion. For the most part this a standard Euro-issue Wrangler JK Rubicon with the 2.8L diesel engine. It deviates from there. Obviously, the most impressive part is the company’s M7 fiberglass front clip conversion that includes the hood, grille, and fenders. This rig also sported the company’s 8.5x17-inch beadlock wheels with 40x13.50/17 Maxxis Trepador tires. An AEV 4.5-inch suspension lift kit, AEV front bumper, and Warn 9500 winch are also onboard.
OUR KIND OF EV
Here’s the choice that no doubt we will take the most guff over. The E-AV (Electric Adventure Vehicle) 2012 JK is, yes, you guessed it, electric motor powered. It was outfitted with a full round of equipment and upgrades from Poison Spyder, Smittybilt, Pro Comp (showing off the new Pro Comp 40 MTs), and G2 Axle & Gear, but the thing that really grabbed our attention was the electric power unit under the hood. That box is a direct bolt-in replacement to the JK frame, and comes with its own single ratio gear reduction (2.7:1) transmission that hooks right up to the stock JK transfer case. The motor and trans weigh about the same as the factory parts it replaces, and it produces a flat line of approximately 200 pound/feet of torque right from the start.
We had to throw this into the mix, it was just too cool to ignore. Built by the guys from RoamR, this ’87 Grand Wagoneer with a ’65 rhino grill is set up for overlanding with a Freespirit roof-top tent. Mechanicals include a 360ci EFI V-8, MetalCloak “Locked N’ Loaded” builder kit suspension lift, Fox 12-inch coilovers took the place of the leaf springs, and Grid wheels and 35-inch Toyo tires sit on the ends of the Dana 44s. In addition, Rhino Chaser features modified Rugged Ridge front and rear bumpers, and side steps, as well as many other upgrades and mods. Stay tuned for more on this custom Wagy.
Built to show things to come in the near future, the Harbinger carries a number of TeraFlex products, as well as quite a few other goodies. Highlights of this built JK include a TeraFlex’s S/T3 suspension system, adjustable Flexarms, front dual-rate S/T swaybar, HD tire rod and link, and the company’s new Falcon Series 3.3 adjustable piggyback shocks and Falcon Nexus EF 2.2 adjustable stabilizer. BFGoodrich KO2 37-inch tires are wrapped around Raceline Avenger 17x9-inch wheels, and a Warn Zeon Platinum 10S winch sits in the TeraFlex Epic front hoop bumper.
This 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK AEV 20th Anniversary Edition was used to display a full complement of upgrades from one of the premier manufacturers of parts and accessories for Jeeps. First and foremost was the AEV 6.4L Hemi conversion. After that, it gets less exciting, yet still interesting. The rig featured a front bumper, rear bumper with tire carrier, slid plate, heat reduction hood, snorkel, fuel caddy, diff covers, rear corner guards, rear splash guards, and roof rack, all from AEV and available for your JK. Underneath was an AEV 4.5-inch DualSport RS suspension system, and AEV Borah beadlocks (in satin bronze) with 37-inch BFGoodrich M/T tires.
What can you say about the SEMA Show vehicles that have been built by Hauk Designs over the last few years except that they are incredibly creative, and they draw more attention than the swimsuit portion of a beauty pageant. This year’s Hauk expression went with an Old West theme and carried it to the extreme. The 1948 Willys Pickup received an 8-inch stretch and 2-inch chop to the cab. An 11-inch stretch to the engine bay accommodates a 12-valve Cummins diesel. The entire rig was then treated to a custom faux aged finish, and decked out with details such as hand-engraved filigree panels, aged antique walnut bed, custom leather interior, Colt .45 Peacemaker door handles, and turn-of-the-century motorcycle headlights.
JEEP JK/XJ PATHKILLER
The Cherokee/Wrangler blend done by Greg Henderson looks pretty mild, and although there’s no custom linked suspension system, 40-inch knobby tires, crazy custom wheels, or screaming engine mods, what there is to get excited about is the simply amazing sheetmetal craftsmanship Henderson has on display. Using absolutely no bondo and relying exclusively on metal cutting, welding, and finishing skills, the cabin of a 2014 Jeep JK Wrangler Rubicon and the nose of a 2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ have been seamlessly blended so perfectly that you can’t believe your eyes when you first get a glance at the rig. There is a long list of assorted parts and accessories featured on the JK/XJ, which are far too many to regale here. However, keep your eyes peeled for a full feature at a later date.
From the mind of Mel Wade and his Off Road Evolution (EVO) team came the 2017 Jeep JK Wrangler he nicknamed Spicy Chicken. Under that gorgeous sheetmetal is an EVO bolt-on coilover (King shocks) long-arm suspension system swinging a Dynatrac 60 front axle with new HD knuckles and axle shafts, and a Dynatrac 80 rear axle. Those turn KMC Machette beadlocks wrapped with 40x13.50R17 Nitto Trail Grapplers. The body is decked out with EVO half doors, EVO front and rear bumpers, and an EVO rear stock-mount braced tire carrier. A Warn 9,500-pound capacity winch is perched on the front bumper, and the interior got the full Katzkin leather treatment.
BEATRIX THE JEEP
This 2016 Jeep JK Wrangler is another of those few-and-far-between SEMA Show rigs we found that was set up for real life. No trailer queen here. It may look clean enough to eat off of, but it’s built for hard running. Drivetrain upgrades consist of a pair of CORE 44s and 1350 Series driveshafts. The Rubicon Express suspension system includes hardware such as a 4-link front, front bypass reservoir coilover shocks, HD forged track bar, HD high-steer draglink, HD adjustable tie rod bar and draglink. The rear end features a complete Rubicon Express rear coilover kit, including HD rear upper and lower track bars, and hydro bumps. Poison Spyder body armor, rockers, and front and rear bumpers help protect the sheetmetal. A Smittybilt 10,000-pound capacity winch sits up front. The JK rolls on Pro Comp Vapor Pro beadlocks and Pro Comp 40/1.50R17 MT2 tires.
Last, but certainly not least, is the latest of Mopar’s concept Jeep creations–the CJ66. A blend of TJ, ’66 CJ Tuxedo Park, and JK brings together all of the elements we love and none of those we’re not too keen on. The CJ66 concept is powered by the newly announced crate 345ci Hemi V-8 available to consumers along with and a full plate of parts to help you shoehorn it in to almost any Jeep. Behind that Hemi is a 6-speed manual transmission. A Mopar 2-inch lift suspension system cradles front and rear Mopar 4.10 Dana 44 crate axles, and trimming those beautiful 44s are Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) 17-inch beadlocks and 35-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. We have seen and loved a lot of the Mopar concept Jeeps over the years, but this one just might be our absolute favorite. Who wouldn’t love to drive a classic CJ-bodied rig with Hemi power, and all the off-road awesomeness of modern suspension technology?