It’s an annual tradition that the rest of the automotive journalism world only wishes it could get away with: a SEMA concept drag race to signal the end of the week-long trade show.
This year, Motor Trend‘s SEMA drag race saw a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS up against the likes of a 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, and a Jeep FC on tank treads. Oh, and then there’s this ’55 Chevrolet Bel Air powered by an 8.8 liter hemi mill, dubbed “The Blasphemi.”
Technically, only the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and tank-ified Jeep FC were actually displayed on the trade show floor. As presenter Mike Finnegan (’55 Bel Air) explains, “Nobody in their right mind would give me their car to race, so I brought my own.” The same applies to Mike Sabounchi, who piloted the 2013 Chevy Sonic RS in the drag race.
The thing is, with a drag race like this, one doesn’t watch out of a need to see who finishes first; clearly, the smart money says that the Challenger Hellcat and ’55 Chevy Bel Air will lead the pack. That assumption proves correct. So we watch for entertainment value, in which this video abounds.
Perhaps it’s entirely outmatched, but at the very least the Chevrolet Sonic RS – with its chin spoiler and other sporty touches – looks positively svelte gunning down the runway.