The SEMA Show is an annual gathering of everything automotive-related in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Throughout the decade that Vossen has been in attendance we’ve watched—and taken part in—the evolution of the aftermarket industry, year after year and booth after booth. After several years the widely-employed formula has grown stale and we’ve been on a quest to reinvent the way our fans, dealers and fellow manufacturers experience our brand and new products. After hosting the Vossen Sky Lounge in 2015 and teaching Vossen’s history with the Private Gallery in 2016, it was time to flip the script again and that’s how the Vossen Engineered Art Gallery at SEMA 2017 was born.
The Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas was a beautiful, elegant and impressive property for the Sky Lounge and after being told of the ground floor gallery space, it truly a no-brainer—a full standalone space, branded as we please, with cars on display out front and no lobby, front desk or elevators to confuse our guests upon arrival. We got to the drawing board, drafting many concepts for the exterior’s aesthetic, creating an after-hours brand presence that is unprecedented in the SEMA Show’s 50+ year history.
Inside the space, with a completely blank canvas at our ready, it was time to really philosophize the Vossen brand, the collaborations we’ve been tirelessly developing and the new Vossen Forged and Hybrid Forged models and capabilities and how to demonstrate them to our guests. Considering the gallery style of the space, I quickly became obsessed with suspending our Engineered Art with stainless steel wire. Many hours of scheming and rough engineering led to a raw-materials-based concept that levitates our wheels, built and lit with an array of industrial components.
Eight collaborations, spanning brands in the furthest reaches of the automotive industry, were one of our main topics to showcase at The Vossen Engineered Art Gallery. Lining one half of the space and detailed on red acrylic, we exhibited 2017 and 2018’s forged collaborations with ABT, Champion Motorsport, Novitec, RENNtech, ROUSH Performance, Tony Kanaan and Urban Automotive alongside our Vossen x Work Series (the collaboration that started it all).
Outside the Vossen Engineered Art Gallery at SEMA 2017 was our latest project car was on display, the Abt Widebody Audi Q7. Modified from top to bottom by Abt, this Q7 is a 1 of 10 limited edition car for the USA (and 10 units in Europe too), and the first in production. Fitted with an Audi Q7-specific 22″ forged wheel, the AVX, the widebody Q7 is the beginning of collaborative effort that he hope to see grow throughout the world of German cars.
Beside the Q7 is Champion Motorsport’s Porsche 918, fitted with the all-new RS74 forged wheel. Made specifically for 5-lug and center lock Porsche applications, the RS74 is a natural evolution in Champion’s wheel offerings and produced in Vossen’s TÜV Verified forged wheel factory.
Rounding out the trio is RWB Samurai, a widebody Porsche 993 owned by Tim Walbridge (owner of 503 Motoring in Portland, OR) and fitted with Vossen’s all-new 3-piece modular wheel line—more specifically the Vossen Forged ERA-3 and measuring 18×10 and 18×13.
Looking back on the Vossen Engineered Art Gallery at SEMA 2017 feels like just yesterday, and we truly can’t thank all of our friends, dealers and industry contemporaries for joining us at the Mandarin Oriental. We loved hosting everyone and showcasing what we’ve been so vigorously working on this year and can’t wait to show you what’s next!