This year’s SEMA show opened its doors yesterday at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, and despite its mandate as a custom car show, there’s an even stronger presence in 2012 from mainstream car makers.

SEMA is a trade-expo featuring educational seminars, networking events and press conferences. The acronym originally stood for Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association, but was changed to Specialty Equipment Market Association in 1970 due to government pressure about the negative connotations of speed.

SEMA is now the largest custom car show in the world, attracting an estimated 130,000 attendees and representing the $27.8 billion-a-year vehicle aftermarket equipment industry.

But for most of us, SEMA is a curiosity shop, a mixture of the inspiring and downright hideous. So here are our Top 10 cars of the show:

SSR Nissan GT-R

Matte paint is a popular finishing detail at SEMA 2012. Here shown on one of the many cars exhibited with SSR wheels.

Mastretta MXT

Mexico’s Mastretta MXT receives a mirror-finish body wrap.

Hamann Range Rover Evoque

The Hamann Evoque features a wide-body kit – up 70mm at the front and 80mm at the rear – with an upgraded 2.2 TD4 diesel engine (+31bhp/65Nm).

Ferrari FF

The Giovanna Ferrari FF takes a perfectly presented FF, covers it in a matte red wrap and adds the obligatory carbon fibre and oversized wheels. Somehow I doubt these ‘upgrades’ will make it on to Ferrari’s options list.

Scion FR-S

How to take a perfectly formed GT 86/FR-S/BRZ and completely ruin it. Genius..

Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels Edition

The life-sized “Hot Wheels” edition of the Chevrolet Camaro will be available for sale in limited quantities from next spring.

Rolls Royce Phantom

What can we say? P Diddy would be proud..

Acura NSX Concept

The NSX Spyder Concept first appeared at the launch of the new Avengers film and driven by Robert Downey Jr. But it’s not ‘really’ a NSX – this was a one-off special built especially for the film and has nothing in common with the NSX Concept that’s been touring the major motor shows.

Tanom Invader

Detroit based Tanom Motors describes the Invader as a ‘Three-wheeled adrenalin rush’. They have a mountain to climb if they intend to out-cool Morgan’s Three Wheeler.

VWVortex Super Beetle

The enthusiasts from the world’s largest VW community decided to build the ‘ultimate’ Beetle, so they rebuilt the stock 2.0-litre TFSi engine to produce 500bhp, replaced the drivetrain with the AWD one from a 2013 Golf R, uprated the suspension and brakes with Golf R32 calipers and painted it matte blue. It’s a great story – so read it here.

* * *