HomeCar CultureSEMA Seen: Gobs of gear for off-pavement exploration

SEMA Seen: Gobs of gear for off-pavement exploration


“Powersports” is the category name for the variety of vehicles that used to be called ATVs, as in all-terrain vehicles, which started off as sort of 3- and 4-wheeled motorcycles but have evolved into off-road machines with side-by-side seating and all sorts of accruements.

Powersports vehicles have become so popular that they are recognized as a separate category in the annual SEMA Awards presentation and thus rate right up there with cars, sport compacts, trucks and 4×4 SUVs in the automotive aftermarket world.

My SEMA Seen vehicle feature for today is one of those powersports vehicles, except you can’t buy this one, at least not yet, because this Can-Am Defender Pro from BRP is clearly labeled right across its windshield as a concept vehicle.

But while this vehicle may be a pre-production prototype, BRP, short for Bombardier Recreational Products, is a Canadian company that eagerly will sell you something from its Ski-Doo, Evinrude, Can-Am and other brands that produce vehicles and power systems for use on land or water.

Also available are nearly all of the accessories displayed on the Defender Pro that was parked in the “Overland Experience” center, a new feature at the SEMA Show. The Overland Experience is a cluster of vehicles and stuff designed for those who want to participate in “overlanding,” which combines off-road exploration with camping up off the ground, and thus away from a variety of pesky pests. 

The accessories on the Defender Pro are from Thule, the Swedish specialist known for its roof racks, boxes and bike racks, and its newly acquired subsidiary, Tepui, a California company that produces roof-top tents, bedding, lighting and power.

Among those accessories displayed on the Defender Pro are the Thule Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam 3 tent and a Thule T2 Pro XT bicycle rack, the later slightly customized to fit the design of the concept vehicle.


Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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