2018 SEMA Archive

  • Mopar reveals the Hellephant – 1,000 hp crate engine

    To simplify our pursuit for horsepower, Mopar has released a new crate engine that it lovingly calls the ‘Hellephant’ at this year’s SEMA Show. The motor is essentially a HEMI 7.0 litre (426 cubic inch) supercharged V8 that makes 1,000 hp and 1,288 Nm of torque, with the company saying the engine kit “allows for relatively simple plug-and-play performance.”

    The Hellephant is based on the standard engine used in the Hellcat, but with a bigger bore and stroke to increase its displacement. Other revisions include an all-aluminium block from the Dodge Challenger Drag Pak race cars in place of the iron block; special high-lift cam; custom-forged pistons; valve covers from the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye; and valve train, valves, locks, and retainers pulled from the Challenger SRT Demon.

    Mopar says the complete engine assembly includes a water pump, flywheel, front sump oil pan, supercharger with throttle body, fuel injectors, and coil packs. On top of that, an optional “engine kit” makes the plug-and-play experience even easier, especially on pre-1976 street and off-road vehicles.

    The kit includes a powertrain control module (PCM) tuned for max output, power distribution centre, engine wiring harness, chassis harness, accelerator pedal, ground jumper, oxygen sensors, charge air temperature sensors, fuel pump control module and cam bus interface device.

    There’s also a Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD) kit, which includes an alternator, power-steering pump, belts, pulleys and more, and is among the hardware components available to make the Hellephant run at its best.

    To showcase the new crate engine kit, Mopar installed one in a 1968 Charger, transforming it into the ‘Super Charger’. The ‘De Grigio’ Grey Metallic concept exemplifies the retro modern look, and rides on staggered wheels (20-inch front and 21-inch rear), while six-piston Brembos are present to help slow things down. Oh, the Hellcat’s stock T-6060 six-speed manual transmission sends power to the rear wheels here.

     
     
  • 2019 DUB Kia Stinger GT, K900 debut at SEMA show

    After dropping a few teaser photos yesterday, the custom-built DUB Kia Stinger GT and DUB Kia K900 have finally been unveiled. Both are currently on display at the ongoing 2018 SEMA show alongside the Forte GT, Forte Drift Car and Telluride range.

    The pair you see here were built in partnership with DUB, a popular aftermarket outfitter in the US that specialises in custom-made wheels. To start, the Stinger GT here is wrapped in satin Avery Brushed Steel with carbon-fibre accents, and it rolls on 22-inch staggered Dropstars forged wheels shod with 245/30 Nitto tyres up front and wider 265/30 rubbers at the back. Of course the fenders have to be flared out for the wheels to fit, and the bonnet is made from CF as well.

    Inside, it gets a blood red leather upholstery that’s mixed with black suede for added contrast, and the dashboard is also finished in the same shade of red. The sporty colour scheme also extends to the steering wheel and boot space. Other upgrades include a custom exhaust system and air intake for added performance, as well as a custom-built audio system, LED lighting, under-bonnet dress-up kit, air suspension and DUBiR tinted windows.

    Next, the K900 luxury sedan is spruced up with an Electric Blue wrap job, and all the chrome trims have been finished in gloss black. It also features air suspension, and here the flagship sedan rolls on humongous 24-inch TIS forged wheels with 275/25 Nitto tyres.

    For the cabin, DUB gave it a more subtle restyle with Electric Blue highlights, as well as quilted black leather and suede upholstery. There’s a built-in remote-controlled LED headliner and lighting, DUBiR tinted windows, special multimedia audio system and MiFi internet connectivity. Like what you see here?

    GALLERY: 2019 DUB Kia Stinger GT


    GALLERY: 2019 DUB Kia K900

     
     
  • Kia unveils Queensland Police Stinger at SEMA show

    When Australia’s Queensland Police needed a new fleet of pursuit vehicles, they went all-in on the 365-horsepower Kia Stinger GT, citing the car’s performance as the main reason for the decision. The patrol vehicle was first unveiled earlier in July.

    The Queensland police will field 100 units of Australian-spec Stinger GTs into service over the next 12 months. No modifications have been done to the pursuit vehicle, but the only exception here is a plug-and-play wiring loom to accommodate police electronics. Otherwise, everything else is standard. Special equipment such as radios, emergency lights, and other equipment was added by the Queensland Police.

    The Stinger GT features a 3.3 litre twin-turbo Lambda II V6 petrol engine and all-wheel drive. The mill makes 365 hp and 510 Nm of torque, which should be more than sufficient to chase down most law violators.

    Assistant Queensland Police Service Commissioner (Road Policing Command) Mike Keating said the selection process was extensive. “It started with the desktop evaluation, then a track performance evaluation and then the operational evaluation conducted in real-world conditions.”

    “The final overall evaluation and review included the very important aspect of maintenance and cost. The Stinger performed very well in all areas and we had nothing but top reports from all the field officers. The result is a road-policing first for us, the first foreign car to perform these duties.”

     
     
  • Kia Forte Drift Car unveiled with Stinger GT’s 3.3L V6!

    Kia has taken the veils off the Kia Forte Drift Car at the 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, which was developed in partnership with Red Bull.

    The donor car for the project is the latest Forte in EX guise, but it loses the factory-fitted 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated engine for the Stinger GT‘s 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 unit. Through some tricky engineering, the engine now sits longitudinally (as opposed to the Forte’s transverse origins), allowing power to be transferred to the rear axle for drifting.

    The Forte Drift Car effectively becomes a 375-horsepower rear-wheel drive beast, complete with a custom intake manifold, six-speed sequential transmission, quick change rear differential and a hybrid drift/grip suspension. It also features a hydraulic rear hand brake, custom wide body aerodynamic kit and a roll cage.

    Alongside the tyre-shredding Forte is the 2019 Kia Forte Federation, which has been outfitted with parts from leading aftermarket suppliers, including aggressive aerodynamic components by Air Design. This includes a rear deck spoiler, rear diffuser, side skirts, front lip spoiler and front air curtains, which all provide a stunning contrast for the Livid Lime paint scheme.

    Elsewhere, there’s a cold air intake by K&N coupled with an axle-back performance exhaust by Borla to make this Forte scream. It rides on progressive-rate sport springs by Eibach, 19-inch “Mosport” wheels by TSW and ultra-high-performance tyres by Falken to improve handling. All of the parts will be available for purchase from the respective suppliers at a later date.

    GALLERY: Kia Forte Drift Car

    GALLERY: 2019 Kia Forte Federation

     
     
  • Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle concept debuts at SEMA – an edgy mix of the Ridgeline and Pioneer 1000

    Honda is presenting the Rugged Open Air Vehicle concept at this year’s Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, and the working study is very much a physical thought exercise of what an ultimate off-road Honda four-wheeled vehicle could look like.

    The one-off features design cues derived from two production Honda vehicles from different genres, in this case the Ridgeline pick-up and the Pioneer 1000 side-by-side, combining the utility of the former with the extreme styling of the latter.

    The brainchild of Honda R&D Americas, the vehicle utilises a modified Ridgeline body and suspension, adding on production Pioneer doors and a custom-designed bed along with tailgate panels modeled after that found on the Pioneer.

    The interior is based on that found on the Ridgeline, but necessary modifications have been carried out to cater for exposed running conditions. A Pioneer 1000 steering wheel finds its way on, adapted for use with the Ridgeline-based steering column, ad well as Civic Type R seats reskinned in waterproof Pioneer 1000 material.

    Elsewhere, durable paint-on surfaces to help protect the exposed instrument panel from the elements, and mod cons include smartphone holders from RAM Mounts. The study’s powertrain and transmission weren’t detailed, but the 3.5 litre direct-injected i-VTEC V6 mill and six-speed automatic transmission from the production Ridgeline should be lurking underneath the edgy surface-work.

     
     
  • 2019 Ford Ranger – seven custom units, SEMA-bound

    Ford is heading to the 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show with a range of models, but none will feature more variety than the 2019 Ranger line-up. The Blue Oval will be displaying seven custom-built Rangers with more than 150 performance parts and accessories that will be available when the pick-up truck gets launched in the US early next year.

    Let’s start with the Ranger Pre-Runner, seen above. Built by Ford Performance, this model highlights the truck’s go-anywhere, do-anything capabilities. It’s fitted with the FX4 Off-Road Package and adds a 3.73 electronic locking rear differential as well as a Fox/BDS Suspension three-inch levelling kit with off-road shocks.

    Also on are a BDS upper control arm kit and a Ford Performance cat-back exhaust, and the Pre-Runner rides on 17-inch wheels shod with BFGoodrich High-Performance All-Terrain KO2 tyres, which is the same setup as the Ranger Raptor.

    Off-road accessories include a Desert Racer front bumper with integrated skid plate and rear bumper, illuminated Rock Slider side steps and chase rack from Addictive Desert Designs with LED light bar, LED underbody lighting and off-road light kit. A Rotopax FuelpaX fuel canister system (two 13-litre canisters) and swing case from Undercover can also be specified, which can come in handy during lengthy adventures.

    Next, the Ranger Base Camp, also by Ford Performance, and this one is equipped with a Fox/BDS Suspension three-inch levelling kit and off-road shocks, BDS upper control arm kit, skid plates and differential cover. It comes with Ascent front and rear bumpers by Warn Industries, and there’s also a Warn 10k Zeon front winch and grille guard for added protection.

    Along the A-pillar is a snorkel that keeps the engine breathing, and it sits on 18-inch machined black wheels with BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tyres. Lighting is most crucial here, so it gets Rigid LED lighting and an illuminated cargo bed to aid night time visibility.

    Ford licensed accessories by Yakima include a Skinny Warrior roof basket, heavy-duty rack kit by Outpost, Slim Shady awning, heavy-duty hook straps and recovery track mount. Interior upgrades include black chrome door sill plates and all-weather floor liners, along with a security safe and recovery kit for added security.

    The third model is the Xbox Ranger by Addictive Desert Designs. Here, passengers can play games in the rear seat – there are only two seats and two integrated, custom-mounted Xbox One Xs. However, both consoles can be linked, enabling multiplayer support for games such as Forza Horizon 4.

    Besides that, it features BDS Suspension upper control arms and lift kit, 17-inch Rev 883 wheels wrapped with BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM3 tyres, special front and rear bumpers, a HoneyBadger chase rack with tyre carrier and Rigid LED lighting for style. The package is topped off with an Xbox Design Labs winter forces-themed vinyl wrap and Fox 2.5-inch coilovers for the front and rear shocks.

    The Ranger Project Nightfall, on the other hand, combines off-road capability with a sleek styling. The accessories list begin with an A.R.E. CX Revo cap, BDS Suspension upper control arms, Airlift load lifter, Fox shocks, Bushwacker fender flares, custom Ford Performance stealth bumpers, NFab Epyx side steps and Black Rhino Mint 20-inch wheels with Cooper Discoverer STT Pro tyres for a smooth silhouette.

    This one gets a custom Axalta paint by Lynch Concepts, partly wrapped with matte grey vinyl with vivid green highlights. There’s also a Borla cat-back exhaust and differential cover, as well as Yakima JetStream roof rack and Highroads bicycle carriers.

    For avid off-roaders, the Project Ranger X is potentially the ultimate back-country adventurer. It boasts a custom long-bed conversion and Knapheide utility box with custom-built rack system for tools, supplies and recovery gear.

    Hardware includes a BDS six-inch suspension lift kit with upper control arms, Fox 2.5 Factory Series DSC coil-overs, AirLift rear airbag system and KMC XD Series Grenade 17-inch off-road wheels with BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM3 tyres. It wears a special front bumper with Aeon 10-S winch, rock sliders and full under-body skid plates.

    For city slickers, the Baja-forged Ranger is a decent starting point, with a full army green paint with bronze and yellow accents, signature Baja-forged tube-style front and rear bumpers, bed cage with Pro Eagle jack, rock rail and fender flares. It gets upgraded mid-travel suspension with lift function, and the cabin gets Katzkin seat covers in black leather with black and yellow barracuda leather inserts.


    Baja-forged Ranger on the left, Airdesign USA Ranger on the right

    Last of the seven special models is the Airdesign USA Ranger. The clean look is accentuated by an Airdesign off-road series body kit, complemented with Ford licensed accessories such as door rocker mouldings, front bumper lower centre bar with bumper flares, fender vents, hood scoop, rear cab spoiler, tailgate spoiler and tailgate appliqué.

    Of course, there are mechanical tweaks – it rides on BDS Suspension upper control arms, Fox 2.5 Factory Series DSC coilovers, Fox 2.0 rear shocks and huge 20-inch Fuel Ripper satin black wheels with Nitto Ridge Grappler tyres. All seven models are powered by the 2.3 litre EcoBoost inline-four petrol engine, mated to the new 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. Now then, which is your favourite?

     
     
  • Lexus goes to SEMA 2018 with five custom models

    The SEMA show is back for 2018 in Las Vegas, and this time Lexus is heading to the aftermarket-focused exhibition with a handful of customised models.

    Arguably the most subtle of the group here is the customised 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport which has been given a custom red paint job for its exterior, an Artisan Spirit body kit and a set of 20-inch Rays Avventura Stratagia wheels, shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.

    The interior of the customised ES 350 F Sport has apparently been crafted with those who appreciate wine; the luggage compartment in particular has been decked out to accommodate a wine refrigerator and wine glass holder, housed within custom oak flooring and frames, while the side of the compartment also features a wine bottle holder.

    A set of refinished oak barrel accents complete the theme in the trunk. Meanwhile in the passenger compartment, much of the ES’ interior remains intact, albeit re-trimmed with cross-stitched suede accents on sections of the front seats and door cards. The front headrests also get stylised graphics depicting cutlery and wine glasses, as if to drive home the wine-and-dine theme of the car.

    Powertrain appears to be unchanged for this ES 350 F Sport SEMA show car, which in standard form produces 300 hp and 355 Nm of torque from its naturally aspirated, direct-injection 3.5 litre V6 petrol mill, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    The next customised car uses an LS 500 F Sport as a base, which has been treated to an Artisan Spirit body kit and an Avery Denison custom wrap in Gloss Dark Grey. This set is also joined by a set of 22-inch Work wheels fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, which house a set of Brembo brakes. These are six-piston calipers on 404 mm discs in front, and four-piston calipers on 381 mm discs at the back.

    As standard, the LS 500 is powered by a turbocharged 3.5 litre V6 engine which produces 415 hp and 600 Nm of torque, sent to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.

    A customised 2019 RC 350 F Sport also joins the fare with its own set of modifications. The facelifted two-door coupe is decked out with a set of 20-inch Vossen Hybrid Forged HF-1 wheels finished in gloss black, and are fitted with Nitto NT 555 G2 tyres.

    Suspension gets a tweak with an RS-R USA spring kit, while the engine gets fitted with an Apexi N1-X Evolution Extreme muffler. Helping draw attention is a set of Rock Sport underbody lights, while the car’s exterior gets an Avery Satin Rushing Riptide body wrap.

    The recently unveiled UX compact crossover also gets the SEMA treatment, where like the aforementioned cars, it also gets a full exterior body wrap. This is augmented by an NIA Auto Design lip kit, a set of Vossen VFS-1 wheels and Nitto Invo tyres, Apexi N1 EXV dampers, Apexi N1-X full cat-back exhaust system and an Inno Base Rack system with slim fork lock for mounting bicycles.

    The Lexus UX is the smallest SUV in the marque’s line-up yet, and as standard comes with two powertrain options – the first is the NX 200 with a 168 hp naturally-aspirated 2.0 litre Dynamic Force engine mated to a CVT gearbox, and the second is the UX 250h hybrid which uses the same engine paired with electric drive.

    Last but not least, Lexus brings to SEMA 2019 a new aesthetic take on its flagship, the LC 500. As part of its Inspiration Series, the LC 500 show car features Flare Yellow paint contrasted by a set of black 21-inch forged alloy wheels. The LC 500 also flaunts its carbon-fibre roof and active rear spoiler here.

    Inside, the LC 500 Inspiration Series concept receives bespoke yellow Alcantara trim inserts, while the touring-specification seats are upholstered in semi-aniline leather with contrast stitching. This same stitching extends to the instrument panel, console and glovebox for a unique look in the cabin.

    The LC 500 Inspiration Series concept carries over the factory standard powertrain, which comprises of a 5.0 litre naturally-aspirated V8 with 471 hp at 7,100 rpm and 540 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. These outputs are sent to the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic gearbox with AI-Shift, with a 0-100 km/h time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 270 km/h.

     
     
  • Nissan 370Z Project Clubsport 23 – 400 hp track car

    The Nissan 370Z is a little long in the tooth by now, but when a 400-hp track-focused version comes along, you ought to give it some attention. Introducing the Nissan 370Z Project Clubsport 23, an ongoing project that will be displayed at the upcoming SEMA show in Las Vegas.

    In building the Project Clubsport 23, Nissan Motorsports and MA Motorsports teamed up and started off just like any Z enthusiast would – finding a donor body and engine. In this case, it all started with a 2012 Nissan 370Z Nismo, and the first order is business is to drop a 3.0 litre VR30DDTT twin-turbo V6 in place of the original 350-horsepower 3.7 litre VQ37VHR engine. The smaller turbo mill makes about 400 horsepower.

    Power is sent to the rear wheels through the original 370Z Nismo’s six-speed manual transmission. To ensure proper engine-to-transmission communication, MA Motorsports had to develop a clutch disc, cover and flywheel assembly to complete the transition all the way back to the Nismo GT LSD Pro-Carbon two-way differential, which gets its own dedicated MA Motorsports differential cooler.

    The modifications also include an AMS Performance cold air intake kit and Z1 Motorsports blow-off valves, a 76 mm bespoke dual exhaust system for optimal airflow, upgraded AMS Performance heat exchanger, MA Motorsports power steering cooler and Z1 Motorsports radiator and intercooler silicone coolant hoses.

    For braking, the Project 23 gets new Nismo HC Street/Track brake pads, Z1Motorsports two-piece slotted rotors and Nismo stainless steel brake lines. The suspension enhancements include a combination of newly released Nismo front and rear suspension components, Nismo three-piece body brace set, KW Variant 3 coilover shock kit and Eibach rear springs.

    It sits on 18-inch (18×10.5-inch) Nismo-branded Rays cast aluminium alloy wheels, shod with Hankook RS4 285/35 high performance tyres. The wheels themselves utilise Rays’ flow-forming technology for high quality, strength and durability. It will be available through Nissan dealerships at a future date.

    In terms of looks, the track car still retains the bulk of its Nismo styling, added with APR honeycomb carbon-fibre splitters and air dam, modified rear bumper for better air flow, JDM rear fog lamps, Selbon TS-style CF hood with Aerocatch hood pins and Niso CF mirror caps and pillar garnishes. Finishing off the look is a custom Gloss Burnt Orange body wrap by Speedesign Custom Graphics.

    There’s also custom fabrication for the cabin, starting with the latest Sparco QRT-R competition seats, Sparco six-point competition harnesses and Sparco R383 steering wheel with Bell Works Rapfix hub. A roll cage is standard, as are the cabin/engine bay fire suppression system and leather trimmings with quilted pattern, the latter a nod to the diamond-patterned vinyl used in the original 240Z.

    Now, depending on interest levels, Nissan Motorsports may offer a builder’s kit that consists of hard parts and electrical components to assist customers with building their own track-minded Z car. Tell us, are you keen? Sound off in the comments below.

     
     
  • Bespoke Kia Stinger GT and K900 to debut at SEMA

    Kia is set to release two specially-made versions of the Stinger GT and K900 sedan at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, with the former built to the exacting standards of today’s “hottest athletes and musicians.”

    For this project, Kia US teamed up with DUB, a popular aftermarket outfitter that specialises in custom-made wheels (their selection goes up to 32 inches in size!). The Stinger GT gets a host of upgrades, starting with a brushed satin grey wrap, huge 22-inch wheels, a red and black leather interior, custom intake and exhaust systems, as well as air suspension.

    The K900, on the other hand, gets an Electric Blue exterior finish with gloss black accents, staggered 24-inch wheels, custom-made interior upholstery with electric blue accents and air suspension as well. There’s also a specially-developed multimedia system built into the car, with display screens likely integrated into the back headrests of the front seats.

    The Kia-DUB duo will go on display at SEMA soon, so stay tuned for the full unveiling.

     
     
  • Ford Series 1 Mustang RTR makes its debut at SEMA

    Well, the 2018 SEMA Show is in full swing, and Ford has revealed another one of its creations for the event with the Series 1 Mustang RTR conversion package. Developed by Ford Performance and RTR Vehicles, the latter being the team behind world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr., the kit is available for the Mustang GT and Performance Pack 1-equipped Mustang EcoBoost.

    Only 500 of the Series 1 Mustang RTR package will be made available, with each being accompanied by a serialised dash plaque and a certificate of authenticity. There’s also a bevy of visual enhancements, including the familiar RTR grille with lighting, body and aerodynamics packages, as well as matching graphics for a sportier look.

    You’ll also get the Ford Performance Pack 1 spoiler with RTR gurney flap, and a set of staggered wheel and tyres – 19×9.5-inch front and 19×10-inch rear. Meanwhile, the Ford Performance suspension comes with adjustable sway bars to alter chassis balance to suit various different driving needs, including drifting.

    Moving inside, the interior features RTR floor mats and shift knob, illuminated ‘RTR Powered by Ford Performance’ sill plates. “This collaboration has created a Mustang that offers smile-inducing street driving, diverse capability on the track and a very distinctive owner experience for those looking to stand out from the crowd,” said Gittin, president of RTR Vehicles.

     
     
 

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Last Updated 01 Nov 2018