When you travel to Las Vegas, glitz and glamour are givens -- whether you're talking about casinos, flamboyant performances, or the annual SEMA aftermarket auto parts supplier show. What was once just a gathering of parts manufacturers has become a fully-supported venue for global automakers to test new design concepts and have a ton o' fun too. Here are highlights from the recent show:
Kia A1A Optima Convertible
Inspired by Florida sunshine and the state's A1A highway, the aquamarine over white Optima flips its lid and employs suicide doors for its homage to the past. In Key West or South Beach, the concept by LUX Motorwerks impresses with 20-inch wheels, deep bucket seats, cream leather, 245 horsepower turbo-four, and lowered suspension.
Dodge Challenger AWD
Mopar equips this muscle car with 20-inch wheels, body kit, chin splitter, rear spoiler, and quad exhaust tips coated black. But, that's not the big news. Nope, not even the Katzkin leather/suede seats, flat-bottom steering wheel, nor Header Orange accents. Connected to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 are an eight-speed transmission and...all-wheel-drive. An all-season muscle car is hard to beat. Expect this one to blast out of showrooms next year.
Ford Cobra Jet Mustang
A product of Ford Performance, the 2016 Cobra Jet Mustang is a factory-built drag racer slated for a limited 50-car run. Cobra Jet shares 75 percent of Mustang GT engine parts and employs a four-link rear suspension, Strange Engineering racing brakes roll cage, Aeromotive fuel system, and five-point harness. That and a Whipple supercharger enables 8-second quarter-mile runs. Deliveries begin early 2016 for a $99,990 base price.
Mazda MX-5 Miata Spyder and Speedster
Here are two riffs on Mazda's iconic roadster. MX-5 Spyder features a bikini top by ASC, Mercury Silver paint, carbon fiber aero kit, body tonneau, and Spinneybeck leather. MX-5 Speester harkens to classic roadsters of the '50s by jettisoning the windshield and adding Blue Ether paint, adjustable suspension, and interior swathed in Alcantara suede with carbon fiber. Both cars scream Southern California and hopefully head to the rest of America soon.
2016 Chevrolet Camaro Concepts
Chevrolet highlighted four concepts to show the all-new Camaro's range. The Chevrolet Performance concept is painted Summit White with red accents, 20-inch wheels, and lowered suspension. The Hyper concept shines Hyper Blue with white stripes over 20-inch alloys and a 3.6-liter V6 engine. Camaro Black wears Mosaic Black Metallic paint, tinted glass, black wheels, and a lowered suspension. Go bright green with the Krypton concept. Chevrolet should build all four!
Silverado 3500HD Kid Rock Concept
Chevrolet tapped musician Kid Rock to deck out a Silverado HD dually. He spedified a custom chrome grille with Born Free log, enlarged Chevy emblem, and chrome exhaust stacks. Check the black metallic-flecked paint, 22-inch chrome wheels, and tinted windows. Sky Cool Gray leather seats, blacked-out instrument panel, and Kicker audio dress the interior. A trailer tows two Gibbs Sports Quadskis that convert from ATVs to watercraft. Up to 20,000 lbs. can be pulled by the 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine and Allison 1000 transmission.
Take a Tundra 1794 Edition, stretch it to 26 feet, and paint it Midnight Black Metallic - while keeping the 5.7-liter V8 and 4x4 system - for the ultimate limo. Eight doors and luxury jet-inspired brown leather interior take it up. The whole thing weights just under 4 tons! It's easy to imagine this custom version fo the San Antonio-built Tundra lassoing Texas Interstates.
Hyundai JP Edition Tucson
John Pangiliman's overhaul of Hyundai's new compact crossover amps up the adventurous spirit with a Treeline Tamarack rooftop tent that holds two compers away from mud and critters. The exterior is buffed with an Aries bull bar, side steps, Rigid Industries LED lights, and 1.5-linch suspension lift for extra ground clearance. Toyo Open Country A/T tires provide the grip needed to get almost anywhere.
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