KIA MOTORS AMERICA UNVEILS SIX ONE-OF-A-KIND SPORTS-THEMED RIDES AT 2011 SEMA SHOW

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

  • Kia Motors America to display six sports-themed cars at 2011 SEMA Show
  • Show cars were inspired by popular sports that Kia is associated with
  • West Coast Customs and Antenna magazine involved in the design and creation of several of the cars.

Kia Motors America, the fastest growing car company in the U.S., arrives in Las Vegas for the 2011 SEMA Show with a roster of six outrageous sports-themed vehicles. 

This year's show cars were inspired by Kia's growing sports marketing portfolio that includes basketball, women's golf, motor sports and more.  Two were built by the world famous West Coast Customs with additional vehicles conceived and built in-partnership with the popular lifestyle magazine, Antenna, as well as GoGoGear.com and Kia's U.S. racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports. 

"Kia is experiencing unprecedented growth and momentum and we're bringing our most exciting range of show cars ever to this year's SEMA Show, including several variations on the stylish all-new 2012 Rio 5-door and the fuel-efficient and technology-laden Optima Hybrid," said Michael Sprague, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Kia Motors America. 

"Our involvement in the world of sports has dramatically increased awareness and perception of the Kia brand, and together with some high-profile partners we have created a line-up of fun and eye-catching vehicles with unique back stories and plenty of personality."

"Slam Dunk" Blake Griffin Optima Hybrid

The critically-acclaimed Kia Optima became a U.S. pop culture icon when Blake Griffin leaped over the popular D-segment saloon to win the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk Competition.  Today, Griffin is an official spokesperson for the Kia brand with several new TV spots set to air in the U.S. over the next few months.  Taking the Kia-Blake Griffin partnership to the next level, West Coast Customs (WCC) has created a basketball-themed Optima Hybrid that adds some hardwood flair to Kia's first-ever hybrid in the U.S.

The inspiration behind the WCC Optima Hybrid is immediately apparent with its basketball-like custom orange paint scheme, which is accentuated by 20-inch matt black wheels and Griffin's personal logo on the bonnet. 

Inside, hoop fans will find basketball-court flooring in the front and rear seating areas, custom leather seats with Griffin's autograph embroidered in the front headrests, leather and suede door panel inserts and headliner, and a booming audio system with custom enclosures built into the rear deck lid. 

Two flat-screen TVs mounted in the back of the front headrests connect to a Microsoft ® X-Box video game console and a "Pop-A-Shot" basketball hoop is mounted in the trunk for hours of off-the-court entertainment.

"Hole-In-One" Michelle Wie Soul

Built by West Coast Customs, the golf-themed "Hole in One" Soul was inspired by Michelle Wie, Kia's official golf ambassador and one of the most recognisable young athletes around the world. 

Wie drives a Soul in northern California while attending classes at Stanford University, and this funky Soul's "So Blue" exterior paint scheme and five-spoke 20-inch wheels incorporate her original artwork, which can also be found on the custom-embroidered Nike® golf bags she uses for tournament play. 

Adding even more personal style and flair, Wie's artwork and personal logo also are integrated into the Soul's "Snow White" leather headrests, while a baby blue painted dash and pink headliner and seating accents complete the whimsical interior look.

Driver and passengers will be instantly transported to the golf course by the artificial grass flooring throughout the Soul, and opening the rear hatch reveals a virtual driving range with a 26-inch LED TV monitor mounted into the rear hatch and a Microsoft® X-Box 360 video game console and Microsoft ® Kinect system to play golf out of the back of the vehicle.  Two of Wie's tournament-used golf bags are mounted behind the TV and conceal eight-inch speakers and a subwoofer.

"Retro Surf" Rio 5-Door

When the all-new Rio went on sale earlier this month it continued Kia's design-led transformation with its world-class styling and class-leading fuel economy and emissions levels.  For the third consecutive year, Kia has partnered with Antenna to create specialty lifestyle vehicles such as the Retro Surf Rio 5-door, which is outfitted with everything the modern-day surfer needs for a perfect day and night at the beach, including an authentic Grain wood surfboard mounted on the roof. 

The Rio has been lowered with a modified suspension set-up for sportier handling, and the aggressive exterior stance is accentuated by eye-grabbing 17-inch three-piece gold wheels, a stunning sunset-metallic golden-brown paint scheme, a custom body kit with a front splitter made of wood to match the surfboard on the roof and a redesigned rear fascia with centre-exit dual exhaust. 

The front and rear seats and door panels of the Rio are upholstered in brown and beige plaid board shorts fabric, and the wood grain center console brings the classic surfboard theme inside.  For even more fun in the sun, the rear center console has been modified as a shelf to hold sunblock and other beach and ocean accessories, and the dark brown suede headliner has a built-in towel rack. 

When night falls, surfers and their friends will gather around the Rio's massive rear hatch area, which has been stocked with a juicing station, a retro iCade gaming console that plays 80s-style arcade games on an iPad®, a turntable to play vinyl records, and shelves for sandals and clothing. 

"Hat Trick" Forte 5-Door

Hockey players carry a lot of bulky gear to and from the rink, and the Antenna Hat Trick Forte 5-door can handle it all with a custom hockey stick holder that stretches from the trunk through the center of the vehicle into the cabin. 

The power play continues inside as the rear bench seat has been converted to two bucket seats with custom upholstery and there are custom-molded sports bottle drink holders in the center console.  Rubberised flooring in the front and rear seating areas simulates the surface found outside the rink, and the action continues off the ice with a mini air hockey table mounted in the rear hatch area and TVs mounted in the front seat headrests wired to a Microsoft ® X-Box video game console featuring EA Sports NHL12 video game.

The Forte is finished with custom ice-metallic grey exterior paint, 19-inch blue alloy wheels, a custom body kit and Forte Koup front bumper with carbon fibre accents and LED "hockey stick" fog lights, a quad-tipped exhaust, carbon fibre roof material and a lowered suspension.  The headlining features a built-in hockey coach's play board and the locker room-like rear cargo area features built-in compartments that house four carbon fibre hockey sticks and two jerseys color matched to the exterior of the car, an ice skate rack and glove hooks to dry out sweaty game-used equipment, and custom accent lighting.

Rio 5-Door B-Spec Racer

Fresh off Kia's first ever GRAND-AM Team and Driver road racing championships in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge's Street Tuner class, the first expansion to Kia's U.S. motor sports program will be entry into showroom stock ("B-Spec") racing with the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door subcompact. 

The Rio B-Spec racecar will compete against models like the Mazda 2, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta and others in a range of events organized by various motor sports sanctioning bodies, including World Challenge, GRAND-AM, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and National Auto Sport Association (NASA). 

B-Spec racing is a relatively affordable way for any car enthusiast to get into competitive motor sports with a vehicle like the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door that offers class-leading horsepower  and fuel economy , a new six-speed manual transmission and outstanding driving dynamics.

Once potential racers purchase their Rio, a B-Spec kit that costs approximately $14,000 is available for purchase from Kia's racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports.  The kit supplies everything needed to transform the Rio from street car to race car.  Parts included in the package are a roll cage kit, racing seat, quick-release steering wheel, racing harness, shocks, lightweight wheels, spec-series tires and oil sump pan expansion kit along with complete build instructions.  If preferred, the racer can have the team at Kinetic Motorsports assemble the Rio at their shop in Buford, Georgia for an additional cost.

USTCC Optima Hybrid Pace Car

In addition to Kia's championship winning Forte Koup motor sports program, the wildly popular Soul has been the official Safety Car of the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) since March 2010. 

Kia will return to the track with the USTCC in 2012 with the stylish and fuel-efficient Optima Hybrid replacing the Soul at the front of the pack.  The USTCC Safety Car will lead the racing field during warm-up and caution flag laps to ensure a safe start and restarts of each race.   With 206 combined horsepower from the gasoline and electric motor, the Optima Hybrid has plenty of power but the crew at GoGoGear.com has added a few performance enhancements, including a free-flow air intake system, Magnaflow® exhaust system, coil-over suspension kit to lower the ride height, front splitter and rear wing, lightweight wheels and performance tires that will better stick to the racing surface. 

The USTCC Optima Hybrid also features an eye-catching exterior with custom vinyl graphics, color scheme and array of lighting, including LED auxiliary lights and HID headlights, strobe lights and LED light bar on the roof to help direct traffic while on duty.

Moving inside, a state-of-the-art audio and video system with navigation system was installed and the booming audio system uses Infinity® speakers and amplifiers to crank out more than 2,400 watts of sound.  The rear passengers can enjoy a DVD video system with dual seven-inch monitors mounted in the front-seat headrests with wireless headphones.  Passengers will also notice the Optima Hybrid's custom leather seat upholstery with green accent stitching to match the exterior trim color when Kia's USTCC Safety Car goes into action in March at the first race of the season.

Ends

For further information on Kia, please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact: 

Stephen Kitson

Communications Director

Direct dial

01932 832075

E-mail

skitson@kia.co.uk

 

Matthew Bendall

Press Officer

Direct dial

01932 832073

E-mail

mbendall@kia.co.uk

 

Sara Drummond-Bell

Press Officer

Direct dial

01932 832072

E-mail

sdrummondbell@kia.co.uk

 

Carly Escritt

Press Officer (Press Fleet)

Direct dial

01932 832071

E-mail

cescritt@kia.co.uk

 

Millie Allen

Press Office Assistant

Direct dial

01932 832079

E-mail

mallen@kia.co.uk

1 November 2011

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