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2013

2013


SEMA , the Specialty Equipment Market Association, is the Mecca of automotive aftermarket and specialty vehicle builders. Once a year, nearly 100,000 people from 100 different countries descend upon the city of Las Vegas seeking their turn to tour the two-million-square-foot indoor space housing world-class aftermarket design, engineering and concept projects.

SEMA hosts every class of vehicle from hard-core, off-road trucks to all-out street machines, with everything in between. Although mostly for the aftermarket scene, vehicle manufacturers like Chrysler jump wholeheartedly on board as well, bringing no less than 20 custom creations to show off.

Other manufacturers like Hyundai pour their heart and soul into a smaller number of cars, making sure each one is fully customized for a specific purpose.

So before SEMA gets rolling this week – Nov. 5th through 8th – we present to you our top picks of vehicles we’ve seen previewed so far. Literally hundreds more will be there, but here’s just a taste.

Click past the jump to preview what the 2013 SEMA show has in store

Posted on by Simona  

For this year’s SEMA Show , Lexus challenged its fans to design the 2014 IS of their dreams. You can imagine that hundreds of designs rolled in, but only seven of them — the best of the best, of course — will become reality.

One of these seven cars was designed by Paul Tolson and Gabriel Escobedo. Their design is based on an IS 250 equipped with the F-Sport package , and it features a combination of BASF Glasurit Orange Mercury and Galaxy Root Beer paint. The car received an aggressive, all-metal wide-body kit, and the design duo dropped it closer to the ground with an Air Runner Systems air ride.

There is also a new set of Wheel Works USA Emotion CR Kiwami wheels sized 19-by-9.5 inches up front and 19-by-10.5 inches on the rear. Bringing the concept to a halt is a Rotara brake system, featuring six-piston calipers squeezing 355-by-32 mm (13.97-by-1.25-inch) discs on both the front and rear.

Rounding out the mods is a custom exhaust and intake that helps improve the rumble of the 2.5-liter, V-6 engine.

Once the show opens up in Vegas, you can see is in the Outside Central Hall.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Lexus IS F-Sport.


Despite getting a lukewarm reception from buyers, the slow-selling Chevrolet Malibu is still putting on a brave face, an important attribute to have given that Chevrolet has resorted to commercials to tug at the heartstrings of prospective customers.

Be that as it may, the Malibu is still going to be an attendee at SEMA with Chevy deciding to gift wrap the midsize sedan into what its now calling the LTZ Concept.

A new front end design is the first thing you’ll notice about the Malibu LTZ Concept. It’s an eye-catching change that makes you wonder why Chevrolet didn’t do this sooner and potentially save itself from the humiliation of little interest from consumers.

In addition to the modified front, the Malibu LTZ also received a slew of modifications, highlighted by a performance upgrade that includes the addition of a concept Stage Kit, cold-air induction system and a Borla exhaust system. Taken together, the Malibu’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine receives a higher output. No word yet on how much of an increase it is, but considering the standard Malibu has 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque on tap, expect figures in excess of 300 across the board with these engine upgrades.

Oh, and there are some styling additions on the Malibu LTZ Concept, including a set of 19-inch wheels from Chevrolet Accessories that are coated in a Sterling Silver finish.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Posted on by Simona  

To no one’s surprise, one of the 20 vehicles that Mopar is displaying at the 2013 SEMA Show is based on the all-new, 2014 Jeep Cherokee . Dubbed the Trail Carver, this SEMA concept displays the off-road abilities of the light-footed Jeep, and endear itself to Jeep faithful.

The concept is based on a Trailhawk 4x4 model that uses a 3.2-liter, V-6 engine that delivers a total of 271 horsepower and 239 pound-feet of torque. Mopar added in a cat-back exhaust system that is sure to release 5 to 10 horsepower. With this as a starting point, Mopar added some pretty nice flavors that completely transform the look of the Cherokee .

The concept is painted in Auburn Pearl paint combined with low-gloss black, Granite Crystal and orange highlights. Mopar then rounded out the interior with bright door-sill guards with the Jeep Cherokee logo, a wireless smartphone charger, and WiFi. The Jeep Cargo Management Receiver System.

For the interior, Mopar focused on adding in high-quality, Katzkin Amaretto leather upholstery.

Because we are talking about a concept designed for off-road, the Trail Carver received large wheels wrapped in off-road tires and rock rails that will offer improved protection.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Cherokee Trail Carver.

Posted on by Simona  

So far, Hyundai will come to the 2013 SEMA Show with five vehicles (that we know of): Veloster Turbo by Fox Marketing , Night Racer Concept by EGR Group , Genesis Coupe by Bisimoto Engineering , Genesis Coupe Atlantis Blue and Genesis Coupe Legato Concept by ARK Performance . Until we get to actually see them in the flesh next week, Hyundai decided to release a teaser video that previews four of them, including a few Genesis and Veloster models.

The four cars were developed by four auto enthusiasts: Bisi Ezerioha, Lerry Liu, John Pangilinan, Brendan McGrath whom are now explaining the idea that lead them to designing their cars.

Check out the video to see how the four concepts came together and how the tuners improved the performance figures of each one. Make sure you’re online next week to learn full detain on each one.


With the SEMA convention coming up next week, all automakers are putting their best creative foot forward with new, innovative designs. Ram is no exception, bringing multiple trucks including this 2014 Ram Sun Chaser.

Starting with a 1500 Quad Cab, Ram built the perfect beach cruiser with a custom Vibrance Orange Blast paint scheme and plenty of extras to make a day at the beach – well, a day at the beach.

Body-color tow hooks peak through the matte-black front bumper whose color extends around the entire truck. Above that is the very bright Orange Blast paint that coats the sport performance vented hood. Sitting on top of the cab is a custom Mopar “surf rack” that works in conjunction with the two rack bars over the truck’s bed. The system is able to accommodate long boards and paddleboards, while extra hooks along the racks’ inside provide storage for four additional surfboards.

After a long day of surfing, personal clean up is a breeze with an onboard shower with a water bladder hidden inside the driver side RamBox. Perhaps the coolest feature found on the Ram Sun Chaser is the flip-up double seats bolted to the tailgate. With the flip of a lever, the molded-plastic seatback raises up to comfortably seat two adults while their legs hang off the tailgate. Two molded upholders provide an extra touch of comfort. We would love to see this upgrade make it the regular Mopar options list.

Inside the Sun Chaser, Katzkin leather seats feature stitching to match the Vibrance Orange Blast paint. The same stitching is found on the dash and door inserts. The Ram’s 5.7-liter, HEMI V-8 engine gets a Mopar cat-back exhaust, while the suspension gets a two-inch lift. Custom-built 17-inch beadlock wheels are wrapped in meaty rubber built to keep the Ram powering forward.

Click past the jump for more on the 2014 Ram Sun Chaser concept truck

Posted on by Simona  

Phew, let’s take a short break from all of the SEMA craziness to focus on another important auto show: the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.

This is where Acura will debut a Sport Hybrid version of the 2014 RLX sedan . The new RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will hit showrooms in 2014, and Acura will release prices soon.

The model will boast Acura’s Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain that helps the flagship pound out V-8 performance and deliver the fuel economy of a four-pot. This SH-AWD system combines a 3.5-liter, i-VTEC V-6 engine with three electric motors and a seven-cog, dual-clutch auto transmission to deliver an outstanding 377 horsepower. Thanks to its amazing output and all-wheel-drive system, this new model promises to deliver "outstanding handling and all-weather performance capabilities."

On top of the nearly 400 ponies, this RLX Sport Hybrid delivers a combined fuel economy of 30 mpg.

No other details were offered on this RLX SH, but the first image reveals that it will look nearly identical to the standard version. We’re sure there will be a few differences that Acura will reveal at a later date, but we only have one image to go off of for now.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Acura RLX.

Posted on by Simona  

A while ago, Scion announced its usual "Tuner Challenge" competition for the upcoming 2013 SEMA Show . From all the entries the tuner had to select only three winners and each of them received a stock 2014 tC plus $15,000 to design and modify the car within 90 days.

One of these modified cars will be a tC designed and modified by Young Tea, from Alhambra, Calif. His car was built in his personal garage and is suitable both for the track and daily driving.

His “Simpli-tC” concept took a base Scion tC and added an aggressive exterior kit that includes new fenders, a custom dual-outlet exhaust rear diffuser and many more, but it also lowered the car’s ride for a more aggressive look.

He did lots of work under the hood too, but up to this point the specifications figures have been kept a secret. However, we are pretty sure that his car will deliver more than the standard 180 horsepower.

Click past the jump to read more about the Scion Simpli-tC by Young Tea.

Posted on by Simona  

It looks like the Scion FR-S will be one of the major stars at this year’s SEMA Show. Scion prepared no less than four concept cars based on the FR-S , and we are pretty sure we will see more than these in Las Vegas.

One of the four concepts was designed in cooperation with Bulletproof Automotive and transforms the obedient FR-S into a 500-horsepower beast with an exterior paint conversion inspired by Lamborghini.

A base FR-S delivers only 200 horsepower, so you can imagine that taking it up to 500 horsepower required lots of work. To achieve this massive number, Bulletproof installed a new, Powerhouse Amuse turbo kit with a EFR 6758 turbocharger, new titanium turbo downpipe and front pipe, 86.5 mm overbore pistons, upgraded rods and ACL bearings. There is also a new Amuse Titan Extra STTI exhaust system. The concept can run on both 91 octane and E85 fuels.

Click past the jump to read more about Scion FR-S Concept One by Bulletproof Automotive.

Posted on by Simona  

Never one to miss a chance to peddle its wares at the SEMA Show , Mopar will roll into Las Vegas with more than 20 highly modified vehicles , ranging from the small Fiat 500 to the recently launched SRT Viper .

With the show inching closer, Mopar has revealed the first details on the models it will present in Las Vegas. It started off these announcements with a SEMA-prepped 2014 Chrysler 300S .

The 2014 300S is draped in a Phantom Black tri-coat paint combined with a set of 20-inch rollers borrowed from the Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition painted Mopar bronze.

The 300S is further distinguished by a 13-bar, black "Gotham" grille surround, a black SRT rear spoiler and a lowering kit that drops the full-size sedan closer to the ground, giving it a more aggressive look and helping it handle a little better.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Chrysler 300S by Mopar.


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