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2013

2013

Posted on by Simona  

After a very short tease, Honda unveiled the new FCEV Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show . The concept hints at futuristic and aerodynamic design of a next-generation fuel-cell electric vehicle set for release in 2015 in the U.S and Japan, with a European release to follow later.

As you can see the concept features an ultra-aerodynamic body and a design language that takes the current FCX one step forward. It offers interior room for five passengers and will be powered by a new powertrain.

According to Honda, when the production version will arrive in 2015, it will be the first vehicle in the world to feature a fuel-cell powertrain packaged completely in the engine room of the vehicle. This new powertrain will deliver a 60% increase in power density - up to 3kW/L and will ensure a driving range of more than 300 miles of with a quick refueling time of about three minutes.

Updated 11/21/2013: The new Honda FCEV Concept made its world debut at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. With the occasion we’ve updated this review with the official details, images and a promo video.

Click past the jump to read more about the current Honda FCX Clarity.


If Jeff Gordon can have his own Chevrolet SS signature model at SEMA , there’s no reason for Chevrolet to tap another famous NASCAR driver to have his own model too, right?

That, apparently, was the prevailing thought at the Bowtie headquarters and to answer that question, the company enlisted Tony Stewart’s help to develop a custom Chevrolet Silverado .

It seems appropriate that the man known as "Smoke" can have his imprint on a pickup truck with the torque-twisting power of the Silverado. It certainly takes a pickup the stature of the Silverado to live up to Stewart’s brash and go get-’em driving style on the track and the marriage couldn’t have been made any better.

The concept itself is based on the 2014 Silverado LTZ Z71, and it was designed with an exterior that comes with a Dark Tarnished Silver color, tinted headlights and taillights, and plenty of unique graphics that point back to the man who has won three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles.

A handful of Chevrolet Accessories components, a lot of which are available through Chevy dealers, were also used on the concept, including a tonneau cover, four-inch chrome assist steps and a set of 22-inch wheels with a custom finish.

The interior modifications are limited to just Stewart’s signature embroidered on the headrests, but make no mistake, this concept Silverado has the likeness of Smoke all the way through.

Click past the jump to read about the standard 2014 Chevrolet Silverado

Posted on by Simona  

This year’s SEMA Show brought a lineup of Toyota vehicles specially designed for athletes. One of these athlete-centric designs is the RAV4 Life Time Fitness, and it also happens to be a part of Toyota’s "Dream Build Challenge."

The RAV4 Life Time Fitness was designed by LifeTime Fitness company in cooperation with Team Toyota triathletes Sarah Haskins, Andy Potts and Hunter Kemper, and Toyota had it on display in Vegas from 5th to 8th of November. With the SEMA Show now in the books, this special RAV4 hits the road to support Toyota-sponsored athletes at select events.

According to one of the designers of this project, Sarah Haskins, the RAV4 Life Time Fitness has incorporated cutting-edge tools that will helps athletes to "build their racing skills, while enabling them to relax a little too."

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota RAV4 Life Time Fitness.


Aftermarket companies often rely on inspiration before they set out and build a project. For Fatal Clothing — it isn’t so much a car tuner as it is an actual clotting brand — inspiration came essentially from home, specifically Southern California.

Together with Hulst Customs, which has its own project pickup at SEMA, Fatal Clothing went about the business of building a pretty impressive program for the Ford F-150. The custom paintwork Fatal Clothings did to the F-150, specifically on the rear doors, is straight out of one of its nutty t-shirt designs. The white-black two-tone finish with the matching lime trimming adds an element of depth and character to the pickup. The exterior details are rounded out by a set of 24-inch, custom-fit DUB Wheels from MHT Wheels and wrapped in Falken tires.

Moving to the interior, Fatal Clothings made good use of Katzkin leather, custom-painted panels and Fatal Clothing artwork, including the company’s logo, which were embroidered in the seats.

Under the hood of the F-150 is a 6.2-liter, V-8 engine that Fatal Clothing whipped up to insane performance levels, thanks to a twin-screw supercharger from Whipple Industries and performance exhaust system from CGS Motorsports. With these upgrades in tow, the F-150 is now capable of hitting a staggering 650 horsepower.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford F-150


The SEMA show has only just begun, yet the awards are already flowing. Officials for the Specialty Equipment Market Association show walked the floor before the crowds gathered and literally counted the number of new 2013 and 2014 vehicle makes and models present. The Ford Mustang and F-Series were the two top finishers, beating out the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado , Camaro , and other popular platforms chosen by aftermarket companies to show off their products.

We’ve already seen a ton of custom F-Series trucks, which includes the F-150 through F-550s and the iconic Mustang pony car in various forms. The award confirms our suspicions that the two breadwinners for Ford are quite a popular place to start a custom-vehicle project.

“Ford was the first automaker to share detailed vehicle specs with SEMA members,” said John Felice, Ford’s VP of U.S. marketing, sales and service. “Thirty years later, we’re proud that more aftermarket accessories and parts are created for Ford vehicles than for any other automaker.”

According to SEMA, the specialty parts market has grown into a $31 billion industry and employs more than 1 million U.S. workers.

Click past the jump for examples of Ford’s dominance at the 2013 SEMA show

As the defending champions of the Toyota Dream Build Challenge, Kyle Busch Motorsports certainly has to live up to if it wants the title to stay in its garage. This year, Busch is taking a step down to let one of his NASCAR drivers pick up the mantle.

And so it is, Parker Kligerman takes the reigns from Busch and with the help of KBM, he worked on the 2013 Toyota Camry and plunged headfirst into giving it a rally look.

The car itself is billed as the CamRally, and true enough, Kligerman turned it into a true rally racer, complete with Toyota’s vintage red, orange and yellow racing color combination to go with a host of rally-oriented performance enhancements. HID driving lights from Lightforce were also installed on the sedan, while a unique window sheet material comes courtesy of 5-Star Racing Windows. And for that distinctive look, the CamRally sports a special logo designed exclusively for this model with Kligerman’s racing number 77 prominently featured on the logo.

Inside, the racing seats are rally-spec, as are closed racing windows, the standard roll cage, and heat protection, all of which adds functionality to the CamRally’s rally identity.

Performance upgrades were also part of the CamRally’s equation with Kligerman and KBM putting extra emphasis on giving the Camry a variety of engine modifications. Turbochargers have been added from Turbonetics with an intercooler system coming from Spearco. Intakes and an air filter are also new from Custom DSE and K&N, rounding out what’s looking like another winning program from Parker Kligerman and the folks from Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Click past the jump to read more about Parker Kligerman’s Toyota CamRally


On the surface, this Ford F-250 that Hulst Customs worked on looks like it didn’t receive too much of an aftermarket upgrade that’s deserving of a spot at the 2013 SEMA Auto Show .

But don’t sleep on what Hulst did to this Ford pickup. There’s a lot to like about what the tuner did, specifically the dressed-up interior that belies the rugged and mean package of the exterior. The most prominent upgrade to the Striker — yes, it’s called the Striker! — is the addition of a two-tone Katzkin leather that’s complemented by custom-painted panels and chrome accents.

Moving to the performance enhancements, Hulst Customs made use of Banks Power performance upgrades that includes a water-methanol injection system and a Monster exhaust systems that essentially took the F-250’s 6.7-liter, V-8 diesel and turned into a grunting powerhouse that you can proudly show off to anybody who comes across the pickup .

A new set of 22-inch wheels from American Rebel MFG round out the package, putting a worth exclamation mark on a program that has far more substance than you would’ve expected.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty


Just by its name alone, you can immediately determine that this 2015 Chevrolet Suburban was created with the young and adventurous in mind. Likely no middle-aged person will understand the ’half-pipe’ tag, but for those that lived along the same time as the X-Games explosion, half-pipe is synonymous with action sports.

That’s why when Chevrolet decided to develop this Suburban, it had the young ones in mind and true to form, the Half-Pipe Concept comes with plenty of features that will tug at the heartstrings of action junkies. Chevrolet Accessories’ roof rack and crossbars were mounted on the roof of the SUV, serving the dual purpose of mounting skis or snowboards into them. And for a more distinctive appearance, the automaker also added a set of 22-inch wheels and center caps.

Inside, the modifications continue with leather-trimmed seats and a Blu-ray-based entertainment system in case the young ones need to take a break from all skiing and snowboarding, and prefer to unwind in the confines of their own mobile entertainment unit.

The Chevrolet Suburban Half-Pipe Concept is tailor-made for a specific market. Even so, it doesn’t mean that it’s limited to that exclusive group. Everybody can enjoy what the SUV is offering, even if you’re not so much into the action stuff.

Click past the jump to read about the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban


Our own Mark McNabb is present and accounted for at the Miami International Auto Show , and he is all set to start snapping off pictures galore of the various cars gracing the show. The first tasty bit of information that Mark snagged up for us was a press release announcing the the 2014 Corvette Stingray is the "Official Car" of the 2013 Miami Auto Show.

Since its debut, more and more press just keeps on rolling in for the Stingray, with the vast majority of it being good. Sure, there are some folks — my cousin included — that simply cannot stand the new Stingray, but I personally love the new look and the fact that GM wasn’t afraid to ditch signature items, like the dual-round taillights, to prove that this was the start of a new era for the Corvette .

The one item that irked us a little here at TopSpeed was the use of the Stingray name after it was retired so long ago. Well, according to the press release from the auto show, Chevy actually never intended to attach the "Stingray" nameplate to the C7 Corvette. According to John Fitzpatrick, Chevrolet Performance Cars Marketing Manager, "We set out to build the greatest Corvette we could. It wasn’t until after we got done with it that that we said, `You know, this really does remind everybody of the `63, in terms of not only the look of the car but how the car feels and how it reacts.’"

He continued "We thought it was natural to add the Stingray name at that point."

With that clarification in mind, we are pleased to know that the reuse of the famed moniker was not simply a marketing ploy, and it came organically.

Well, we tip our hats to GM and the official car of the 2013 Miami International Auto Show, the 2014 Stingray!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Stingray.

Posted on by TB +  

The all-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade has arrived! Official images followed a posh event in New York last night, debuting the production version of the new Cadillac flagship.

After becoming quite familiar with the updates to the similar 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon Denali , it is clear that all three of these machines are vastly improved in almost every way. As the Cadillac of the line, the Escalade naturally brings the best 420-horsepower, V-8 engine and third-gen magnetic shocks as standard.

The Caddy’s exterior is defined by some striking LED lighting front and back. Luxury details abound inside the cabin, including special leathers and better seats than its cheaper siblings. Offered as a gurgling rear-drive or refined all-wheel-drive setup in regular or ESV sizes, the new Escalade is faster, smoother and more efficient than ever before.

The Escalade is still the king of the road in many places, and the new grille is certainly enough to grab some flash bulbs. This big truck looks great versus the previous three generations of Cadillac full-size SUVs. With pricing and dimensions that put most other SUVs in "time out," the Escalade is tipped for pricing between $65,000 and $95,000 when it arrives in early Spring 2014.

Update 11/8/2013: The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is making tis auto show debut at the 2013 Miami International Auto Show today. We will bring you any new information that comes from this debut as soon as we hear it. Stay tuned!

Updated 01/20/2014: A leaked image of the 2015 Escalade reveals that the new SUV will arrive at dealerships this spring at a price of $71,695 - which represents a price increase of $3,725 over the previous year. (GM Inside News)

Updated 02/11/2014: Cadillac revealed a new video in which it highlights the SUV’s new headlamps that combine the precision and execution of advanced technology with elegance and beauty of fine artistry.

Click past the jump for all the official launch details from Cadillac on the exciting new 2015 Escalade.


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