midsize cars

midsize cars

  Midsize cars offer a compromise between expensive luxury and cheap cars. They are comfortable and nicely equiped but they often look a bit dull and not real fast. But they will often be the best deal for the money conscious consumers.

TRD (Toyota Racing Development) isn’t just heading to the 2012 SEMA Auto with the Avalon TRD Edition , but with an Avalon HV Edition as well. This Avalon tuning firm is a concept based on the Avalon Hybrid that highlights the potential of the new car.

The new Avalon HV Edition will feature a Bright white paint finish combined with electric blue accent colors on the hybrid-blue headlights, tail-lights and turn signals, and the color-keyed custom grille. The HV sits on a new set of 19" custom wheel design with a three-stage paint finish.

The same color theme continues on the interior where the tuner opted for blue-silver metallic leather and white perforated leather seat inserts, as well as crisp blue stitching and dashboard accents. Just like the other concept headed to SEMA, the HV Edition features a 15-speaker JBL GreenEdgeTM surround-sound audio system.

We are not sure if any changes have been made in terms of power, but there are some changes in tow for the car’s suspensions and brakes. TRD installed cold-rolled steel coil springs that lower the vehicle approximately one inch at the front and rear.

Full details will be revealed during the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, so stay tuned!

It looks as though the new Ford Taurus SHO will also be part of Ford ’s line-up for the upcoming 2012 SEMA Show. The first tuning package that has been announced is by CGS Motorsports and shows off a wrapped Taurus SHO, leaving it dressed to impress for a black-tie affair.

The SHO is geared with CGS Performance Products and all the finest aftermarket components making it worthy to roll out on the red carpet. While no official details have been provided just yet, the first image reveals a carbon fiber engine bonnet, hood, and rear spoiler. The concept is painted in a very cool white combined with different black elements and sits on a new set of wheels combined with new brake calipers.

Under the hood, CGS opted for the 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 engine combined with a six-speed selectShift automatic transmission, but at this point, we can not tell for sure if we will see any power upgrades.

Toyota ’s newest Avalon is an impressive vehicle, but it can get even more impressive when introduced to the fine folks at the Toyota Racing Devel Devel opment (TRD). TRD is showcasing their take on the Avalon with a concept car appearing at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show. Their Avalon Concept not only highlights the design features of the exterior, but also adds a supercharger system to bump the V6 engine’s power. To what level it is boosted to is unknown at this point, but surely it will be revealed once the car is unveiled in Las Vegas.

The new Avalon TRD features a two-tone custom paint finish, a color-keyed grille, and tinted taillights, as well as a new set of custom 19" wheels. There is also a TRD Big Brake kit and a new spring/shock package that lowers the car about one inch.

For the interior, TRD added graduated perforated leather with red piping and stitching, plus a JBL GreenEdgeTM surround sound system with 15 speakers.

Hit the jump to read more about the Toyota Avalon TRD Edition.

Chevrolet is set to use the 2012 SEMA Auto Show to be a kind of performance and personalization showcase for a lot of its models. We’ve already seen a couple of performance Sonics that are headed to the annual aftermarket show in Las Vegas and now Chevy has announced its intent to bring a performance version of a car that was just unveiled recently: the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo.

Called the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept, the car comes decked with a basket case full of aerodynamic and performance upgrades, turning what is already the fastest production Malibu into a meaner and more aggressive sports sedan.

On the outside, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept features a unique exterior paint finish called Berlin Blue Tricoat. Looking at the renderings of the car, the color works pretty well on the Malibu Turbo. From there, an aero package was installed that includes a new front splitter, rocker panels, a new rear diffuser, a boot-mounted wing, clear tail lamp lenses, turbo badges, and a new set of 20" alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero tires. You’ll notice that the Malibu’s front profile looks a lot more menacing than its stock counterpart. That’s because Chevrolet did a little switcheroo, fitting the concept with a custom lower grille and fog lamp grilles with red surrounds.

Inside, the modifications continue with the use of Jet Black leather and Navy Blue suede trim with matching red accent stitching on the Recaro sports seats, the flat-bottom steering wheel, the door panels, and the instrument panel.

Finally, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept also received a sizable performance upgrade, courtesy of a new cold-air intake system that improves the power from the car’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Considering the Malibu Turbo already nets 259 horsepower, it’s possible that, with these mods in tow, the Malibu Turbo Performance Concept can break 300 ponies easy.

Kia’s partnership with DC Entertainment to raise awareness for the latter’s We Can Be Heroes campaign against hunger in the Horn of Africa apparently extends further than the recent Optima "Batmobile" we saw a week ago.

Turns out, the Korean automaker has another superhero-inspired model headed to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show . Together with the fellas over at West Coast Customs, Kia brought the Forte Koup "Flash" at Las Vegas.

Considering that there’s no car in the automaker’s entire line-up that can really give justice to The Flash and his lightning speed super powers, we’re not going to hold it against Kia. After all, the Forte Koup Flash actually looks sizzling. The red, orange, and yellow airbrushed exterior color is a trademark of Flash’s costume. The hood also bears the iconic Flash logo with a cutout right in the middle, allowing everybody to see the kind of engine this bad boy packs. A custom coil over suspension was also added, effectively improving the Forte Koup Flash’s handling while a new set of 20" Asanti color-matched wheels wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires.

Inside, the Forte Koup Flash’s seats have been reupholstered in black nappa leather with contrasting red suede and yellow stitching. Character artwork has also been embroidered into the seats. Likewise, the headliner also gets black suede upholstery with custom stitching and custom-painted pieces. West Coast Customs also installed two, 10" sub woofers and two sets of coaxial component speakers with a Quart four-channel amp. Finally, a pair of 7" Rosen Entertainment monitors plays a "We Can Be Heroes" campaign video in the front headrests.

For those old enough to have witnessed the glory that was "Robocop" in theaters, you not only got to see an ultra-modern, crime-fighting machine, but you also got to see one of the most modern American cars of the era. That’s right, back in 1986, the Ford Taurus with its rounded body and fuel-injected V-6 was actually one of the most modern-looking and driving cars manufactured in the U.S. Sure, it fell by the wayside as the years went on, but nearly everyone that was around and not busy watching "Alf" or "Back to The Future" I through III still recalls the fanfare that the first-gen Taurus received.

There was so much fanfare that it managed to weasel its way into a supporting role as Alex J. Murphy’s car of choice. Well, the Taurus is once again one of the more modern American cars of its time, particularly the SHO model, and there is now a remake of "Robocop" in production. So we now have the perfect setup for a reunion of the two, and that looks to be what is going on, thanks to the savvy camera work of one person.

Above we have a late-model Taurus or what looks to be the SHO variety caught out in the open wearing obvious Robocop-esque duds. Could it possibly be that the "Robocop" of 2013 or 2014 will whip the same model its predecessor did in 1987? It looks mighty possible to us.

We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available about this new "Robocop" car.

In 2011, MRT Performance went to the SEMA Auto Show to present a fully customized Ford Mustang . That custom build caught our eye not only because of the two-tone orange and black paint finish, but also because it came packed with a comprehensive performance upgrade that included a ProCharger supercharger, an MRT stainless steel MaxFlow h-pipe and half-back exhaust system, and an H&R coilover performance suspension.

This year, MRT Performance is back at SEMA, except that this time, they’re trading chops and leaving the Mustang behind in favor of another vehicle from the Blue Oval: the 2013 Ford Fusion.

Instead of the orange and black set-up that they’ve come to use int he past, the tuning firm went for a blue-and-black paint scheme that gives the Fusion a far more aggressive look. Not to say that the hybrid sedan is a mundane car, but the colors speak to a more impressive profile. The program builds on the sporty style of the Fusion to go with enough performance upgrades to stand its ground at the SEMA show floor.

The fun and stylish street performer that will definitely catch your eye, while the performance stance and sounds from the newly installed Eco-Flow exhaust system will undoubtedly keep your attention. Rounding out the modifications are a new set of custom blue Forgestar wheels also play into the color’s well, creating a balanced and aesthetically pleasing look without going overboard.

Kia has teamed up with DC Entertainment and Rides magazine to create a one-off version of the 2013 Optima that is inspired by the DC Comic “Batman.” This creation is slated to be part of a benefit dubbed the “We Can Be Heroes” campaign, which helps fight hunger in the Horn of Africa. The benefit itself is a great cause, but the car is simply awesome.

Kia started off with the range-topping Optima SX, which boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that pops out 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and an impressive 269 pound-feet at torque at an ultra-low 1,750 rpm. This is enough to get this sedan to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds, but still turn in a 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway EPA fuel economy rating.

Though there are no engine modifications, sans the performance exhaust system, to this Kia turned Batmobile, it does boast a lowered coil-over suspension to help it in the twist and Ksport performance brakes to grind it to a halt a little quicker. On the exterior, Kia draped the Optima in a matte- and piano-black color combination and tossed in a set of 20-inch black wheels wrapped in low-profile rubber. Kia also modified its trademark grille to look like the batman logo and even placed the batman logo in place of the “Kia” logo in the center of the grille. Wrapping up the exterior are yellow LED lights underneath the vehicle and the bat signal etched into the HID headlights.

Inside the Optima, Kia wrapped the interior in custom black leather and suede with yellow accent stitching to maintain the Batman theme. You even get a “Bat suit” in the trunk and a set of throwing stars in the center console. Two video screens on the front headrests cap of the interior and will be playing a video during the campaign that will showcase how people can get involved with the “We Can Be Heroes” project.

Our hats go off to Kia for building such an awesome car for just an awesome cause.

Click past the jump to read Kia’s press release.

The 2013 Ford Fusion will be well represented at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show . That much appears to be evident with the release of a number of previews for the hybrid sedan, all of which come with their own unique modifications from a variety of aftermarket companies.

One of the SEMA-bound Fusion models comes from a team that’s no stranger to the SEMA floor: Tjin Edition .

Last year, Tjin Edition brought four models to SEMA. This year, we still don’t know how many they have under the sheets. What we do know is one of them is the Ford Fusion. For their take on the hybrid sedan, Tjin Edition started off by dressing up the Fusion in a DuPoint Beige paint finish to go with a 3D Carbon lip kit. There’s also a fancy set of 21" copper iForged Concave wheels wrapped in Falken tires, copper mirror caps, a Baer big brake upgrade with lime green brake calipers, and modified suspension from Pedders.

Inside, the modifications are also extensive, although full details are still being withheld. Tjin Edition does look like its bringing some more of that lime color as shown by the dress-up done on the steering wheel. The aftermarket company also installed a new Scosche Audio audio system to give the car some serious audio power. Par for the course on a car headed to SEMA, right?

Rounding out the modifications for the Fusion Tjin Edition is the addition of a custom turbo kit from Unique Fabrication and a side-exit exhaust system from Magnaflow. No word yet on how much of a performance boost this will generate, but we expect it to be on the up-and-up side.

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

Back in August 2012, Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid established an impressive speed record of 185.394 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Just a couple of short months later, the vehicle returned to the scene of the victory to break its own record, and succeeded in doing so! The car averaged 186.313 mph over two runs during the SCTA’s World Finals event, eclipsing the previous record by 18.8 mph. Even more impressive is that, during the first round, it hit a top speed of 187.147 mph.

For those who do not remember, the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid combines a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline generating 150 HP and 184 lb/ft of torque with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery that produces an additional 27 HP. The battery consists of 60 individual cells with a combined energy capacity of 5 Ah.

"We’re very proud that the Jetta Hybrid has not only posted the fastest speed for a hybrid at Bonneville, but that it has gone out and broken an SCTA land speed record as well," said Jonathan Browning, CEO and President, Volkswagen Group of America. "Achieving this record at Bonneville shows that the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class, offering excellent fuel economy while retaining the fun-to-drive nature expected from a Volkswagen."


Back to top