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This Kia Stinger Wears its Widebody Kit Well

This Kia Stinger Wears its Widebody Kit Well

Turns an already aggressive looking car into something evil

The Kia Stinger has received a lot of attention since it debuted some two years ago and while at first the attention was mainly due to it being a new model that nobody knew anything about, now it gets attention specifically because people know it’s actually pretty good. But for those that think that the factory look just isn’t aggressive enough, now there’s a bold widebody kit that completely transforms its look.

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2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian

2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian

Designed by West Coast Customs

For the 2017 SEMA Show, Kia teamed up with iconic custom car builder West Coast Customs for two unique versions of its existing production models. One is based on the awesome Stinger GT, which will arrive in the U.S. for the 2018 model year, while the second one is based on the Cadenza, the company’s second-largest offering in North America. Called the Cadenza Obsidian, the concept car brings together features usually found on luxury cars and flashy color accents that define most aftermarket builds.

In typical West Coast Customs fashion, the Cadenza gained a custom paint job with contrasting highlights and a new set of wheels. Inside, the sedan became a tad more luxurious thanks to soft leather and hand-stitched suede. To top it off, the tuning firm added dark window tint and a lowered suspension for a gangster look. It definitely looks like something Kia should put into production in limited numbers, but I don’t think it’s going to happen very soon. But keep reading to see what makes the Cadenza Obsidian a cool sedan.

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2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

The Stinger GT goes wide and low

Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the Kia Stinger not only proved that the Korean brand had what it takes to give the German companies a run for their money but also signaled its intent to become more active in the high-performance market with the GT model. Powered by a high-revving V-6 with more than 350 horsepower and sporting an aggressive design, the Stinger GT could mean trouble for the likes of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. With the sedan just a couple of months away from arriving at U.S. dealerships, Kia paired up with iconic customization shop West Coast Customs for a unique take on the Stinger GT.

Displayed alongside other modified Kia models at the 2017 SEMA Show, this bespoke Stinger GT stands out thanks to a sporty-looking wide body kit and an array of carbon-fiber body parts. It also has a customized interior and a lowered ride height, demonstrating that the sedan has plenty of potential for aftermarket add-ons. Whether Kia is planning some sort of body upgrade in the future remains a mystery, but there’s been a lot of talk about a higher performance Stinger GT. Until we find out more, let’s have a closer look at this widebody version of the sedan.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Wide Body.

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2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation

2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation

A few tasteful mods for Kia’s performance star

South Korean automaker Kia just introduced the hot-to-trot Stinger GT five-door earlier this year at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, with sales slated to kick off in December of this year. When it was introduced, enthusiasts just about wet their pants with delight, and for good reason. Not only does it look fantastic, but it’s got the performance credentials to back the aesthetic. And that makes the speedy mid-size luxury machine a fantastic fit for the customized glitz and gloss of the annual SEMA show. As such, Kia is introducing a variety of bespoke examples, including this tasteful rendition you see before you. Upgrades include a few body mods, new paint, minor engine enhancements, and complementary suspension pieces.

SEMA attendees will have a chance to experience the Kia Stinger’s cornering prowess first hand on an autocross course, as Kia will be offering ride-alongs with professional drifters at the show. Meanwhile, those of us admiring from afar can gaze upon customized offerings like the GT Federation and anticipate a forthcoming deluge of parts and accessories, which Kia acknowledges as confirmation of its move towards further performance offerings. In fact, Kia says interested buyers will be able to pick up these performance parts via specific suppliers following the car’s launch. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Federation.

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2016 Kia Sorento X-Men

2016 Kia Sorento X-Men

Kia’s love affair with super heroes is well-documented. How can we forget the quintet of cars it rolled out at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, all inspired by our favorite members of DC’s Justice League. In July 2013, West Coast Customs even dressed up a 2016 Kia Sorento with all members of the Justice League getting prominent face time. Not one to corner itself in the DC Universe, Kia’s latest superhero-inspired creation is another heavily customized Sorento that pays homage to everyone’s favorite mutant super team, the X-Men.

The X-Men-inspired Sorento was created to commemorate the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past on Blue-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. The release itself is irrelevant in our eyes, but the X-Men Sorento certainly isn’t. In addition to serving as a promo vehicle for the release of this summer’s blockbuster movie, the SUV will also do double-duty as a showcase piece at the 2015 Australian Open in Melbourne. Additionally, It will star in a video of sorts with tennis star Rafael Nadal and a handful of mutants to take on the Sentinels in the lead-up to the Australian Open.

Kia’s keeping mum on the inspiration behind the X-Men Sorento. Instead, it’s inviting fans to vote on its Facebook page from a pool of choices that include Storm, Wolverine, Mystique, and Magneto. Unless you have absolutely no clue who the X-Men are, we’ll venture a guess that nobody’s going to get this multiple choice question wrong.

On that note, we would’ve loved to see how Kia would adapt Mystique on the Kia Sorento. Something about her scaly blue skin would probably look cool as a paint job, wouldn’t it?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Kia Sorento X-Men.

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2015 Kia Sedona Karting

2015 Kia Sedona Karting

In a field dominated by Honda and Toyota, it’s good to see Kia shaking things up. The Korean automaker’s Sedona minivan is a welcome break from the relatively unchanged Odyssey and Sienna. With revamped styling and an updated interior, the Sedona is looking like a solid competitor for 2015. But what if you want a minivan for more than just the daily grind? What if you dream of filling your weekends with qualifying laps and inside passes? Then the Sedona Karting is here to help.

Nothing is more fundamental to building race driving skills than a kart. Most of the world’s top drivers started in karting, including Michael Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Danica Patrick. These incredible little machines come with insane power-to-weight ratios and enough grip to break ribs. Plus, they’re affordable enough to fit into any racer’s budget, even those scrimping for braces and a college fund.

Mixing both a high-speed hobby and familial necessity, the Kia Sedona Karting comes with a roof-mounted rack and aluminum trailer to haul two karts to the track. There’s also a Fiamma awning, which is a necessity for keeping your side of the pit cool on a sunny day. All the other kids at the school run will be jealous when you pull to the curb with 20-inch, powder-coated wheels and a vinyl graphics scheme overlaid on a bright Kinetic Motorsports Red paint job. It’s the kind of package that should entice any household looking for that all-family podium.

Click past the jump to read more about Kia Sedona Karting.

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2015 Kia High-Performance K900

2015 Kia High-Performance K900

If you were to build a track car, the $60,000 Kia K900 might not be the first thing you would pick as a starting point, but humans have certainly done crazier things. The Kia High-Performance K900 is a sportier take on the K900 luxury sedan — the most opulent and cosseting car Kia has ever built by a long shot. Kia envisions the High-Performance K900 as the perfect transport for ferrying racing drivers and autocratic race team managers between race tracks and the nearest five-star hotel. It’s possibly the narrowest market segment ever targeted, but we’re sure a sportier K900 could find interest elsewhere — particle physicists who play croquet, perhaps.

The High-Performance K900 features some pretty dramatic changes over the K900s you would find on the showroom floor. First, and most obvious, is the new one-off body kit that features some racy-looking carbon-fiber inserts. Gigantic gloss-black 21-inch wheels are mounted at each corner with some pretty serious multi-piston brakes peering from behind. Fortunately, it’s not just about the looks. The beefed-up K900 also benefits from forced induction, with the 5.0-liter V-8 taken to an unprecedented level of power for the Korean automaker. Check out the full details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Kia K900.

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2015 Kia Smitten Soul EV

2015 Kia Smitten Soul EV

The Kia Soul has become a SEMA staple since the model was introduced in 2008. Now that the funky crossover is on its second generation, we can expect Kia to keep bringing the Soul to the world’s biggest aftermarket auto show. This year, Kia will showcase a handful of new models under the theme “A Day At The Races." Needless to say, the Soul is part of the lineup and it’s coming dressed up as one of the sharpest-looking ice cream trucks you’ll ever see.

That’s a handful to digest right there, and Kia didn’t do us any favors by keeping the details under wraps. The pictures do paint a pretty interesting story about this dressed up Soul EV, which Kia is calling the Smitten Soul EV. You’ll immediately recognize that this is the Soul EV and not the gas-powered model because of the body-color insert where the front grille is supposed to be. It even has an “Ice Cream” decal spelled backwards on the grille insert, similar to what you see in ambulances. That’s usually done so they spell out properly when viewed in a mirror.

Other design highlights of the Smitten Soul EV include a two-tone finish with red working as the primary color mixed with splashes of white on the lower front bumper, the roof, and the body graphics. On the roof, you’ll notice what looks like three cosmetic megaphones, although those things probably work by pressing some toggle switches on the cabin.

A quick look at the cabin shows the same two-tone red-and-white treatment on the leather seats. Just behind the seats appears to be a wooden partition separating the front and rear sections. There are no detailed photos of the rear yet, but I imagine it to be the business set up of the entire “ice cream truck” concept. A foldable table connects that part with a small trailer — the trailer appears to be the hauling medium for the folding table.

We’ll know more about the Kia Smitten Soul EV when the Korean automaker brings it to the 2014 SEMA Auto Show, which starts on November 4, 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about Kia Soul EV.

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2014 Kia Vans Warped Tour Soul

2014 Kia Vans Warped Tour Soul

To commemorate the annual Vans Warped Tour, Kia and Popular Mechanics are tapping into their youthful and fun spirits to present a Kia Soul that defies explanation at the 2013 SEMA Auto Show.

The specially created crossover was designed and developed with the idea of taking to the road to enjoy the famous touring music and extreme sports festival. If there ever was a car that captures the idea and essence of the Vans Warped Tour, it’s this one.

Not only does the Soul carry a custom, albeit bombastic, paint finish that was inspired by the colors of the tour itself, Popular Mechanics and Kia decided to give it an eye-catching airbrush artwork detail, complete with references to the blending in of the music and action sports worlds. The windows of the Soul are all gone, and in their place are custom-built fiberglass body panels, each housing a pair of Infinity eight-inch speakers. Wonder how you can appreciate the outside world when you’re inside this vehicle?

But thoughtful musings like those are far from the objective of this Soul, as this specially-produced crossover has one objective in mind: to bring the spirit of the Vans Warped Tour to life inside a rolling set of wheels. A 50-inch flat-panel monitor has also been mounted atop the car with running footage from the tour itself so you never miss out on the experience of the festival.

Finally, a slide-out rear barbeque was also fitted into the this Soul, giving you the full music-inspired tailgating experience so you can enjoy the tour like nobody’s business.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Vans Warped Tour Soul after the jump

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2014 Kia Music Memorabilia Soul

2014 Kia Music Memorabilia Soul

Museums are often times housed inside massive buildings; a lot of us know that.

Apparently, Kia is looking to reinvent the way museums are developed and with the help of RIDES Magazine, the Korean automaker has turned one of its Soul crossovers into an actual museum. Really, there are plenty of signature items inside this Soul that’ll make you consider foregoing that trip to Cleveland.

It’s a veritable music museum on wheels, filled with memorabilia from a variety of industry icons. There’s a guitar signed by Slash, a G-Unit sneaker signed by 50 Cent, a Jimi Hendrix gold album, and a signed John Legend microphone. All these items are displayed in Plexiglass enclosures — hand-built, by the way — in the Soul’s trunk, rear windows, and rear hatch insert.

If that’s not enough to truly identify this Soul as a true one-of-a-kind, the collaborators used gold and platinum records as the overarching influence of the crossover, highlighted by a PPG waterborne platinum silver paint, gold exhaust tips and a set of 20-inch anodized gold HRE 935 wheels.

Even the interior wasn’t spared from getting its own detailing. A custom black suede and leather interior are the highlighted and complemented nicely by gold diamond stitching and painted trims.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Kia Memorabilia Soul

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2014 Kia Amped Soul

2014 Kia Amped Soul

So you have a Kia Soul that’s been turned into a museum; a Soul that has a DJ mixer on its roof; and a Soul that pays homage to The Voice. Wonder what else the company can think of, right?

Well, this collaboration between Kia and Popular Mechanics has the answer. Like its name suggests, the Amped Soul is all about bringing even more boom to the small crossover, specifically those ear-gasmic JBL speakers that somehow are strong enough to allow the actual Soul to sit on top of them.

We don’t know how the crossover is going to move with those speakers underneath it, but hey, those 22-inch Forgiato custom three-piece wheels are a sight in their own. Add that to the custom Pearl White paint finish and the blacked-out windows, and you have a Soul that would actually look like a decent option when you’re in the market for one.

Unfortunately, the Amped Soul is just a show car, albeit one that can make your ears bleed faster than the time it takes for you to throw on ear protection. A full-on JBL Pro Live surround equipment has been integrated into the rear-hinged doors, while LED ambient lighting on the interior and four 12-inch Infinity1 power subwoofers are responsible for only drawing a right mood to the cabin, but also putting on a speaker show on four wheels the likes of which you probably will never see again.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Amped Soul

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2014 Kia DJ Booth Soul

2014 Kia DJ Booth Soul

The lineup of Kia Souls that rolled into the 2013 SEMA Auto Show are all musically inclined, including the DJ Booth Soul, which was transformed into what Kia describes as the "ultimate DJ booth on wheels"

With all five Soul models offering something totally unique, the DJ Booth Soul is the only that doesn’t have a roof. In place of the actual roof, Kia and RIDES magazine decided that it would be a good idea to install a pro-grade Pioneer CDJs and mixer. Don’t worry about trying to get comfortable in the back seat, because the rear seats were also taken out in favor of putting an actual custom diamond-plated stage.

Before we get too drawn into all the DJ paraphernalia added to this Soul, we should give due props to the purple and turquoise accents of the crossover, a two-color combination that was used to pay homage to its EDM and hip-hop influences. LED lighting, front and rear strobes, and speaker enclosures built into the lower grille are also part of the overall package, while 19-inch Rotiform BRU wheels wrapped in Continental tires round out the exterior upgrades.

In addition to the aforementioned stage inside the cabin of the Soul, the interior was also given a three-prong design touch that includes black leather, graphite suede and turquoise stitching, giving it a lounge-like feel that plays well into the whole motif of the program. A Maschine Mikro production studio was molded into the passenger-side dash, while Kia also added a Pioneer audio system that includes five amplifiers, three component speakers, two 10-inch and two 12-inch Champion Series subwoofers, and a sound bar housing four coaxial speakers, putting a resounding stamp on the DJ theme of this extraordinary Soul.

Click past the jump to read more about the Kia DJ Booth Soul

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2013 Kia Sorento "Justice League" by West Coast Customs

2013 Kia Sorento "Justice League" by West Coast Customs

The San Diego Comic-Con opened up today and what better way to celebrate it than with a comic book-inspired ride? Well, Kia was happy to deliver the goods by way of a Justice League-inspired 2013 Sorento that took a whopping 10 months to complete.

For those that don’t know, the Justice League first appeared in The Brave and Beautiful issue No. 28, which was put on shelves in 1960. The original seven members of the famed comic book team were Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter, but many characters came and went through the years. This Sorento features all of the original characters with the exception of the lesser-known Martian Manhunter — in his place is more mainstream Cyborg — painted on each side of the vehicle by West Coast Customs. Each of the characters on this Sorento also had their own individual customized Kia and you can see each one by clicking on each name above.

Up front, the hood features a "Justice League" decal and nothing else, giving the crossover a clean, but still custom, look from the front end. The Kia also received blacked-out upper and lower grilles.

On the inside, the customization continues. West Coast Customs reupholstered all three rows of seats with one character’s colors and logo on each seat. Up front, the driver’s seat features the Superman logo and red piping, and the passenger’s seat features a batman logo on the headrest and gold piping. The three center-row seats features Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash logos with their respective colored piping. Finally, the third row of seats feature Aquaman and Cyborg logos with piping to match.

Also customized are the door panels, which feature comic strips on the upper inserts and color-coordinated piping, and the center console with its comic-strip covering.

What’s more, is that you can buy this custom rig on Ebay and bidding runs from today through July 27th here. The profits from the auction will go to help the We Can Be Heros campaign, which helps feed starving families in the Horn of Africa. So, not only can you own an awesome ride, but you also help a great cause, it’s a win-win situation.

The customization is based on a Sorento EX with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that puts down 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque.

Click past the jump to read more about the Justice League Sorento.

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2013 Kia Forte 5-Door Cyborg Edition

2013 Kia Forte 5-Door Cyborg Edition

Compared to his Justice League contemporaries, Cyborg is without question the least recognizable superhero among the five that were used as inspirations on the Kia-DC collaboration that are being displayed at SEMA. Despite not having movies like Batman and Green Lantern, or not having stand-alone cartoons like Flash and Aquaman, Kia and DC Entertainment, together with RIDES Magazine, still gave the half human/half machine superhero for the modern ages an appropriate tribute.

Using the Kia Forte 5-Door as the platform, RIDES Magazine began the project by using an Aztec Silver paint job on the body of the car, a testament to the shiny chrome digs of Cyborg’s actual armor. Red LED lights were also installed into the newly added side ports because, you know, one of Cyborg’s eyes is red. Other exterior elements include a vented air scoop on the hood, a new set of 18" Rotiform TMB wheels with a chrome lip and red anodized bolts, a coil over suspension to give the Forte more aggressive maneuverability, and widened custom metal fenders that alludes to Cyborg’s ability to mechanically morph to face any adversary.

Inside, red perforated leather and red suede are visibly present throughout the cabin. The Cyborg emblem likewise features red and silver trim highlights, which is also visibly featured in the Forte’s interior design. There’s also a tablet on the center console because like Cyborg, this Forte 5-Door is always connected and ready to spring into action. The final touch inside the Forte is the JL Audio sound system.

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2013 Kia Rio 5-Door Aquaman Edition

2013 Kia Rio 5-Door Aquaman Edition

It’s not exactly the Justice League swooping down to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show to save us from tyrannical custom vehicles, but these DC superhero-inspired Kia models are pretty cool in their own right.

As a joint collaboration between Kia, DC Entertainment, and West Coast Customs, the Kia Rio 5-Door was one of the models treated to a superhero make-over to promote DC’s "We Can Be Heroes" campaign. To no one’s surprise, the eco-friendly Rio became the ultimate alter-ego of DC’s resident environment guardian, Aquaman.

The Aquaman-inspired Rio 5-door received the hero’s famous gold, green, and orange exterior colors to go with a body kit that incredibly includes custom-fabricated fins. Body lighting across the exterior are also part of the program, as are Oracle LED wheel rings and a new set of 20" color-matched Asanti wheels wrapped in Continental tires.

Inside, the Aquaman theme continues with the reupholstered seats dressed in green leather with yellow and gold accents. Green suede was also used on the headliner while the back seats bear Aquaman’s logo stitched into it. Open up the trunk of the Rio and watch as it pops up like an underwater treasure chest where you’ll find Aquaman comic-book art with a polycast cutout and surrounded with Oracle LED lighting. Last, but certainly not least, a pair of 7" Rosen Entertainment monitors have also been installed, as well as a 12" subwoofer with two coaxial component speakers and amps.

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2013 Kia Soul "Green Lantern" by Super Street Magazine

2013 Kia Soul "Green Lantern" by Super Street Magazine

While other automakers are taking the traditional route of developing tuning programs for a number of their models to be shown at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, Kia is taking a route that touches the comic book geeks in all of us.

The Korean automaker is partnering with DC Entertainment to build a number of superhero-inspired vehicles in the former’s model line-up. We’ve already seen what they did with the "Batman" Optima and we’ve also been treated to a teaser photo of the "Flash" Forte Koup. Today, Kia dropped another one of their teasers involving the Soul crossover and the superhero it’s been dressed to feature: the Green Lantern.

We weren’t surprised that the Soul Green Lantern was finished with a two-tone green and black paint scheme and the green mirror-chrome tint on the windows because these are the colors of the Emerald Crusader. What was surprising about this car is that the two back doors have been welded shut to "streamline" the crossover’s appearance. Then, there are the green projector beam headlights, a feature that we admit we find pretty sick. Add the customized Green Lantern-logo fog lights in the widened front fascia, green LED lighting, and 18" deep-dish wheels with Green Lantern’s logo on the center and that completes the Soul’s exterior superhero makeover.

Inside, a custom rear cargo compartment features the Green Lantern power battery with his signature lantern logo etched into a clear panel displaying the superhero’s oath lit by LEDs. Over at the rear deck, there’s a video monitor that displays DC’s "We Can Be Heroes" promotional video. At the front, the car’s steering wheel and the front seats have been fitted with green and black leather and the Green Lantern logo prominently displayed and stitched into the seat backs.

Like the rest of its kind, the Soul "Green Lantern" Edition was built to raise awareness for the We Can Be Heroes campaign against hunger in the Horn of Africa, for which DC Entertainment is a huge advocate of.

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2012 Kia Forte Koup "Flash" by West Coast Customs

2012 Kia Forte Koup "Flash" by West Coast Customs

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.

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2013 Kia Optima "Batmobile"

2013 Kia Optima "Batmobile"

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.

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2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Griffin

2012 Kia Optima Hybrid Griffin

Everyone knows that hybrid cars are firstly being built for being environmental friendly and second for great look or performance. But this special Kia Optima Hybrid Griffin is the perfect proof that absolutely any car in the world can look great if you know the changes it needs.

The car has been developed by Kia in cooperation with West Coast Customs as a tribute to Blake Griffin - the company’s official spokesperson. And as you might have expected the car features a a basketball-themed, with custom orange paint scheme combined with 20"matte black wheels and Griffin’s personal logo on the hood.

The interior gets 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. And if you wanted even more the car also gets two flat-screen TVs mounted in the back of the front headrests connect to a Microsoft®(2) X-Box video game console and a "Pop-A-Shot" basketball hoop mounted in the trunk.

Updated 11/09/2011: We have added new images of the Kia Optima Hybrid Griffin from its official debut on the SEMA floor. Check the picture gallery to see them.

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2012 Kia Forte Hat Trick

2012 Kia Forte Hat Trick

Kia’s presence at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show has been all about sports-inspired cars. The Optima Hybrid Griffin featured a basketball theme and the Kia Forte Hat Trick comes complete with a hockey theme, named after the act of a player scoring three goals in a single match. That feat is then followed by fans throwing their hats onto the ice.

Speaking of ice, the Forte Hat Trick is painted in a custom ice-metallic gray exterior paint and sits on a new set of 19" blue alloy wheels. Developed by Antenna, the car has also received a custom body kit and Forte Koup front bumper with carbon fiber accents and LED "hockey stick" fog lights, a quad-tipped exhaust, carbon fiber roof material, and a lowered suspension. The headliner features a built-in hockey coach’s play board and the rear cargo area features built-in compartments that house four carbon fiber hockey sticks and two jerseys color matched to the exterior of the car.

The interior also received a sporty makeover with two bucket seats with custom upholstery, custom-molded sports bottle drink holders in the center console, and a mini air hockey table mounted in the rear hatch area. The coolest part about the interior is the TVs mounted in the front seat headrests and wired to a Microsoft X-Box video game console featuring EA Sports NHL12 video game.

Updated 11/09/2011: Look in the picture gallery for new real life images of the Kia Forte Hat Trick from its official debut at the SEMA Show.

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2012 Kia Rio 5-Door "Retro Surf" by Antenna Magazine

2012 Kia Rio 5-Door "Retro Surf" by Antenna Magazine

Kia geared up for the 2011 SEMA Auto Show with an armada of presentations starting with this fascinating surf and skate-themed Rio hatchback. The car was built in cooperation with Antenna Magazine and was designed to be a “one-of-a-kind retro ride aimed at totally radical surfing enthusiasts.”

The exterior of the Rio 5-door was treated to a sunset-metallic golden-brown paint and a custom body kit that includes a front splitter made of wood that matches the Thule roof rack and hand-made wood surfboard mounted on top. The car has also been lowered with a modified suspension for better handling while a new set of 17" three-piece gold wheels finish off the exterior details.

Inside, the Antenna Rio 5-door comes with custom front and rear seats and dash and door panels that are dressed in brown and beige plaid waterproof bathing suit fabric. There’s also a wood grain center console and a headliner upholstered in dark brown suede with a towel holder built in that rounds out the car’s themed retro-surf look. Meanwhile, the rear center console was turned into a shelf that can hold beach accessories, including sun tan lotion, surfboard wax, and bottled water. Then, there’s the rear hatch, which has been modified to hold a retro gaming console that plays 80’s-style arcade games, a retro-looking record player to play music, mood lighting, and shelves to hold sandals and clothing.

Needless to say, this particular Rio is more about its looks than it is about its performance capabilities. Don’t expect it to burn some rubber on the road, but when it comes to the perfect chill-out ride, Antenna Magazine’s Kia Rio "Retro Surf" is a retro hot spot on wheels.

Updated 11/09/2011: Check the picture gallery to see new images of the Rio 5-Door "Retro Surf" by Antenna Magazine from its official debut at the SEMA Show.

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2012 Kia Soul Michelle Wie "Hole-In-One" Edition by West Coast Customs

2012 Kia Soul Michelle Wie "Hole-In-One" Edition by West Coast Customs

Kia’s burgeoning quirky reputation is about to be taken to a whole new level at the coming SEMA Auto Show next month after announcing that they’re bringing six "sports-themed" projects to the world’s biggest aftermarket auto event.

We sincerely hope that we don’t see any rapping hamsters and from what we’ve been told, there won’t be any. Instead, the Korean automaker will be fielding a couple of custom-modded 2012 Kia Souls inspired by some of the world’s best athletes, including golf star Michelle Wie and NBA dynamo Blake Griffin.

In the case of the hotshot golfer, Kia dressed up the Soul - with the help of West Coast Customs - using a funky "So Blue" exterior paint scheme, the same colorful artwork she uses on her golf bags. In addition to that, the
Soul also carries a new set of 20" five-spoke wheels that incorporate her original artwork. Inside, the modifications include the golfer’s artwork and personal logo also that have been integrated into the Soul’s "Snow White" leather headrests. There’s also a baby blue painted dash and pink headliner and seating accents, completing the interior’s whimsical look. There’s also an artificial glass flooring and at the back, you’ll find a 26" LED TV monitor mounted into the rear hatch with a Microsoft X-Box 360 console and Microsoft Kinect system to play golf out of the back of the vehicle. Two of Wie’s tournament-used golf bags are also mounted behind the TV, which conceals the car’s eight-inch speakers and subwoofer.

UPDATE: 11/01/11: This review has been updated with official photos from Kia

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