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2019 Kia K900 DUB Edition

2019 Kia K900 DUB Edition

Kia has brought a bold modified example of its yet to be launched, all-new K900 to the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The look of the vehicle has been transformed by DUB, a famous name on the aftermarket scene, specializing in big rims and other accessories. However, it seems somebody over at dub is stuck in the year 2002 because the way the car is modified could only be described as droll and old-fashioned by late-2018 standards. Sure, it stands out, but it may not necessarily attract the right kind of attention.

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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 Soul First Class

2016 Kia Soul First Class

The vehicle to make you rethink the use of autonomous technology

Like it or not, self-driving cars are coming, and they are coming fast. If you have fear of giving up the steering wheel, I feel you, as I don’t fancy the idea of giving up control either. Some automakers are pushing to allow a choice in the matter, while other manufacturers like Kia believe that cars of the future will be completely void of a steering wheel. But, what if there was a fair trade off that could make you forget that you hate the idea so much? Take the Kia Soul First Class concept that Kia built specifically for the 2016 SEMA show. This concept takes autonomous technology and mixes it with first class luxury in ways you’ve never seen before. And, outside of actually offering level-five autonomy, the concept is full of technology that could be used in new cars today. Highlights include rear facing front seats, a massive rear view screen, in-floor leg rests, and a cabin that is so inviting that you’ll start to rethink your stance on trusting AI to safely drive you from one destination to the other.

The funky little SUV that is so unique in an overcrowded segment has only been around since 2008 when it debuted at the Paris Motor Show. It evolved into a second generation model for the 2014 model year which brought a more balanced, modern look through the means of strategic nips and tucks here and there. Things like the grille, air dam, and fog lights were all revised while its width increased by 0.6 inches and the wheelbase was extended by 0.8 inches. The interior also went through a strategic redesign that brought new, soft-touch materials and a more premium feel over the outgoing model. The second-gen model that the First Class Soul is based on is set to be facelifted for the 2018 model year, but until then, sink your eyes into what the future of Kia looks like in our full review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Soul First Class.

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2016 Kia Sorento Ski Gondola

2016 Kia Sorento Ski Gondola

The familiar SUV trades wheels for tracks to climb ski slopes

Introduced in 2003, the Kia Sorento has been redesigned twice as of 2016, with the most recent upgrade being launched in 2014. The third-generation SUV made its formal debut at the Paris Motor Show and shares underpinnings with the Kia Sedona and Hyundai Santa Fe. The new generation brought a new, sportier design and a more upscale cabin, as well as a brand-new engine in the form of a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. In the U.S., the SUV also carried over with the familiar 2.4-liter four-pot and the 3.3-liter V-6.

At the 2016 SEMA Show, the Sorento family received a brand-new and rather unusual family member. Although just a concept car that won’t be put into production anytime soon, the Sorento Ski Gondola is exactly what its name suggest: a gondola with seating for four that can tackle the roughest terrains thanks to its heavy-duty tracks. Built by LUX Motorwerks and packed with numerous aftermarket features, the custom Sorento also employs autonomous drive and a bespoke interior.

It’s arguably one of the wildest concepts presented at the 2016 SEMA Show and proves that Kia has the ability to think out of the box and create unique vehicles.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Sorento Ski Gondola.

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2016 Kia Sedona School of Rock

2016 Kia Sedona School of Rock

Is this what gig vans of the future will look like?

Some manufacturers have already said that even with the advancement of autonomous technology, they don’t want to force the steering wheel out of our hands, ultimately saying we’ll have a choice of driving ourselves or being driven autonomously. Of course, governmental agencies will probably pass a law banning human drivers anyway, but we’ll save that conversation for another time. The bottom line is that Kia is one of those companies that is pushing to remove the steering wheel forever. This has never been more evident than now, with every concept at SEMA being void of an actual steering wheel. Even the School of Rock Sedona you see here is 100-percent autonomous, with Kia making it a point to note that autonomous vehicles will eventually haul around our little ones for us to “accommodate their busy lives.”

All of that aside, Kia partnered up with the School of Rock and LGE-CTS to create this crazy gig van you see here. Like the rest of its concepts at SEMA, this one is fully autonomous. It has unique features like built-in amplifiers for roadside shows and an interior that features not only a studio but an area to chill as well. This concept supposedly maintains all of the framework that allowed the production Sedona to obtain a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA and a Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. But, the B-pillar on the driver side has been removed. Lack of a B-pillar may fly in some markets, but here in the U.S., it’s unacceptable for a Ford F-150 to park its front end inside a van in the event of a side collision. So, you should probably take that PR talk with a massive grain of salt.

With that said, let’s take a look at this crazy concept that offers a pretty awesome way for students at the School of Rock to get from point A to point B.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Sedona School of Rock.

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2016 Kia Niro Triathlon

2016 Kia Niro Triathlon

It’s a very utilitarian take on the Kia Niro

For the SEMA show this year, Kia had one major theme: Autonomy. Models like the Kia Soul First Class exposes what the self-driving Kia models of the future will offer for the daily driver. Then you’ve got a handful of models that are catered to a specific breed of people. The Kia Soul Ski Gondola is all about going off-road and hitting the slopes in autonomous style and excessive comfort. And then there’s this crazy concept that is based on the Kia Niro, a model that isn’t even on sale yet. Focused on athletes that train every day, this SUV has been transformed into, well, a mini, four-door truck of sorts. It’s fully autonomous and features things like a custom bed in the rear, suicide doors, a completely custom cabin, and is ready to give just about any athlete an extra edge in the training department.

I know that sounds like PR talk, but once you get a good look at this thing, you’ll understand why it’s just that cool. When you consider the Niro isn’t even on sale quite yet, being introduced just recently for the 2017 model year, it’s pretty wild to see Kia put so much custom work into it. It’s certainly a way to garner attention for a model that competes in a pretty competitive segment, and this crazy concept is certainly doing that. Keep in mind; it’s being displayed in the same building as concepts like the Dodge Durango Shaker, Chevy Camaro Slammer, and the Toyota Extreme Sienna, to name a few. But, what is really giving it that edge is that it is utilitarian in nature in a large crowd of vehicles aimed at showing off various accessories that are already on sale or could be in the near future.

With that said, let’s kick off the running shoes, and take a look at the one concept at SEMA that is designed to help you better yourself and not your ego.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Niro Triathlon.

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2015 Kia Sorento PacWest Adventure

2015 Kia Sorento PacWest Adventure

Every year, the SEMA show gathers the best in aftermarket automotive equipment out in the desert of Las Vegas. But this year, Kia has a car that should put you in mind of an entirely different part of the country: the Pacific Northwest. And, if the photos and general motif of the Sorento-based concept don’t do it, Kia has named the show car “PacWest Adventure.” The concept is a shot at imbuing the Sorento with a bit more off-road credibility, and truthfully, Kia did a very thorough job with it. Of course, the Sorento generally isn’t the first vehicle that people think of for off-roading, so Kia did have something to prove with the concept.

The end result is barely recognizable as a Sorento, even though — with the exception of the rather elaborate paint job — almost all of the exterior modifications are bolt-ons. Moreover, outside of a couple of showy choices to attract the eyes of SEMA’s show-goers, this is primarily a sober, and highly practical machine for a weekend outing in the northwestern wilderness. Just look past the crazy paint and the odd choices made for the interior, and it’s difficult to think of a better way to outfit a Sorento for off-roading.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Sorento PacWest Adventure.

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2015 Kia Sedona Photo Safari

2015 Kia Sedona Photo Safari

Minivans are versatile. Are they truly adventurous? America’s favorite uncool family hauler does a great many things well, but those things tend to be limited to on-pavement activities, preferably in the suburbs or on the open freeway. This imaginative concept from Kia, displayed at 2015 SEMA Show, takes the minivan in an entirely new direction.

Rather than being the cargo-hauler or the support vehicle, the Kia Sedona Photo Safari aims to get right in the middle of the action. The minivan has been re-imagined as a mobile shooting platform for wildlife photographers and fall color tour enthusiasts. After the addition of roof racks, camera mounts, lights, off-road tires and a radical roof-ectomy, this Sedona is a minivan with a mission.

Kia envisions the Sedona Photo Safari as an “image-capturing machine,” and teamed up with LGE-CTS Motorsports for the build. Professional photographers provided input on the best modifications to make throughout the building process, and the result is a little bit safari, a little bit post-apocalypse and strange enough to be kind of cool.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Sedona Photo Safari.

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2015 Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger

2015 Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger

You can always count on Kia to make its presence felt at the SEMA Auto Show. Over the years, the Korean automaker has to some of the wildest concepts you’ll ever see. Some of the luminaries on this incredibly long list include the Kia DJ Booth Soul, the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Dee Edition, and lest we forget the entire roster of Justice League-inspired Kias that stole the show back in 2013. This year, Kia’s not bringing any super heroes to Las Vegas, but it is bringing the Mud Bogger, a heavily modified Forte Koup that draws its inspiration from mud racing.

The Forte Koup Mud Bogger is the brainchild of Kia and Lux Motorwerks, a New Jersey-based auto shop known for its aftermarket projects. That expertise was on full display in the creation of this racy, one-off Forte Koup. Every inch of the Forte was given some form of modification, be it the exterior, interior, or the chassis.

There’s something to be said for an otherwise normal Kia to be turned into a race car that can get down and dirty without hesitation. It may not be the craziest Kia concept we’ve seen at SEMA, but it definitely ranks right up there as arguably one of the most fun to drive. I’ll take that over a Kia Soul that doubles as a mobile DJ booth, thank you very much.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger.

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2015 Kia A1A Optima

2015 Kia A1A Optima

The Kia Optima started out as nothing more than a rebadged Hyundai Sonata, and it’s continued on through four generations as a sedan. All that just changed, as one company took the Optima and chopped its top to make one unique convertible.

This peculiar Optima was put together by LUX Motorwerks to pay tribute to the A1A highway in Florida. For those of you who don’t know, A1A is a 300-mile stretch of highway that just begs to be cruised by anybody who owns a roadster, with ample amounts of crystal-white sand and beautiful blue ocean water – the exact things that inspired the color scheme of this one-off Optima.

One thing to keep in mind is that this car didn’t just have the top chopped off – the body was also reinforced to keep it road worthy. However, it’s a concept, so don’t expect to walk into a Kia dealership anytime soon and buy one. The car received some interior mods, and even a high-performance exhaust system. With all of that said, let’s quit wasting time and see just what LUX Motorwerks did to this Optima to make it SEMA ready.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Kia A1A Optima.

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2015 Kia Optima Pirelli World Challenge GTS

2015 Kia Optima Pirelli World Challenge GTS

Kia may not have a rich racing heritage, but the past four years have proven the Koreans can develop competitive race cars. On U.S. soil, the Forte Koup marked the company’s debut in motorsport, specifically in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The Forte was replaced in 2012 by the third-gen Kia Optima, which became the manufacturer’s official entry in the Pirelli World Challenge. After securing its first win in its maiden season, the Optima went on to win the Pirelli World Challenge’s Grand Touring Sport (GTS) class in 2014, defeating rivals from Ford, Chevrolet, Porsche and Aston Martin. As we venture toward the 2015 season, the Koreans have introduced their updated racer at the 2014 SEMA Show.

As you’d expect from a Pirelli World Challenge contender, not much has changed with the Optima GTS. Most internals carry over unmodified, as does the turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine that utilizes many stock Kia parts. There is one thing that’s different from last season’s car though, but you’ll have to read on to find out more about that.

Click past the jump to read more about the Kia Optima Pirelli World Challenge GTS.

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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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2013 Kia Soul The Voice

2013 Kia Soul The Voice

Ever since its official launch, the Kia Soul has been one of the most active models at SEMA. Last year, Kia rolled into Las Vegas with a Soul lineup inspired by comic-book heroes, but this year, Kia prepared quite an impressive lineup of Souls with four of them drawing inspiration from the music world.

These four music-inspired Souls touched on different parts of the music world, as they featured a cutting-edge DJ station; a pro-sound-quality, plug-in-ready amplifier on wheels; and a load of memorabilia from all things music. This final model is the Soul ’’The Voice" and it was prepared by NBC as a tribute to the famous TV show.

According to its creator, this Soul "represents the sheer talent needed to perform in front of a live audience and millions at home." This model features a cool bright red exterior paint combined with a "The Voice logo" on the side, vinyl on the window portion and a cool "I Want You" logo illuminated in the lower grille.

Click past the jump to read more about the Kia Soul The Voice.

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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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