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Archive for the ‘car tuning’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig

We love it when a builder goes just a little bit of crazy, creating something over-the-top, but only just. This extensively modified F-350 from Hellwig is exactly that. Dubbed “The Operator,” Hellwig started with a stock 2017 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat Crew Cab, then added upgrades until it had created the “ultimate recon adventure vehicle.” The most obvious thing to pick out is the large UTV this truck is hauling in its bed – or rather, above its bed might be more accurate. But there’s more to it than just that. “From recon runs in the desert to family camping trips in the dunes, the Operator is capable and comfortable,” says Hellwig, and we believe it. In addition to the usual off-roader gear outside, there’s nice stuff inside the cabin as well, plus a few choice upgrades under the hood to round it out.

All told, while the UTV certainly has our attention, it’s the little details in this build that really impress us. Hellwig didn’t neglect a thing in building its idea of “ultimate,” and in the end, we can’t help but stand back and admire the handy work.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-350 By Hellwig.

Exterior

  • UTV mounted out back
  • New bumpers and paint
  • Lots of utility gear
  • Underbody protection

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741908
“One of the coolest things about this truck is the way in which it moves the UTV.”

Let’s just jump straight to it, shall we? Mounted on the bed of this thing is a 2017 Artic Cat Wildcat X LTD two-seater UTV, a zippy little toy that’ll eat up the surrounding terrain without a moment’s hesitation. It’s an awesome thing to have at your disposal in the right conditions, and The Operator is the right platform to deliver it where it needs to be.

One of the coolest things about this truck is the way in which it moves the UTV. Rather than filling the bed to capacity or dragging around a trailer, The Operator mounts it above the bed line and partially on top of the cab. Responsible for this trick is a UTV deck from SherpTek, which offers heavy-duty loading ramps and all the gear you need to keep that pricey toy in one spot. Just don’t take any sharp corners with it loaded up there…


2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741907

Adding to the build’s aesthetic appeal is a set of new “Vengeance” bumpers from Fab Fours, both in front and in back. In the corners you’ll find Method Race 305 NV HD wheels, which take up residence under flared-out fenders from Lund (part of the Ford Licensed Accessories line). As a quick side note – notice how the UTV’s wheels match those of the truck that’s carrying it? It’s a relatively small detail, but we think stuff like that really makes a build look fantastic, separating the great from the good.

Up front, there’s a new X-Metal grille insert from T-Rex Grilles, while Rigid Industries and Whelen provide the extra illumination. Rounding off the styling is a BASF paint job courtesy of LGE-CTS Motorsports, on top of which is laid a digital camouflage graphics scheme.


2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741906
“Notice how the UTV’s wheels match those of the truck that’s carrying it?”

And of course, we couldn’t forget all the extras added for the sake of utility, such as the Krazy Beaver Tools shovel, Macs tie-downs cargo management system, and Viair air compressor. There’s also a bolt receiver lock system, a hi-lift jack, and a set of Daystar fuel cans.

Protecting the important bits underneath are Mag-Hytech differential covers and transmission pan. A Warn Industries 16.5TI-S winch is placed in the nose, and a Wilco pre-runner tailgate finishes it off.

Interior

  • Power step-ups
  • New seats and upholstery

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741913
“The 5.11 Tactical seats come complete with body-colored coverings from Rogelio’s Upholstery”

With so much attention paid to the exterior of this vehicle, it wouldn’t be surprising if The Operator neglected to do much to the interior space. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

First up, ingress and egress are assisted by electrically operated PowerSteps from AMP Research, a critical component when considering the truck’s sizable suspension lift.

Once inside, passengers will enjoy the 5.11 Tactical seats, which come complete with body-colored coverings from Rogelio’s Upholstery, plus special webbing and tactical storage compartments from Molle. A Ford Licensed Accessories vehicle safe from Console Vault stores sensitive materials up front. Finally, Rugged Radios was called on for the telecommunications kit.

Drivetrain

  • 6.7-liter Powerstroke V-8 diesel
  • 925 pound-feet of torque
  • MagnaFlow exhaust

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741912
“MangaFlow was called on for its Pro DPF exhaust system”

The heart of the vehicle is the Ford F-350’s top-rated 6.7-liter Powerstroke V-8 turbo diesel engine, which, from the factory, is rated at 440 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and an Earth-twisting 925 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. And that’s good, especially when you consider all the extras hanging off this thing, including the frikin’ UTV on the roof.

To give the powerband a little extra breathing room, not to mention a much better sound, MangaFlow was called on for its Pro DPF exhaust system. A yellow-top battery from Optima provides the spark.

Finally, a TorqShift six-speed automatic gearbox with a SelectShift feature routes the go to the ground. 05SD hubs from Warn Industries finish off the drivetrain spec.

Chassis And Handling

  • Hellwig air suspension
  • Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stag 5 suspension
  • 4.5-inch lift
  • Falken Wild Peak M/T Off-Roading tires

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741911

Underpinning the whole shebang are Hellwig-branded Big Wig air springs, while Big Wig sway bars are mounted both front and back. Completing the transformation is a full Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 5 suspension kit, which means this bad boy is standing a full 4.5 inches higher than when it left the factory.

Finally, gripping the terra, we find Falken Wild Peak M/T Off-Roading tires wrapped around those custom wheels.

Conclusion


2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741909

SEMA always attracts some truly impressive modified rides, and this particular example is right up there with some of the best we’ve seen in 2017. It’s got the big stuff, like the UTV, but also the little stuff, like Rugged Radios gear and matching wheels, and that makes it both extreme and well-rounded.

Good work.

  • Leave it
    • Only thing missing is a drone

References

Ford F-Series


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648383

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon East Coast Defender “Project Beast”

2017 East Coast Defender “Project Beast”

The name “Defender” carries some serious weight in the world of off-roading. With a long history of military service and simply unflappable talent off-road, this iconic model from Land Rover serves as the bones for myriad capability-focused vehicles. Florida-based auto shop East Coast Defenders knows this well, making its name building custom versions of the British model for enhanced style, greater interior comfort, and even greater agility while traversing the great outdoors. Now, ECD is invading the sands of Vegas with its latest custom build, dropping the sheets at the 2017 SEMA show. The project was a collaboration with Warn Industries, a manufacturer that specializes in vehicle recovery equipment, and is based on a Defender 110 model from 1985. Created by hand and equipped with a litany of custom parts, ECD appropriately calls this build “Project Beast.”

Framed as an “elite off-road SUV,” Project Beast was actually completed in 2016, built in ECD’s “Rover Dome” in Kissimmee, Florida. All told, it’s got the right stuff for attracting attention at SEMA. Read on for more.

Continue reading to learn more about the East Coast Defender.

Exterior

  • Classic Defender shape, enhanced
  • Kahn wide body kit
  • External roll cage
  • LED light bar on the roof
  • Custom wheels

2017 East Coast Defender “Project Beast” - image 741535
“ECD outfitted Project Beast to play the part of a hardcore rough-stuff killer”

From the off, it’s pretty obvious this is no ordinary Land Rover Defender. ECD outfitted Project Beast to play the part of a hardcore rough-stuff killer, giving it the look of an unstoppable black cube that merges British engineering with American know-how.

The classic four-door exterior styling remains, including the extended rear cargo area and a multitude of broad, flat body panels. However, to this classic shape, ECD added a variety of enhancements.


2017 East Coast Defender “Project Beast” - image 741530
“The most eye-grabbing feature is the Kahn wide body kit, which adds some serious girth to the exterior dimensions”

The most eye-grabbing feature is the Kahn wide body kit, which adds some serious girth to the exterior dimensions. Then there’s the external roll cage, which sweeps up from the A-pillar and into the roof, then down again into the rear fenders, adding impressive protection in the event you accidentally tip this thing over. Illuminating the view forward is a large LED light bar, which finds its home just above the windshield.

The front fascia appears to be freshened with a new grille insert, while the new fender flares add extra chunkiness. Filling to extra space are custom wheels, matched in back by a spare of the same design. Finally, the whole thing was slathered in flat-black paint, lending it even more attitude.

Interior

  • Keeps the standard Defender layout
  • Lots of high-end upholstery
  • New seats

2017 East Coast Defender “Project Beast” - image 741522
“Inside, you’ll find modern Defender mixed with luxury, with ample coverings of sumptuous hide and stitching.”

Step into the cabin of this thing, and you’ll find a very nice place to be. While the floor gets tough rubber to help rebuff whatever muddy mess you bring with you, the rest of it is modern Defender mixed with luxury, with ample coverings of sumptuous hide and stitching. Indeed, everywhere you look, there is some kind of quilted leather, from the seats, to the door panels, to the center console, to even the dash.

Behind a three-spoke steering wheel from Momo, ECD included the standard three-pod gauge layout, albeit modified to include additional readouts and data, not to mention the requisite ECD plaque below.


2017 East Coast Defender “Project Beast” - image 741525
“The seats themselves are elaborate buckets that should do well to hold passengers in place”

The seats themselves are elaborate buckets that should do well to hold passengers in place, while seating for three additional passengers can be found on the second-row bench. Meanwhile, copious space in the cargo area means you’ll be hauling whatever you need to bring with you, whether its gear, supplies, or even more passengers on the fold-out seats.

Drivetrain

  • Chevy LS3 V-8 powerplant
  • Automatic transmission
  • 4X4 traction

2017 East Coast Defender “Project Beast” - image 741543
“Output is rated at a healthy 430 horsepower, which is pretty much standard for the powerplant”

As you might imagine, East Coast Defender wasn’t content to keep their build stock as a rock under the hood, so instead, this burly trail buster comes equipped with a brand-new Chevy LS3 small-block V-8, the same engine you’ll find driving the rear wheels in the Camaro SS and the Corvette. Output is rated at a healthy 430 horsepower, which is pretty much standard for the powerplant. However, ECD does say it incorporated a good deal of custom work to make the engine function properly in the Defender platform.

The rest of it includes an automatic transmission routing power to the ground by way of a robust 4X4 drivetrain. And just in case you still can’t find the traction from those big tires, there’s a winch from Warn on the nose to help pull you free.

Conclusion


2017 East Coast Defender “Project Beast” - image 741533

“What we’ve created with our custom Defender and Range Rover Classics, fits into a highly niche market. We strip each vehicle down to its frame and complete it according to our client’s exact specifications,” says ECD co-owner Elliot Humble.

That’s exactly the right approach for a SEMA build. The further away from factory you can get, the better. Of course, ECD took care to keep the Land Rover’s inherent off-road worthiness intact, adding to it with the right components, rather than detracting from it with superfluous accouterments.

Kudos.

  • Leave it
    • Custom build = expensive
    • More extreme off-roader builds out there

References

Land Rover Defender


2013 Land Rover Defender - image 471001

Read our full review on the 2017 Land Rover Defender.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension

Ford brought more than 50 vehicles to the 2017 SEMA Show, ranging from factory fresh models and high-horsepower Mustangs to SUVs and lifted trucks. That last one is exactly what we’ve got here – a massive F-250 Super Duty that’s been re-engineered to handle any off-road situation. Ford partnered with BDS Suspension in building what’s been dubbed “Project SD126: No Mission Is Impossible.

The truck started life as a 2017 F-250 Super Duty XLT with a regular cab and long bed powered by the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel and backed by the six-speed automatic transmission and stock 4WD system. BDS broke out the Sawzall and cut the long bed down. The wheelbase went from 142 inches to 126 inches, hints the SD126 name. From there came the suspension parts, new body panels, and reworked interior. Nearly every inch of the truck has been touched. Check out the details below.

Continue reading for more on the SD126 Super Duty.

Exterior

  • Shortend wheelbase
  • Custom fiberglass fenders & hood
  • Smokes lens covers on lights
  • Off-road bumpers
  • Warn winch
  • Power steps
  • LED off-road lights

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741441
“The bright orange paint, massive 42-inch tires, and bulging fenders do a good job at hogging attention.”

Though the BDS F-250 might have a shorter wheelbase, it’s hardly the first thing anyone will notice. The bright orange paint, massive 42-inch tires, and bulging fenders do a good job at hogging attention.

The truck features steel bumpers from Rogue Racing. The front bumper hides a 12,000-pound Warn Zeon winch, a 40-inch LED light bar, and four LED light pods. The factory tow hooks stick out of the body-colored bumper, too. The blacked-out grille is flanked by smoked headlights and capped by a ram air hood from RK Sport. Out back, the rear bumper also has LED light pods and offers more protection from trail damage.

Other outside adds-ons include AMP Research power steps, smoked cab lights and third brake light, and orange Ford badges. There’s also a full-size spare tire mounted in the bed.

Interior

  • Racing seats
  • Five-point harnesses
  • Kicker stereo sound system
  • Off-road GPS system

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741448
“BDS carries the orange theme inside the truck with orange accents on the HVAC vents and controls, radio knobs, and door panels”

BDS carries the orange theme inside the truck with orange accents on the HVAC vents and controls, radio knobs, and door panels. The stock seats are replaced by reclining race seats from PRP and includes five-point harness. The custom center console has cup holders and a big 12-inch subwoofer that’s attached to the Kicker sound system. An inch and three-quarter roll bar was added inside the cab for added safety and a Magellan eXplorist TRX7 GSP system keeps tabs on navigation when off road.

Drivetrain

  • 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 Turbodiesel
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • 4WD
  • Cold-air intake
  • ECU programmer
  • Upgraded exhuast system

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741450
“BDS added a cold-air intake from S&B, an EZ-LYNK programmer, and a Diamond Eye exhaust system”

BDS didn’t have to do much to the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel. In stock form, it makes 440 horsepower and 925 pound-feet of torque. Then again, this is SEMA, so BDS added a cold-air intake from S&B, an EZ-LYNK programmer, and a Diamond Eye exhaust system. There’s no official word on power improvements, but we’d bet this oil-burner is squeezing out nearly 1,000 pound-feet of torque.

The real changes come with the suspension, axle, and tire upgrades.

Suspension

  • Shortend wheelbase
  • 42-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR tire
  • BDS suspension
  • Fox 2.5 coilover shocks
  • Fox 3.0 external bypass shocks
  • Fox 2.0 bump stops
  • Upgraded solid Axles from F-450
  • 14 inches of travel

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741444
“The front has a four-link setup with huge coilover springs on 2.5-inch Fox Racing shocks with a secondary, 3.0-inch Fox Racing external bypass shocks mounted nearby”

The stock Ford F-250 solid axles were ditched for the beefier ones found under the F-450 Super Duty. The front axle is Dana 60 while the rear is a M300. Both are 10-lug design, are stuffed with 4.30:1 gears, and have BDS trusses for added rigidity.

Holding the axles in place, naturally, is a BDS suspension system. The front has a four-link setup with huge coilover springs on 2.5-inch Fox Racing shocks with a secondary, 3.0-inch Fox Racing external bypass shocks mounted nearby. Fox 2.0 bump stops provide a soft landing should the suspension bottom out after a hard jump or large bump. A Pac Racing monster sway bar keeps the F-250 from tipping over and extra strong steering gear keeps both tires pointed in the same direction. Out back, the rear leaf spring suspension is swapped for a trailing arm with the same 2.5-inch Fox coilover shocks and 3.0-inch external bypass shocks.
All told, the suspension has an impressive 14 inches of travel.

The truck rides on Stazworks Cheyenne 8 wheels wrapped in 42-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR tires.

Conclusion


2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741439

The BDS Suspension 2017 Ford F250 Project SD126: No Mission Is Impossible truck is a helluva build. It takes a full-size three-quarter ton truck and turns it into a go-anywhere monster with all the torque in the world. Its shortened, 126-inch wheelbase, 42-inch tall tires, solid axles, BDS suspension, and Fox shocks allow it to go where regular Super Duties can’t.

The SEMA Show is full of custom vehicles like this, but it seems BDS and Ford have pulled off one of the cleanest and most interesting builds of the year.

What do you think? Do you like this build? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Leave it
    • Only room for two people
    • Would be expensive to replicate

References

Ford F-Series


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648383

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Cadenza Obsidian

2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian Concept

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.

What makes the Kia Cadenza Obsidian special

  • Custom metallic black paint
  • Cosmic Copper accents
  • Bespoke 20-inch wheels
  • Dark window tint
  • Hand-stitched suede dashboard
  • Leather seats with suede inserts
  • Suede door panels
  • Premium sound system with booming subwoofer
  • Lowered suspension
  • Stiffened sport springs

2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian - image 741795
“The black paint doesn't make the car stand out as much, but the copper accents do the job well”

A quick look at the car’s exterior is enough to notice that we’re not dealing with a regular Cadenza. Sure, the custom metallic black paint doesn’t stand out as much as West Coast Customs would want, but the copper accents do the job well. Up front, the gold-like color adorns the “tiger nose” grille and extends under the headlamps to complement the lower LED stripes. The foglamp trim in the bumper is finished in the same color for a proper contrast.

More Cosmic Copper highlights can be seen on the sides, as both the window trim and the door handles are painted in this flashy hue. Same goes for the side skirt insert, while the custom 20-inch, gloss-black Keen wheels have similar detailing on each spoke. The ultra-dark ceramic window tint makes the copper trim stand out even more while keeping the cabin out of sight. Around back, there’s gold detailing on the trunk lid and above the taillights and on the exhaust pipes.


2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian - image 741800
“The cabin was upgraded with soft leather, suede inserts, and a premium sound system”

Inside the cabin, the sedan was upgraded to a hand-stitched suede dashboard top panel and brown leather seats with suede inserts. Matching brown suede was used on the door panels for a consistent look. West Coast Customs also added a Harmon Kardon 630-watt premium sound system and a booming integrated subwoofer. This one’s for the audiophiles!

The drivetrain carries over from the production model, so power is probably supplied by the 3.3-liter V-6 engine rated at 290 horsepower. There is a lowered suspension with stiffened sport springs under the skin, but no other performance features have been added. But, given the fact that the Cadenza is by no means a sporty sedan by default, it’s a good setup for a show car.

References

Kia Cadenza


2017 Kia Cadenza - image 670466

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Cadenza.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood

2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood

Racing analyst and former Top Gear USA presenter Rutledge Wood is known for his affinity with plaid t-shirts. He’s also known for having a deep-seated passion for the automotive industry. So, when Toyota was looking for individuals to take the lead in building custom Toyota Camrys for the 2017 SEMA Auto Show, Wood’s name inevitably turned up. So Toyota tapped him to work on his own custom version of the Camry, and the result is a car that reflects the man’s boisterous personality.

I’m not one to pass judgment on something I know little about at this point, but I can tell all of you that Wood’s work on the Camry is the most impactful of the bunch. It’s certainly the most colorful of all the custom Camry’s we’re seeing at SEMA, and the story and the process behind its creation involves the use of certain techniques that you can expect from someone like Rutledge Wood. He may be the only non-NASCAR driver to get a chance at customizing a Camry for this year’s SEMA, but all told, Wood vindicates Toyota’s decision to tap him with a creation that has as much going for it as some of the Camrys that were customized by actual NASCAR racers.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota Camry by Rutledge Wood

What makes the Toyota Camry Rutledge special

  • ”Blurple” paint finish
  • 3D-printed body panels
  • 20-piece body kit
  • 20-inch Rose Gold Rotiform wheels
  • Continental ExtremeContact tires
  • Baseball glove leather interior
  • Focal sound system
  • Megan Racing suspension kit
  • Wilwood Dynalite brakes
  • Custom floor mats with cartoon caricature of Rutledge Wood

Not a NASCAR racer? Not a problem


2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood - image 741820
“The car’s exterior certainly looks at home at SEMA”

So what if Rutledge Wood isn’t a NASCAR driver? I get it that all other custom-built Camrys at SEMA came at the hands of guys like Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez, and Kyle Busch, but when it comes to building a SEMA-worthy Camry, you don’t need a racing license to get the job done. And for what it’s worth, Wood’s Camry is, in my opinion, the flashiest of the lot, owing to its aerospace inspiration. The car’s exterior certainly looks at home at SEMA, thanks in large part to eye-catching aftermarket body panels that were created through the process of 3D printing by Real-Time Automotive Solutions. The result is that a lot of the significant body panels of the Camry are now 3D-printed, including the hood, front and rear bumpers, rocker panels, headlight buckets, and the rear diffuser.


2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood - image 742081
“There’s also a new set of 20-inch three-piece custom Rose Gold wheels from Rotiform”

In addition to getting these panels literally recreated, Wood’s build also features a 20-piece custom widebody kit with most of the items located in the Camry’s quarter sections. There’s also a new set of 20-inch three-piece custom Rose Gold wheels from Rotiform, all of which are wrapped in Continental ExtremeContact tires measuring 275/30R20 in the front and 285/30R20 at the back. All these modifications on the exterior make way for one of the real showcase pieces of this particular Camry build. Officially, the paint finish on the Camry is called “Blurple.” It’s easy to see, though, that it’s some kind of mix of blue and purple. Wood sought the help of PPG and Crew to create this paint cocktail, and the result is striking, to say the least.

Batter up in the cabin!


2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood - image 741824
“The interior gets re-upholstered with a baseball glove-like leather treatment”

Just as the body of this Camry is flashy, so too is the interior. Personally, I don’t know if Wood was inspired by this incredible World Series, but it does look that way with the interior getting re-upholstered with a baseball glove-like leather treatment, complete with contrast stitching. Photos of the Camry’s interior show significant use of the leather as most of the cabin’s surface is covered in the material. Less conspicuous from a visual standpoint is the Focal sound system, though if you look closely, you will notice that the floor mats actually feature a cartoon caricature of Wood and his glorious flowing beard.

No engine upgrades, but no matter…


2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood - image 741821
“Expect the Rutledge Wood Toyota Camry to feature any one of the sedan’s engine options”

There are no engine upgrades to speak of here so at the very least, expect the Rutledge Wood Toyota Camry to feature any one of the sedan’s engine options. The base engine is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that spits out 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The other gas-powered engine option is a 3.5-liter six-cylinder that produces 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of which engine is sitting underneath that Blurple hood, the program does include a new suspension kit from Megan Racing and new brakes from Wilwood Dynalite.

Overall, this is a Toyota Camry build that actually looks a lot better than what I expected. It may not have the NASCAR racer DNA that other Camrys have, but Wood did well for himself by not only giving the Camry a unique and personable look but also by doing it through processes that we don’t get to see enough in the aftermarket scene.

References

Toyota Camry


2018 Toyota Camry - image 703838

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota C-HR R-Tuned

2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned Concept

SEMA is a place where the imagination reigns supreme, an event that celebrates the weird, the wild, and the most extreme that the automotive industry can muster. Case in point – this performance version of Toyota’s funky C-HR (Coupe High-Rider) compact utility vehicle. Believe it or not, this thing is so performance-oriented Toyota is claiming it as the “world’s quickest CUV.” Backing that boast is a lap time of 1 minute, 25.22 seconds at the Willow Springs International Raceway in Southern California. Quoting figures plucked from fastestlaps.com, Toyota says that time makes the CH-R R-Tuned quicker than such incredible sports machines like the Nissan GT-R Nismo, McLaren 650 S Spyder, and Porsche 911 GT3. That’s some rather heavy-hitting company for a humble subcompact crossover, but it’s got the R-Tuned has the upgrades to match. Long story short, this thing is stripped and race-ready, rocking 600 turbocharged ponies, exotic suspension components, and very effective aero.

Offered as a follow-up to the Sienna R-Tuned build that Toyota brought to SEMA back in 2015, the C-HR R-Tuned was created by Southern California speed specialists Dan Gardner Spec (DG-Spec for short), the same folks who turned wrenches on the hot-to-trot Sienna R-Tuned. This latest creation is even more over the top, and clear evidence that with enough dedication, you can make anything blisteringly quick – exactly the approach we want to see at SEMA.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota C-HR R-Tuned.

What Makes The Toyota C-HR R-Tuned Special

  • 300 pounds of downforce at speed
  • Carbon fiber bits shave weight
  • Several hundred pounds lighter than stock
  • Turbocharged 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder
  • 23 psi of boost
  • 600 horsepower
  • Still FWD
  • Triple adjustable dampers
  • Extensive on-track development

That’s One Mean-Looking CUV!


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741806
“This isn’t just some glossy show queen built to look the part of a racer”

We wholeheartedly agree. This isn’t just some glossy show queen built to look the part of a racer – it’s really got the good stuff to make it a true terror on the track. To help it stick, DG-Spec added a variety of new aerodynamic components to the exterior. These include a new front air dam, side air dams, a new front splitter (complete with adjustable downforce levels), and a large rear wing with a gurney flap.

We think the components look great, adding even more zeal to the already aggressive looking CH-R’s stock styling. Even more impressive is how effective the components are at pushing the CUV into the pavement, producing upwards of 300 pounds of downforce when traveling over 100 mph.

Sounds Like Race Car Stuff…


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741812
“The Toyota CH-R R-Tuned is a hardcore lap killer, stripped of all comforts that might hamper it in its quest for speed”

That’s because it is. The Toyota CH-R R-Tuned is a hardcore lap killer, stripped of all comforts that might hamper it in its quest for speed.

As such, the interior was totally stripped behind the front seats, with bare blue metal seen as the prevailing material. That made it easier to install the extensive roll cage, Corbeau race bucket seats, and fire suppression system, while also adding some much-needed lightness.

Speaking of weight, DG-Spec also swapped in a good deal of carbon fiber for the build, including a new vented hood from Kaminari. All told, the R-Tuned sheds several hundred pounds over its stock siblings.

But What About The Power?


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741810
“Under the hood you’ll find a new 2.4-liter Toyota 2AZ-FE engine, which comes stuffed with forged internals from Dezod”

Oh, it’s got power and plenty of it. Take a peek under the hood, and you’ll find a new 2.4-liter Toyota 2AZ-FE engine, which comes stuffed with forged internals from Dezod to keep it sturdy, as well as a titanium and Inconel valvetrain to help it spin to new heights.

That enormous compressor you see mounted front and center is a custom DG-Spec snail from Garrett, breathing an extra 23 psi into the cylinders. It’s enough to raise peak power to an astounding 600 ponies, besting the stock C-HR’s 2.0-liter by more than 450 horsepower. Oh yeah, baby.

A five-speed Toyota E-Series manual gearbox was installed for cog-swap duties, replacing the stock CVT unit as the obvious choice for the application. Incredibly, this thing is still FWD, and it makes the most of the available grip with an OS Giken limited-slip differential.

That’s A Lot Of Output…


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“The Toyota C-HR R-Tuned has what it needs to turn it all into speed”

Indeed it is, but the Toyota C-HR R-Tuned has what it needs to turn it all into speed. The suspension upgrades are as stout as you’ll find on the engine, mounting triple-adjustable DG-Spec Motion Control dampers with remote reservoirs in the corners, which come complete with a full complement of supporting mods.

The lightweight 18-inch wheels are wrapped in Toyo Proxes RR tires, sized at 275/35. Under the rollers, you’ll find the Brembo logo for the big brakes, throwing in 14-inch rotors in front clamped by 4-pot calipers with monobloc billet aluminum construction.

So You’re Saying It’s Quick?


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741811
“The Toyota C-HR saw extensive development at Willow Springs, and that’s refreshing to see at SEMA.”

Very quick. The Toyota C-HR saw extensive development at Willow Springs, with tons of performance data accumulated over the course of 10 test sessions. And that’s refreshing to see at SEMA, where we often see builds that are no more than a rough assemblage of parts thrown together with an eye for looking good, rather than performance potential. A show queen, this is not.

“The C-HR R-Tuned has been to the track every month since we started the project late last year. It’s probably been subjected to more real-world tests than just about any car built for SEMA,” says DG-Spec’s owner, Dan Gardner. We believe him.

“It’s not just a show concept but a track-worthy performance vehicle,” he adds, “and I can’t wait to see what people at SEMA and beyond think!”

We approve.

References

Toyota CH-R


2018 Toyota C-HR - image 696121

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota CH-R.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

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.

What makes the Kia Stinger GT Wide Body special

  • Inspired by racing GT cars from the 1970s
  • Wide body kit
  • Carbon-fiber front splitter
  • Carbon-fiber side skirts
  • New diffuser with quad-pipe exhaust
  • 21-inch wheels
  • Pearl blue metallic paint
  • Blue seat piping
  • Hand-stitched leather dash panel
  • Alcantara steering wheel
  • Lowered suspension

    2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body - image 741791
    “The Stinger GT isn't as wide as a full-fledged race car, but it definitely stands out when compared to the production model”
  • Kia says that the widebody model is inspired by racing GT cars from the 1970s, which probably explains the wider fenders. The 1970s was a cool era for production-based race cars, many of them featuring extreme aerodynamics and impressively wide fender flares. Granted, the Stinger GT isn’t as wide as a full-fledged race car, but it definitely stands out when compared to the production model – especially since the Stinger GT has a rather narrow waist. But, changes don’t stop to wider fenders designed to accommodate fatter tires.

    The sedan also received a carbon-fiber aerodynamic kit that includes a big splitter below the front fender, side skirt extensions, and a sportier rear diffuser with a quad-exhaust pipe layout. It also rides of large, 21-inch forged wheels wrapped in high-performance tires. The rollers are quite flashy by finish and design, but this doesn’t come as a surprise given that the project was made in cooperation with West Coast Customers. The revised exterior is rounded off by a pearl blue metallic paint that works great with the chrome and black accents.


    2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body - image 741789
    “Inside the cabin, West Coast Customs added custom blue leather seat piping to match the exterior paint”

    Inside the cabin, West Coast Customs added custom blue leather seat piping to match the exterior paint and a distinct, hand-stitched gray leather dash panel. The steering wheel was wrapped in Alcantara for a motorsport-inspired loo, while the center console received gloss black.

    As far as drivetrain upgrades go, West Coast Customs didn’t do much beyond lowering the suspension by 1.4 inches up front and 1.2 inches to the rear. The engine remained unchanged, so this show car uses the same twin-turbo, 3.3-liter V-6 rated at 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic moves all that power to the wheels. In all, it’s an interesting project that shows what you can do with the already appealing Kia Stinger GT.

    References

    Kia Stinger


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700374

    Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.


    2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

    Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

    PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger GT Federation

    Brembo Brakes

    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.

    What Makes The Kia Stinger GT Federation Special

    • Mild build
    • Cream Orange paint
    • Minor body mods
    • Breathing upgrades for engine
    • Lower suspension

    2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation - image 741781
    “The GT Federation manages to make improvements without any radical changes”

    When we first saw the Kia Stinger GT, we were impressed. We liked the sporty body style, with its wide, low stance, aggressive fascia, large wheels and low-profile tires, and copious cuts and vents spread tip to tail. To this solid foundation, the GT Federation manages to make improvements without any radical changes.

    As you can see, the aesthetic differences are few but effective. New body pieces include a new rear spoiler, a new rear diffuser, and new hood vents, all from the California-based parts supplier Air Design USA. There’s also a new front lip spoiler, and the whole thing is slathered in an eye-catching shade of Cream Orange paint. Just in time for Halloween, too.

    Lest it gain the ignominious title of “all show, no go,” the GT Federation also delves under the hood for its list of upgrades, adding a new intake from K&N, and a new high-flow exhaust from Borla. Making its appearance in the rear, the Borla pipes terminate in a quartet of tips in the new diffuser.


    2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation - image 741777
    “All told, the new breathing mods help to liberate approximately 15 horses from the otherwise stock twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 powerplant.”

    All told, the new breathing mods help to liberate approximately 15 horses from the otherwise stock twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 powerplant, with peak output coming to around 380 horsepower total. And yeah, we would have loved it if the stock snails got tossed for bigger boost makers, but that would mean it would need the supporting mods to go with it.

    As is, this is a mild build, down to the suspension parts, which include new lowering springs from Eibach, as well as larger anti-roll bars. Rounding it off are impressive 20-inch wheels from TSW, with Falken providing the tires.

    All in all, it’s a good-looking piece of kit, and should provide anyone interesting in buying and modifying a Stinger of their own with a good idea where to start.

    References

    Kia Stinger


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700374

    Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.


    2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

    Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

    PostHeaderIcon BMW M5 with M Performance Parts

    2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts

    Unveiled only a few months back (August 2017), the new M5 is arguably the most aggressive and technologically advance midsize sedan BMW has built to date. But this doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. And BMW used the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas to showcase a range of M Performance parts that enhance the M5 inside and out, as well as under the skin. It may seem a bit ridiculous to showcase performance- and visual-enhancing parts only a couple of months into an already awesome sedan’s life, but this is how the market works nowadays. While some will be more than happy to take a stock M5 home, others will pay for a few extras and a slightly customized appearance.

    The new BMW M Performance parts for the still-fresh M5 are mostly about aerodynamics and weight saving on the outside. Both are achieved through extensive use of carbon-fiber, a lightweight composite that’s more than welcomed on any BMW wearing the M badge. And with the German firm usually using carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) on its cars, this is a breath of fresh air for carbon enthusiasts. The interior also received its fair share of upgrades, while the chassis and the exhaust system have been modified to better suit the enhanced aerodynamics of the sedan. But more on that in the review below.

    Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M5 with M Performance Parts.

    What makes the BMW M5 with M Performance Parts special

    • Carbon-fiber aerodynamics package
    • Carbon-fiber grille and mirror caps
    • M-style stripes
    • Race-spec steering wheel
    • Carbon-fiber shift paddles and lever cover
    • Custom floor mats
    • New telemetry system
    • Sportier coilover suspension
    • Carbon-ceramic brakes
    • New exhaust system

    2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts - image 741712
    “The already aggressive stance of the M5 is further enhanced by the M Performance aerodynamics package”

    On the outside, the already aggressive stance of the M5 is further enhanced by the M Performance aerodynamics package, which includes a range of handcrafted, carbon-fiber parts. Up front, this package adds only bumper side vent surrounds, but the aero feature is complemented by carbon-fiber kidney grilles. The latter is a cool touch in terms of looks. Moving over to the sides, we can see carbon-fiber side sill extensions, also part of the aero package, and carbon mirror caps, a separate option.

    Around back, the M Performance bundle includes a carbon-fiber rear spoiler (or the spoiler Pro upgrade) and a carbon-fiber rear diffuser. All told, these options not only optimize the sedan’s aerodynamics, but also reduce curb weight and enhance looks. Finally, you can also opt for the stripe package, which adorns the lower front bumper and lower doors in the traditional blue, purple, and red colors of the M division.


    2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts - image 741719
    “The package also features new carbon-fiber shift paddles and a carbon shift lever cover”

    Plenty of interesting features to talk about inside the cabin too, starting with the M Performance steering wheel with distinctive geometry, pronounced Alcantara grip area, and carbon-fiber cover. The package also features new carbon-fiber shift paddles and a carbon shift lever cover. The motorsport-inspired looks are rounded off by M Performance floor mats.


    2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts - image 741716
    “Those who wish to capture their performance on film can opt for the Trackfix action camera holder”

    Moving over to what’s not immediately noticeable, BMW developed the M Performance Drive Analyzer, which is described as an “innovative tool for recording and evaluating all important vehicle dynamics data.” The system analyzes and determines a range of performance factors such as engine data, speed and peak values, engaged gear, use of accelerator pedal and brakes, and lateral acceleration, working pretty much like a telemetry device. When recorded, the results can be directly shown on the smartphone as videos or graphic representations via the M Performance Drive Analyzer App, which is available free of charge to BMW customers. Those who wish to capture their performance on film can opt for the Trackfix action camera holder, which can be mounted in the threaded bush of the towing lug either at the front or rear end of the vehicle. This way you can make your own Nurburgring record attempt videos.


    2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts - image 741730

    M Performance unveiled under-the-skin upgrades too, starting with a coilover suspension with even sportier setup, which provides a more direct connection of the chassis to the road. The red coil springs. There’s also carbon-ceramic brakes with motorsports-derived pads, as well as an M performance sports exhaust system. The latter is available exclusively in the U.S. and Canada and features a titanium rear muffler, carbon-fiber tailpipe trim, and an optimized exhaust gas routing for enhanced engine roar. While the engine remained unchanged, BMW did introduce a new, handcrafted carbon-fiber cover.

    Most of these parts will become available when the new M5 arrived in showroom in the spring of 2018, while some of them will hit the market in July.

    References

    BMW M5


    2018 BMW M5 - image 727588

    Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.


    2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

    Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

    PostHeaderIcon BMW M3 30 Years American Edition

    1987 was a special year for BMW fans here in the US. That was the year the M3 first came to our shores. Since then, Bimmer’s resident performance sedan has carved up a legacy that’s without peer, so much so that we’re all getting a treat from BMW with the presentation of the super exclusive M3 30 Years America Edition at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show. It really doesn’t get as exclusive as this one because, quite literally, there will only be one of its kind in the world.

    The M3 30 Years America Edition actually starts its life as a standard manual-transmission M3 that’s dressed up in BMW’s Competition Package. But, that’s where any semblance to a standard M3 ends. Everything else about it is exclusive to the theme of the car, which is to say that it received plenty of red, white, and blue treatment in both the exterior and interior. This is as all-American as a BMW M3 can get, at least to the point that bald eagle badges wouldn’t have been out of place in it. It’s unclear at this point how much BMW plans to sell the M3 30 Years America Edition for, though it did say that it will be available once the SEMA Auto Show ends. My money’s on it being auctioned off with the proceeds going to a charity here in the U.S., but don’t be surprised if Bimmer feels generous enough to simply raffle the sedan off. The latter would be an ideal scenario for folks like me because if it’s auctioned off, expect the bids to come hot and heavy, maybe even reach six figures under the best of conditions.

    Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M3 30 years America Edition

    What makes the BMW M3 30 Years America Edition special


    2018 BMW M3 30 Years American Edition - image 741683
    “The exterior is striking with the Frozen Red II Metallic shade”

    There are a lot of things to like about the BMW M3 30 Years America Edition, including the theme and how BMW went about it implementing it. The exterior is striking with the Frozen Red II Metallic shade. The inclusion of “II” in its nomenclature is intended to convey the paint’s exclusivity, which came to life at the hands of the talented people over at BMW Group Designworks. In addition, the M3 30 Years America Edition also gets a carbon fiber reinforced polymer roof, which also features the same Frozen Red Metallic II paint. More cosmetic goodies come in the form of a 30th Anniversary graphic located on the rear sunshade of the sedan. This particular addition is important to enhance the sedan’s one-off exclusivity and separate itself from every other M3 in the world today. Speaking of exclusivity, the one-off M3’s wheels are also of the super limited variety. The alloy wheels measure 19 inches in the front and 20 inches in the rear and are finished in an exclusive touch of gold. It’s the only set of wheels that will get this kind of treatment, so it’s in good company with the equally rare red paint finish on the body.


    2018 BMW M3 30 Years American Edition - image 741697
    “We get a good number of M Performance parts, none more prominent than the carbon fiber rear wing at the back”

    On the aerodynamic side of the upgrades, we get a good number of M Performance parts, none more prominent than the carbon fiber rear wing at the back. M Performance side skirts are also included, as are functional bits like the new exhaust system, titanium rear silencer, and on the suspension side of things, a completely new adjustable sports suspension until that feature red coil springs.

    The exterior carries with it an extensive list of upgrades, but as good as that section got it from BMW, the M3’s interior is the real star of this show. If you’re digging the all-American theme of the M3, you’re going to dig the interior. Quite literally, there’s enough red, white, and blue surfaces in it to make Uncle Sam weep with pride.


    2018 BMW M3 30 Years American Edition - image 741692
    “The seats feature a base Opal White surface, with added Mugello Red Merino stripes and Fjord Blue Merino sections”

    Take the seats, for example. The feature a base Opal White surface, but instead of keeping it just that way, BMW added Mugello Red Merino stripes and Fjord Blue Merino sections to really bring out the patriotic theme of the interior. A 30th Anniversary graphic on the headrests is another nice touch and completing the whole setup are a few black leather appointments scattered throughout the cabin.

    There are no significant engine upgrades on the M3 30 Years America Edition but with the car sporting the Competition Package, that means that the M3’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine gets an extra 14 horsepower from the standard unit, resulting in an output of 444 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds.


    2018 BMW M3 30 Years American Edition - image 741687
    “The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds”

    We’ll know soon enough exactly how much this one-off BMW M3 30 Years America Edition is going to cost, but for those who are looking to get a baseline amount, the standard M3 fitted with a Competition Package sells for $71,200. Considering its status as a one-off and the theme behind it, it’s almost a certainty that we’re looking at a price here that will exceed $100,000. Whatever it is, those who are interested will need to have their checkbooks in hand.

    References

    BMW M3


    2015 BMW M3 - image 554300

    Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M3.



    Read more BMW news.

    PostHeaderIcon 2017 SEMA Show – Preview

    We’re about a month away from the glitz and glamour that is the Los Angeles Auto Show, but before we get there, we must first turn our gaze north east, out towards the desert sands of Las Vegas for the 2017 SEMA Show. In case you were unaware, SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, a group that hosts an annual trade show which attracts thousands of parts suppliers, car builders, restoration shops, tuners, dealers, and big OEM automakers, all of whom arrive in Sin City to participate in one of the biggest custom car shows in the world. It’s an aftermarket extravaganza, a cornucopia of modified rides that compete for the attention of some of the most discerning eyes in the industry. Prepare yourself – SEMA is the place to be if wild and crazy four-wheeled creations are what you’re after.

    To give you a flavor of what it’s like to attend (SEMA is closed to the public), we’ve compiled several of the major builds slated to show in the following preview, listed here for your viewing and reading pleasure. Keep on eye on TopSpeed as the official show date approaches (October 31st through November 3rd), as we’ll be reviewing all the good stuff as it’s revealed. So without further ado…

    Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 SEMA Show.

    Ford WD-40/SEMA Cares Boosted Bronco


    Ford WD-40/SEMA Cares Boosted Bronco - image 733716

    First in our preview list of SEMA builds is this one-off upgraded Ford Bronco, an example from 1966 representing the first of five generations for the nameplate. Outside, we find a yellow and blue paint job that’s in line with the famous lubricant producer that lends its namesake, while under the hood is a turbocharged EcoBoost engine providing the power. What’s more, this slick Bronco will go up for auction to benefit charities like Childhelp, an organization that serves neglected and abused children.

    Read our full review on the Ford WD-40/SEMA Cares Boosted Bronco.

    Hyundai Rockstar Energy MOAB Extreme Off-Roader Santa Fe Sport Concept


    2017 Hyundai Rockstar Energy Moab Extreme Off-Roader Santa Fe Sport Concept - image 735810

    Designed to transform Hyundai’s unassuming SUV into a badass, dirt-munching trailblazer, this custom Santa Fe starts with colossal Mickey Thompson tires, perched underneath a sizable lift provided by coilovers from King. Further upgrades include LED lighting, a stereo from Kicker, and a wet nitrous system to spray on more power.

    Read our full review on the Hyundai Rockstar Energy MOAB Extreme Off-Roader Santa Fe Sport Concept.

    Hyundai Hypereconiq Ioniq


    2017 Hyundai HyperEconiq Ioniq - image 737254

    The next custom Hyundai headed to SEMA is a sleeker, more efficient version of Hyundai’s hybrid Prius fighter – the Ioniq. Pieced together by Bishimoto Engineering, the Hypereconiq gets substantial exterior upgrades with a new body kit and carbon fiber bits, plus carbon fiber wheels as well. Recaro seats are mounted inside. Powertrain upgrades include greater range thanks to a set of “e-generators” and a custom exhaust system, while coilovers set the appropriate ride height.

    Read our full review on the Hyundai Hypereconiq Ioniq.

    Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, Pennzoil


    2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil - image 738194

    The ever-popular Focus RS hot hatch is a natural fit for SEMA, and the above example shows what happens when a variety of companies get in on the same project. For the exterior, this Blue Oval gets a bright yellow paint job (appropriately, the hue is dubbed Axalta Pennzoil), as well as 19-inch wheels and a variety of carbon fiber aerodynamic bits. Further composites were added to the interior, such as for the shifter, instrument cluster, and window switch cover. Powertrain improvements like a new exhaust and drivetrain improvements like a short-throw shifter add extra sportiness, while BC Racing coilovers provide the drop.

    Read our full review on the Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, Pennzoil.

    Ford Focus RS “Triathlete” By VMP Performance


    2017 Ford Focus RS “TriAthlete” by VMP Performance - image 738199

    While the Focus RS is rather stout right out of the box, tuners are always looking to squeeze a bit more from what comes from the factory. Case in point – the Focus RS “Triathlete” from VMP Performance, a custom that promises improved performance at the drag strip, road course, and winding backroads. Outside, the car’s curb weight was cut thanks to oodles of carbon fiber, while a bolt-in harness bar and five-point harness keeps the driver in one spot. Making more ponies is a new exhaust, intake, and custom tune, while Air Lift provides the suspension.

    Read our full review on the Ford Focus RS “Triathlete” By VMP Performance

    Ford Focus ST By Blood Type Racing


    2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738198

    The RS isn’t the only Focus to get some custom love at SEMA this year, as evidenced by this impressive ST model from Blood Type Racing. Rocking flared fenders, carbon fiber wings, and a shiny shade of Midnight Purple paint, the ST certainly looks the part of a SEMA special. Sabelt seats and a roll bar can be found in the cabin, while the four-cylinder engine gets a new turbo kit, plus a host of supporting mods. Sounds about right, but what really makes this thing unique is the drone landing pad mounted to the roof.

    Read our full review on the Ford Focus ST By Blood Type Racing

    Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept


    2017 Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept - image 739052

    Turning a four-door commuter sedan into a rip snorting performance machine is always appreciated around here, and this Elantra looks like it made that transition with flying colors. Built by Blood Type Racing, the Elantra comes equipped with a wide body kit, 19-inch wheels, and custom headlights, plus a carbon fiber steering wheel and new floor mats for the cabin space. Helping the 1.6-liter four-banger make more go is a custom tune and a methanol injection system.

    Read our full review on the Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept.

    Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition And Dusk Edition


    2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition - image 739206

    The Bow Tie is using SEMA as an opportunity to unveil a pair of special edition models for the popular Colorado ZR2 pick-up truck. The first is the Midnight Edition, which comes equipped with black trim pieces, black badges, and new 17-inch wheels finished in (you guessed it) black. Meanwhile, the Dusk edition offers a lot of the same, but with additional color options.

    Read our full review on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition And Dusk Edition.

    Kia Stinger By West Coast Customs


    The Kia Stinger Gets Baptized For SEMA - image 739813

    The Kia Stinger is ripe for modification, and it looks like West Coast Customs is jumping at that opportunity with this SEMA-bound concept. All the details are still forthcoming, but for now, expect a wide body kit that plumps the car’s fenders by several inches. Custom 21-inch wheels will fill the space, while a new diffuser in back adds aggression alongside a quartet of exhaust tips.

    Read our full story on the Kia Stinger By West Coast Customs.

    Ford Mustang By Air Design


    2018 Ford Mustang By Air Design - image 740034

    Ford’s famous pony car will be out in full force at SEMA this year, including this fine example from Air Design. Outside, the parts company added its unique body kit, which includes a new front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser, all of which is complemented by 21-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli rubber. Leather seats and a Kicker audio system round out the interior upgrades, while a Borla exhaust makes the rev noises.

    Read our full review on the Ford Mustang By Air Design.

    Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept


    2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740205

    While more speed and more style are par for the course at SEMA, some show cars also get improved utility. Take the Traverse SUP Concept, which gets a host of Chevy accessories to help get you and your gear where you need it to be, including a stand-up paddleboard carrier mounted on the roof. Complementing it is a two-tone paint job, as well as numerous interior upgrades.

    Read our full review on the Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept.

    Ford Mustang By Roush Performance


    2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740038

    In the world of Ford Performance, the name “Roush” carries some serious weight. As such, the tuner is arriving in Vegas this year with an upgraded pony car that gives a nod to the Boss 429 from the ‘70s. Draped in Grabber Green paint, the ‘Stang gets a custom wide body kit, Vossen wheels, and carbon fiber aerodynamics, while the interior gets a roll cage and race buckets from Recaro. Making extra go for the V-8 is a new intake and exhaust, while improvements to the brakes and suspension round it out.

    Read our full review on the Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

    Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept


    2017 Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept - image 740265

    It’s crazy how much of a difference a few choice upgrades can make. Just check out this spiffy-looking Hyundai Tucson – equipped with upgrades from Vaccar, the Sport Concept gets new bumpers, side skirts, and a diffuser, as well as a new grille and BASF paint job. 20-inch wheels fill the corners, while leather and suede are spread across the interior. Rear-seated passengers also get their own 9.0-inch display screens. Under the hood, the Tucson gets a variety of power-making upgrades, including a new intercooler, intake, exhaust system, and more.

    Read our full review on the Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept

    Ford Mustang By Dragg


    2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740065

    Created by the non-profit organization Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti (DRAGG), this muscle car looks primed and ready to cruise the beat. Not only does it have the requisite graphics for a police car, but it’s also got the lights and ram bar you’d expect for such a vehicle. What’s more, the EcoBoost engine under the hood was upgraded with a few choice performance mods, while the suspension gets new lowering springs, sway bars, and brakes.

    Read our full review on the Ford Mustang By Dragg

    Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods


    2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740040

    Shiny paint jobs and big stereos are all well and good, but what we really like is a gasoline-gulping monster motor under the hood. Tucci Hot Rods agrees, and as such, this ‘Stang is rocking a double dose of boost makers courtesy of a Helion turbo kit. G-Force upgraded the drivetrain with new rear axles and a new driveshaft, while a RideTech suspension helps to put the power down. And oh yeah – it’s got the look of a serious performance machine as well.

    Read our full review on the Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods.

    PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods

    50 years on the market is a long time, and the Mustang is coming up on 53 years as of 2018, the year that the sixth-gen model gets a serious facelift. That facelift brings new looks, updated technology, and more power to one of America’s favorite muscle cars, and now, it’s serving as the basis for at least seven concept cars at the 2017 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The one we’re looking at here is developed by Tucci Hot Rods, and it’s one of the most intensive Mustangs that we’ve ever seen. We’re talking about engine modification, custom exterior work, custom interior work, and a supposed top speed of 200 mph. Whether or not it can really do that remains to be seen, but I’ve seen the modification list, and I have to admit, it’s not that farfetched.

    Needless to say, Tucci Hot Rods had to put some serious work into the Mustang to get it to this point. Not that it’s necessarily a slouch. This concept is based on the 2018 GT, so we’re talking about a starting power output of 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque (yes, that’s 25 ponies and 20 pound-feet more than the pre-facelifted model.) At this time, technical specifications are still shrouded in mystery, but we do know what the standard model’s “less-than-four-second” sprint to 60 is probably easily topped by this custom GT. This Mustang will be fully revealed when SEMA kicks off, so until then, let’s talk a little more about what Tucci Hot Rods did to push this Mustang over the top and faster than 200 mph…

    Exterior

    • John’s Auto Restoration paint
    • Tucci Hot Rods aluminum pro mod wing and rear diffuser
    • Ultimaker 3D-printed hood vents
    • Stroud parachute

    2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740040

    If you know the 2018 Mustang, then looking at the picture above should hit you right in the feels. To put it simply, it’s still got most of the stock ‘Stang styling, but there’s a completely different front fascia that has the corner vents closed completely off (this could be for extra downforce on the front end) Speaking of downforce, Tucci Hot Rods added a much more prominent spoiler to the front and to the sides to help keep the ‘Stang planted as well. We can’t see much of the rear, but you can bet that there is a massive diffuser and there’s most certainly a large spoiler in the rear too, most likely of the active variety. Considering the car is designed to break the 200-mph barrier, it’s likely there’s a parachute strapped to the rear end as well.

    With that in mind, there’s a lot of extra engine work going on under the hood, and that’s why you’ve got those deep intake bellows sitting on each side of the grille – just waiting to channel air into the monster lurking under the hood. More about that later, though. For now, you’ll have to make due with the knowledge that Jon’s Auto Restoration took care of the matte-grey look while Tucci Hot Rods threw on the aluminum pro mod wing and rear diffuser. Those hood vents, while appearing stock are actually 3D-printed by Ultimaker, and as I mentioned before, there is a parachute out back, supplied by Stroud. The car rides on Forgeline GTD1 Open lug wheels. They are 19-inch units, but measure just nine-inches wide up front and 11-inches wide out back. Those wheels just so happen to wear Hoosier rubbers — 265/25-series up front and 315/35-series out back.

    All told, it’s not too bad, but we’ll have to see what it looks like in the metal once the doors at SEMA open and we can get a good look. Until then, let’s talk a little about what’s going on inside this 200-mph beast.

    Interior

    • Cobra Sebring Pro-Fit GT driver’s seat
    • Cobra Suzuka Pro-Fit GT passenger’s seat
    • Schroth Pro-Fit II 6 pt. HANS harnesses
    • Tucci Hot Rods 8 pt. roll cage
    • TMR Customs interlocking roll cage clamps

    2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740046

    For the most part, the interior was left alone. By that, I mean that the dash, center console and the rest of the stock goodies still exist in their natural habitat. What has changed, however, is pretty important for a car that does 200 mph. I’m talking, of course, about the seats, the roll cage, and the racing harnesses to keep asses in the seats should things go awry. So, Tucci Hot Rods threw in a Cobra Sebring Pro-Fit GT seat for the driver and a Cobra Suzuka Pro-Fit GT seat for the passenger. And, those who get the glory of riding in those seats will be held in place by Schroth Pro-Fit, six-point HANS harness. Finally, Tucci Hot Rods threw in an eight-point roll cage that’s held in place by TMR Customs interlocking roll cage clamps.

    Drivetrain

    • Hellion twin turbo kit
    • Mishimoto radiator, transmission cooler and oil cooler
    • Turned by HP Tuners
    • G-Force driveshaft and rear axles
    • DEI exhaust wrap
    • Ford Performance by Borla exhaust
    • RideTech triple adjustable air ride suspension
    • Wilwood Aero (six-piston front / four-piston rear) brakes
    • Ford Performance front and rear sway bars

    2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740047

    Ah… we finally get to the real meat and potatoes of this custom build. Of course, there’s still a little while before the car is shown off in all of its glory, so specs are limited at best, but we do know what has been done under the hood, and it’s nothing short of magnificent. First, let me start off by explaining where Tucci Hot Rods had to start. They picked themselves up a 2018 Ford Mustang Fastback – you know, the one with the 5.0-liter V-8 and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Out of the gate, that engine is good for 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That’s not bad, and it’s enough to get the Mustang to the 60-mph benchmark in “less than four seconds.” But, that’s not good enough for a modded out muscular beast, now is it?

    Of course, it’s not, and that’s why it’s been fitted with a Hellion twin turbo kit to cram as much air as possible into that intake sitting up top. And, that’s why this baby has those custom intake bellows on either side of the radiator grille. And, with all of that extra intake, there’s bound to be a need for a custom exhaust, so the Ford Performance Borla exhaust system is a perfect fit for this application (and it’ll sound good too.) In addition, there’s some DEI exhaust wrap applied within the vicinity of the turbos to prevent too much heat exchange under the hood while a Mishimoto radiator, transmission cooler, and oil cooler will keep the necessary fluids within a safe operating range during the most extreme conditions. Finally, to help handle all of the extra add-ons, HP tuners was commissioned to do a custom tune for this monster of a Mustang.

    As of now, there’s no word as to how much horsepower or torque this baby produces, or how fast it can get to 60 mph. But, it has been promised that it can hit the 200-mph benchmark. If I had to guess, I’d say we’re looking at somewhere around 800 horsepower, that would be enough to justify the addition of the G-Force driveshaft and rear axles – a necessary evil when you have that kind of power going to the rear wheels. Of course, we’ll know more about the specs by the time it debuts at the SEMA show, so stay tuned for updates.

    Conclusion


    2018 Ford Mustang By Tucci Hot Rods - image 740042

    At this point, I have to say that this build looks highly impressive, but a Mustang Fastback hitting 200 mph seems like something out of a wet dream for Ford fanboys as opposed to reality itself. Then again, Tucci Hot Rods did put some serious work into this ‘Stang as well. Since it’s a concept for SEMA it’s hard to say whether or not we’ll ever know for sure that it can hit that magical speed, but it sure would be nice to see, don’t you think? Either way, the build list is outrageous and promising at the same time, so we’ll be keeping our eyes open at SEMA. Check back with us at the end of the month for the latest update on this mean beast!

    • Leave it
      • A little over the top
      • Can it hit 200 mph?
      • Color could be better

    References

    Ford Mustang


    2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

    Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


    2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

    Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By DRAGG

    The Ford Mustang can be customized in a number of different ways and we’re seeing a full lineup of them at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show. One of these cars is this particular Mustang. It may look the part of an actual police car – it even has a push bar, for crying out loud! – but it’s anything but one. What it is though is a custom Guardian-themed police car created by Drag Racing Against Gangs and Graffiti (DRAGG), a non-profit, youth-oriented automotive after-school program that encourages kids to race on the drag strip against actual police officers.

    I don’t know if this Mustang can hold its own on a drag strip, but I’m pretty sure it’s not built for that environment either since it’s been described, among other things, as “eco-friendly.” However it’s made out to be, this Mustang does have a bigger purpose than just being a SEMA showpiece. It was created by DRAGG to be a symbol of unity and purpose, to encourage troubled kids to turn their backs on knucklehead environments and focus on being a part of improving their communities together with the local police forces that serve these locations. Visually, it’s one of the most arresting (no pun intended) creations among all the SEMA-bound Mustangs. Purposefully, it’s probably one of the most important customized Mustangs we’ve seen in quite a while.

    Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Mustang by DRAGG

    Exterior

    • Rally Innovations custom front splitter
    • Federal Signal emergency lighting by West Coast Lights and Siren
    • Commercial Auto Body custom paint
    • 3M graphics and logos by Ron’s Signs
    • Metalhaus Inc. police push bar
    • Petty’s Garage custom rear spoiler
    • Velgen VFMP10 wheels
    • Michelin tires

    2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740274
    “It’s hard to imagine this Mustang not striking fear in the hearts of those that cross paths with it”

    It’s hard to resist the urge of calling this a cop car because it’s all dressed like one. It’s got all the graphics and logos of a police cruiser and it even has Federal Signal emergency lighting and an actual push bar, two components that were provided for by West Coast Lights and Siren and Metalhaus Inc., respectively. On the aero front, the Mustang receives a custom front splitter from Rally Innovations, a custom rear spoiler from Petty’s Garage, and a set of 20-inch Velgen VFMP10 wheels that are all wrapped up in Michelin tires, measuring 275/30/20 in the front and 305/30/20 at the back.

    It’s hard to imagine this Mustang not striking fear in the hearts of those that cross paths with it. I certainly wouldn’t want to have this car occupying real estate space in my rear view mirror. The good news is that it’s actually not a full-fledged police car, but the mere suggestion that it looks like one is enough to guarantee it’s legitimacy.

    Interior

    • Leather interior kit by Katzkin
    • Sport pedal kit
    • Kicker audio system

    2018 Ford Mustang - image 702221
    “The interior looks exactly like what a standard ‘Stang cabin should look like”

    If this were an actual police cruiser, the interior will take on a completely different look to it. It’s going to have a screen that separates the front and rear sections and it’s going to have one of those fancy computers that cruisers all have. It might even have live ammunition all over it. But none of those are present in this Mustang. Instead, the interior looks exactly like what a standard ‘Stang cabin should look like. There are added benefits like a leather interior kit from Katzkin, a sport pedal kit, and an audio system from Kicker. But by and large, the interior is just a well-dressed version of a standard cabin. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it’s how it’s presented. We’ll take it for what it is.

    Drivetrain


    2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740275
    • 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine
    • 310 horsepower
    • 350 pound-feet of torque
    • Six-speed manual transmission
    • Borla exhaust
    • Air Raid intake
    • Jet-Hot high-performance coatings
    • Lucas Oil engine products
    • Ford Performance lowering springs
    • Eibach sub-frame and rear sway bars by America Muscle
    • Wilwood six-piston high-performance brakes
    “The additions include a new cold air intake from Air Raid, high-performance coatings from Jet-Hot, a new Borla exhaust system from Ford Performance”

    At the heart of this fearsome creation is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that produces 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It’s unclear though if the output still stands after all the tuning work done on the car’s engine. On that end, the additions include a new cold air intake from Air Raid, high-performance coatings from Jet-Hot, a new Borla exhaust system from Ford Performance, and enough engine oil products from Lucas Oil that will ensure that the whole engine runs as smooth as smooth can be.

    Given its redesigned purpose, I’d still be surprised if the output on this Mustang approaches the numbers provided by the big dog V-8 Mustang. That version is good for 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist, which might be a lot to ask for this tuned version sporting the smaller EcoBoost engine. I do expect improved performance out of it, even if there are minimal gains from a power point-of-view. It certainly would behoove even the most hardcore of tuners to put all the improvements in this section without at least expecting any improvements to come out of all of it.

    On the chassis and suspension front, we can at least confirm that there are also tangible upgrades featured in the program. Lowering springs from Ford Performance should help ensure a more spirited ride while the Eibach sub-frame and rear sway bars from America Muscle will do nothing but help improve the ‘Stang’s toughness and durability. Last but not least are the six-piston high-performance brakes from Wilwood. If for nothing else, any decent tuning project on the Ford muscle car will need nothing less than stronger brakes.

    Conclusion


    2017 Ford Mustang By DRAGG - image 740273

    I’m a big fan of this custom job for a number of reasons. First, I like that DRAGG went with one of its core missions and dressed it up as a police car. It’s not an actual police car in terms of overall function, but it certainly looks like one from a visual point of view. I also like that the NGO didn’t try to do too much to promote its message. It’s already clear with the final product and any additions that it could’ve made wouldn’t have made any difference. Resisting the urge to go all-out on the cabin upgrades is also a nice move, although I wouldn’t be surprised if other people thought differently. I just think it would’ve been unnecessary because at the end of the day, this custom project is more than just a tuning build. It’s a call for something bigger and far more important. It’s a call for troubled young kids to resist the urge of the streets and use the time they have on something more worthwhile like, say, drag racing with local police officers. It’s not the safest after-school activity by any means, but it’s one that fosters positive relations between the community and the law enforcement officials that try to keep it as safe as safe can be.

    • Leave it
      • Not something you’ll see on the road, unless it’s an actual police cruiser
      • Interior could’ve had more add-ons

    References

    Ford Mustang


    2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

    Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


    2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

    Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept

    First introduced in 2004, the Hyundai Tucson quickly became one of the company’s most popular vehicles. A more modern, second-generation model was launched in 2009, while the third-gen version was unveiled for the 2016 model year. This time around designed by Peter Schreyer, the Tucson adopted the company’s latest design language and a more upscale interior. A favorite among many tuners for SEMA Show projects, the Tucson is set to return to the event in 2017 with a comprehensive upgrade developed by Hyundai and Vaccar.

    The already eye-catching crossover was overhauled inside and out for this project. Gifted with many race-inspired design elements, a custom paint job, a luxurious interior, and many drivetrain upgrades, the Vaccar Tucson Sport concept was conceived to demonstrate that the small crossover has great potential when it comes to performance upgrades. However, this doesn’t mean that Hyundai is planning a performance-oriented model, so don’t get your hopes up on seeing it in showrooms. As disappointing as it may sound, the Vaccar Sport concept is worthy of your attention as it can provide valuable hints if you’re looking to modify your Tucson in the future.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept.

    Exterior

    • Custom two-tone paint from BASF
    • Sporty bumper, side skirts, and diffuser
    • Honeycomb mesh grille
    • Aggressive front bumper design
    • Concept One wheels
    • Continental performance tires

    2017 Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept - image 740263
    “Hyundai and Vaccar creates a Tucson that could put any Porsche Macan out there to shame”

    The cool thing about modding a Hyundai Tucson is that you have a good base to work on. I don’t know about you, but to my eyes, the Tucson is one of the best looking crossovers on the market. It has an aggressive front fascia, muscular side panels, and a sleek roofline. And, Hyundai and Vaccar just managed to take that up a few notches and create a Tucson that could put any Porsche Macan out there to shame.

    The front end is downright menacing to look at thanks to the new grille that ditched the horizontal bars for a fine honeycomb mesh. The Hyundai badge seems to float, while the visible radiator behind the mesh makes this Tucson look as if it’s about to swallow everything in its path. The lower bumper is actually very similar to the standard model, but the Vaccan spoiler lip further enhances the crossover’s sporty look.


    2017 Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept - image 740264
    “The front end is downright menacing to look at thanks to the new grille”

    Moving onto the sides, most standard features remained unchanged, but the lowered ride height and the new side skirts give the Tucson a new, aggressive stance. Vaccar also ditched the regular wheels for a set of Concept One rollers. The 20-inch forged rims come in a thin, 10-spoke design with a two-tone finish and low profile, Continental Extreme Contact Sport tires.

    Around back, there’s a new diffuser to talk about, but the initial rendering doesn’t show the vehicle’s rear end. But it’s safe to assume that this Tucson sports a large aero element and bigger exhaust pipes.

    The show car is rounded off by a special paint livery from BASF. It combines a blue metallic hue for the lower body with a dark silver on the roof and most of the engine hood, as well as matching accents in the front grille and bumper, wheel arch extensions, side skirts, mirror caps, and rear bumper.

    Interior

    • Katzkin leather and suede
    • Blue stitching
    • Nine-inch infotainment screen
    • Nine-inch rear-seat displays
    • 12-inch subwoofer
    • Custom instrument gauges
    • WiFi boost

    2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson - image 625093

    Note: Standard Hyundai Tucson pictured here.

    “The interior is focused on luxury rather than sportiness”

    While the exterior is decidedly more aggressive than a standard Tucson, the interior is focused on luxury rather than sportiness. The seats are wrapped in fine Ice Grey leather by Katzkin, but some surfaces are wrapped in Fog Suedezkin, which is Katzkin talk for grey suede. Blue stitching keeps everything together and adds a bit of contrast.

    The standard infotainment system was replaced by a Vaccar-made, Android-powered multimedia unit with a nine-inch screen. There’s also a WiFi head unit with AutoMeter Airdrive WiFi Boost, while the rear passengers get to enjoy the nine-inch Soundstream LCDs integrated into the front headrests.

    Moving over to the instrument cluster, Vaccar added a new dash-top triple gauge pod, as well as new oil and Wideband A/F gauges. There’s also DVD-MobileLink, while the soundtrack is provided by a 12-inch Picasso subwoofer and a Nano 520-watt, four-channel amplifier. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the interior yet so we can’t see any of these features.

    Drivetrain

    • Boostec turbocharger, R50 Blow-off Valve
    • AEM Air Intake System
    • Mishimoto G-Line intercooler
    • Vaccar cat-back exhaust
    • Magnaflow performance mufflers
    • XS Power battery
    • Vaccar-Power Stop brake kit
    • Vaccar-Gecko G-Street coilovers

    2017 Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept - image 740266
    “A beefed-up Boostec unit with an R50 blow-off valve was strapped to the four-cylinder mill”

    Drivetrain modifications are just as diverse, and by the looks of things, Vaccar didn’t retain too much of the standard unit. Interestingly enough, the press release doesn’t mention whether the concept uses the naturally aspirated, 2.0-liter or the turbocharged, 1.6-liter unit, but judging by the upgrade list, Vaccar went with the latter.

    The standard turbo was ditched and a beefed-up Boostec unit with an R50 blow-off valve was strapped to the four-cylinder mill. The air intake system comes from AEM and including a charge pipe kit. The SUV also features a Mishimoto G-Line intercooler, VMS Racing baffled oil-catch tank, can, and fender washers, and Vaccar-developed front-mount piping and cat-back exhaust.

    “If I were to take a guess, I'd say that output has increased to at least 300 horses and 320 pound-feet”

    The builder also fitted Magnaflow Performance mufflers and stainless kit, and XS Power D Series 3400 Battery, and uses AMSOIL Signature Series synthetic oil and filter. What does it all mean in terms of output and performance? Unfortunately, we don’t know because Vaccar has yet to release any information. But rest assured that the 1.6-liter four-pot now cranks out more than the standard 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. If I were to take a guess, I’d say that output has increased to at least 300 horses and 320 pound-feet. And Vaccar says that performance gains have been obtain without sacrificing reliability.

    Upgrades continue in the chassis with a Vaccar brake kit for both axles, a VMS Racing forged lugnuts, and Vaccar-Gecko G-Street coilovers. So the concept isn’t just faster, but it should be able to handle some track racing too.

    Conclusion


    2017 Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept - image 740026

    Stunning is the best way to describe the Vaccar Tucson Sport concept, at least as far as looks go. I can’t say the same about the interior and the drivetrain since there aren’t any photos and proper information, but if the styling is any indication, this concept should be a solid piece of work in just about any department. This vehicle will probably remain just a concept, but its exterior design would make for a great performance-oriented version of the Tucson. And why not, maybe even inspire an upcoming Genesis crossover.

    • Leave it
      • Just a concept car
      • No drivetrain information and no photos

    References

    Hyundai Tucson


    2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson - image 701278

    Read our full review on the 2017 Hyundai Tucson.


    2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

    Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept

    First introduced in 2004, the Hyundai Tucson quickly became one of the company’s most popular vehicles. A more modern, second-generation model was launched in 2009, while the third-gen version was unveiled for the 2016 model year. This time around designed by Peter Schreyer, the Tucson adopted the company’s latest design language and a more upscale interior. A favorite among many tuners for SEMA Show projects, the Tucson is set to return to the event in 2017 with a comprehensive upgrade developed by Hyundai and Vaccar.

    The already eye-catching crossover was overhauled inside and out for this project. Gifted with many race-inspired design elements, a custom paint job, a luxurious interior, and many drivetrain upgrades, the Vaccar Tucson Sport concept was conceived to demonstrate that the small crossover has great potential when it comes to performance upgrades. However, this doesn’t mean that Hyundai is planning a performance-oriented model, so don’t get your hopes up on seeing it in showrooms. As disappointing as it may sound, the Vaccar Sport concept is worthy of your attention as it can provide valuable hints if you’re looking to modify your Tucson in the future.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept.

    Exterior

    • Custom two-tone paint from BASF
    • Sporty bumper, side skirts, and diffuser
    • Honeycomb mesh grille
    • Aggressive front bumper design
    • Concept One wheels
    • Continental performance tires

    2017 Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept - image 740263
    “Hyundai and Vaccar creates a Tucson that could put any Porsche Macan out there to shame”

    The cool thing about modding a Hyundai Tucson is that you have a good base to work on. I don’t know about you, but to my eyes, the Tucson is one of the best looking crossovers on the market. It has an aggressive front fascia, muscular side panels, and a sleek roofline. And, Hyundai and Vaccar just managed to take that up a few notches and create a Tucson that could put any Porsche Macan out there to shame.

    The front end is downright menacing to look at thanks to the new grille that ditched the horizontal bars for a fine honeycomb mesh. The Hyundai badge seems to float, while the visible radiator behind the mesh makes this Tucson look as if it’s about to swallow everything in its path. The lower bumper is actually very similar to the standard model, but the Vaccan spoiler lip further enhances the crossover’s sporty look.


    2017 Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept - image 740264
    “The front end is downright menacing to look at thanks to the new grille”

    Moving onto the sides, most standard features remained unchanged, but the lowered ride height and the new side skirts give the Tucson a new, aggressive stance. Vaccar also ditched the regular wheels for a set of Concept One rollers. The 20-inch forged rims come in a thin, 10-spoke design with a two-tone finish and low profile, Continental Extreme Contact Sport tires.

    Around back, there’s a new diffuser to talk about, but the initial rendering doesn’t show the vehicle’s rear end. But it’s safe to assume that this Tucson sports a large aero element and bigger exhaust pipes.

    The show car is rounded off by a special paint livery from BASF. It combines a blue metallic hue for the lower body with a dark silver on the roof and most of the engine hood, as well as matching accents in the front grille and bumper, wheel arch extensions, side skirts, mirror caps, and rear bumper.

    Interior

    • Katzkin leather and suede
    • Blue stitching
    • Nine-inch infotainment screen
    • Nine-inch rear-seat displays
    • 12-inch subwoofer
    • Custom instrument gauges
    • WiFi boost

    2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson - image 625093

    Note: Standard Hyundai Tucson pictured here.

    “The interior is focused on luxury rather than sportiness”

    While the exterior is decidedly more aggressive than a standard Tucson, the interior is focused on luxury rather than sportiness. The seats are wrapped in fine Ice Grey leather by Katzkin, but some surfaces are wrapped in Fog Suedezkin, which is Katzkin talk for grey suede. Blue stitching keeps everything together and adds a bit of contrast.

    The standard infotainment system was replaced by a Vaccar-made, Android-powered multimedia unit with a nine-inch screen. There’s also a WiFi head unit with AutoMeter Airdrive WiFi Boost, while the rear passengers get to enjoy the nine-inch Soundstream LCDs integrated into the front headrests.

    Moving over to the instrument cluster, Vaccar added a new dash-top triple gauge pod, as well as new oil and Wideband A/F gauges. There’s also DVD-MobileLink, while the soundtrack is provided by a 12-inch Picasso subwoofer and a Nano 520-watt, four-channel amplifier. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the interior yet so we can’t see any of these features.

    Drivetrain

    • Boostec turbocharger, R50 Blow-off Valve
    • AEM Air Intake System
    • Mishimoto G-Line intercooler
    • Vaccar cat-back exhaust
    • Magnaflow performance mufflers
    • XS Power battery
    • Vaccar-Power Stop brake kit
    • Vaccar-Gecko G-Street coilovers

    2017 Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept - image 740266
    “A beefed-up Boostec unit with an R50 blow-off valve was strapped to the four-cylinder mill”

    Drivetrain modifications are just as diverse, and by the looks of things, Vaccar didn’t retain too much of the standard unit. Interestingly enough, the press release doesn’t mention whether the concept uses the naturally aspirated, 2.0-liter or the turbocharged, 1.6-liter unit, but judging by the upgrade list, Vaccar went with the latter.

    The standard turbo was ditched and a beefed-up Boostec unit with an R50 blow-off valve was strapped to the four-cylinder mill. The air intake system comes from AEM and including a charge pipe kit. The SUV also features a Mishimoto G-Line intercooler, VMS Racing baffled oil-catch tank, can, and fender washers, and Vaccar-developed front-mount piping and cat-back exhaust.

    “If I were to take a guess, I'd say that output has increased to at least 300 horses and 320 pound-feet”

    The builder also fitted Magnaflow Performance mufflers and stainless kit, and XS Power D Series 3400 Battery, and uses AMSOIL Signature Series synthetic oil and filter. What does it all mean in terms of output and performance? Unfortunately, we don’t know because Vaccar has yet to release any information. But rest assured that the 1.6-liter four-pot now cranks out more than the standard 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. If I were to take a guess, I’d say that output has increased to at least 300 horses and 320 pound-feet. And Vaccar says that performance gains have been obtain without sacrificing reliability.

    Upgrades continue in the chassis with a Vaccar brake kit for both axles, a VMS Racing forged lugnuts, and Vaccar-Gecko G-Street coilovers. So the concept isn’t just faster, but it should be able to handle some track racing too.

    Conclusion


    2017 Hyundai Vaccar Tucson Sport Concept - image 740026

    Stunning is the best way to describe the Vaccar Tucson Sport concept, at least as far as looks go. I can’t say the same about the interior and the drivetrain since there aren’t any photos and proper information, but if the styling is any indication, this concept should be a solid piece of work in just about any department. This vehicle will probably remain just a concept, but its exterior design would make for a great performance-oriented version of the Tucson. And why not, maybe even inspire an upcoming Genesis crossover.

    • Leave it
      • Just a concept car
      • No drivetrain information and no photos

    References

    Hyundai Tucson


    2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson - image 701278

    Read our full review on the 2017 Hyundai Tucson.


    2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

    Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

    The upgraded 2018 Ford Mustang is already in showrooms, and all major tuners are now rolling aftermarket upgrades for both the EcoBoost and GT versions. With the 2017 SEMA Show just around the corner, the updated Mustang also received its fair share of wild concept cars, some of which might make it into production at some point. One such model comes from Roush Performance, a tuning company that has been modifying Mustangs for over two decades now. Finished in a modern take on the classic Grabber Green color, this beefed-up muscle car takes its styling cues from the iconic Mustang Boss 429 of the early 1970s.

    Unlike most Roush-modified Mustangs, this green beast sports a custom-built widebody that turns the basic GT into a full-fledged race car. The motorsport-inspired look is backed by carbon-fiber aerodynamic devices, while the interior boasts everything a proper race car needs. From the Recaro racing seats with harnesses to the roll cage and the carbon rear seat delete, this Mustang is ready to hit the track at any given time. Drivetrain updates are also on the table, but information is still limited in this department. We should find out more at the SEMA Show, so stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what we already know about this concept car.

    Continue reading to learn more about Roush Performance’s latest concept car.

    Exterior

    • Custom widebody kit
    • Carbon-fiber aero elements
    • Vented engine hood
    • Vossen wheels and Continental tires
    • Grabber Green paint

    2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740245
    “Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT”

    Roush has been building some mean, evil looking Mustangs in recent years and this SEMA Show project is no different. The body kit used for the facelifted ’Stang GT is rather complex, combing not Roush’s new kit for the 2018-model-year pony car, but also a custom widebody layout.

    Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT. Not only are the side vents under the LED daytime running light are bigger, but the main intake is wider too. Down below, there’s a massive, race-inspired carbon-fiber splitter that enhanced aerodynamics, while giving the coupe an aggressive stance.

    The standard grille with the honeycomb mesh and the slanted side bars has been replaced with a Roush specific element with horizontal slats. The engine hood now sports a big bulge in the middle, as well as heat extractors on each side, toward the nose.

    “Onto the sides, it's the massive wheel arch extensions and the carbon-fiber side skirts that draw attention”

    Onto the sides, it’s the massive wheel arch extensions that draw attention. The side skirts are wider too and feature carbon-fiber lower areas. More carbon-fiber can be found in the mirror caps, while the front fenders have specific “Roush” lettering. The coupe rides on custom 20-inch wheels developed by Roush in cooperation with rim specialist Vossen. These are wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires. The profile is rounded off by function quarter window scoops and a lowered ride height.

    Around back, the heavily modified Mustang features a revised diffuser, carbon-fiber aerofoils, and a big carbon-fiber spoiler. There’s no photo of the rear section yet, but I bet this Mustang also features larger exhaust pipes. The exterior is finished in a custom paint by Sherwin Williams that’s heavily based on the historic Grabber Green.

    left
    right
    1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

    Interior

    • Recaro racing seats
    • Sparco harnesses
    • Watson Racing roll cage
    • Rear-seat delete
    • Katzkin leather trim

    2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740247
    “Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats, which are paired to Sparco four-point racing harnesses”

    Sadly, there are no photos of the interior, which is the norm with SEMA Show concepts launched before the event begins, so we can’t see the long list of updates Roush operated inside the cabin. Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats. These are paired with Sparco four-point racing harnesses and a carbon-fiber rear-seat delete by Anderson Composites, the same company that provided carbon elements for the aerodynamic kit.

    The race-prepped interior is backed by a Watson Racing roll cage, as well as Roush’s very own performance instrument cluster. But this Mustang isn’t a stripped out race car. Roush also added new floor mats and a Ford Accessories leather interior kit by Katzkin. Needless to say, it’s a combination you can get in most Roush products nowadays, but with an extra touch of racing goodness through the rear-seat delete and other weight-saving measures.

    Drivetrain

    • Performance cold-air intake
    • Active exhaust system
    • Three-way adjustable suspension
    • Brembo GT brakes

    2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740246
    “The V-8 gained a new cold-air intake and performance exhaust system”

    Under the modified hood lurks the naturally aspirated, 5.0-liter V-8 engine that comes with the standard Mustang GT, but Roush made several modifications. A new performance cold-air intake was fitted, while the standard exhaust system was replaced with the tuner’s active quad x-pipe layout. No word on output figures yet, but it’s safe to assume that this V-8 delivers a bit more than the standard 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist.

    “The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension”

    The mill mates to the recently introduced 10-speed automatic, which makes the GT the quickest non-Shelby Mustang ever with a 0 to 60 mph sprint of “less than four seconds”
    (with Drag Strip setup enabled, of course). With all the extra oomph, the Roush model should be quicker by at least a tenth-second, but I can’t point out a specific figure since the official acceleration rating is not available as of October 2017.

    The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension and enhanced stopping power through Brembo GT series brakes.

    Conclusion


    2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740038

    When it comes to modded Mustangs, Roush products are as good as they get, usually raging from mildly upgraded cars to aggressively beefed-up packages that put a whole lot of extra oomph under the hood. This concept is a good example of the former, but it packs a very attractive body kit that makes it look as it just came off the race track. The Boss 429-inspired paint and detailing is also cool to have, but it remains to be seen whether this things becomes a production model in the future.

    • Leave it
      • Just a concept for now
      • Deserves more power

    References

    Ford Mustang


    2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

    Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


    2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

    Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

    The upgraded 2018 Ford Mustang is already in showrooms, and all major tuners are now rolling aftermarket upgrades for both the EcoBoost and GT versions. With the 2017 SEMA Show just around the corner, the updated Mustang also received its fair share of wild concept cars, some of which might make it into production at some point. One such model comes from Roush Performance, a tuning company that has been modifying Mustangs for over two decades now. Finished in a modern take on the classic Grabber Green color, this beefed-up muscle car takes its styling cues from the iconic Mustang Boss 429 of the early 1970s.

    Unlike most Roush-modified Mustangs, this green beast sports a custom-built widebody that turns the basic GT into a full-fledged race car. The motorsport-inspired look is backed by carbon-fiber aerodynamic devices, while the interior boasts everything a proper race car needs. From the Recaro racing seats with harnesses to the roll cage and the carbon rear seat delete, this Mustang is ready to hit the track at any given time. Drivetrain updates are also on the table, but information is still limited in this department. We should find out more at the SEMA Show, so stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what we already know about this concept car.

    Continue reading to learn more about Roush Performance’s latest concept car.

    Exterior

    • Custom widebody kit
    • Carbon-fiber aero elements
    • Vented engine hood
    • Vossen wheels and Continental tires
    • Grabber Green paint

    2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740245
    “Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT”

    Roush has been building some mean, evil looking Mustangs in recent years and this SEMA Show project is no different. The body kit used for the facelifted ’Stang GT is rather complex, combing not Roush’s new kit for the 2018-model-year pony car, but also a custom widebody layout.

    Changes are rather dramatic up front, where the bumper is a massive departure from the standard Mustang GT. Not only are the side vents under the LED daytime running light are bigger, but the main intake is wider too. Down below, there’s a massive, race-inspired carbon-fiber splitter that enhanced aerodynamics, while giving the coupe an aggressive stance.

    The standard grille with the honeycomb mesh and the slanted side bars has been replaced with a Roush specific element with horizontal slats. The engine hood now sports a big bulge in the middle, as well as heat extractors on each side, toward the nose.

    “Onto the sides, it's the massive wheel arch extensions and the carbon-fiber side skirts that draw attention”

    Onto the sides, it’s the massive wheel arch extensions that draw attention. The side skirts are wider too and feature carbon-fiber lower areas. More carbon-fiber can be found in the mirror caps, while the front fenders have specific “Roush” lettering. The coupe rides on custom 20-inch wheels developed by Roush in cooperation with rim specialist Vossen. These are wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact tires. The profile is rounded off by function quarter window scoops and a lowered ride height.

    Around back, the heavily modified Mustang features a revised diffuser, carbon-fiber aerofoils, and a big carbon-fiber spoiler. There’s no photo of the rear section yet, but I bet this Mustang also features larger exhaust pipes. The exterior is finished in a custom paint by Sherwin Williams that’s heavily based on the historic Grabber Green.

    left
    right
    1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance

    Interior

    • Recaro racing seats
    • Sparco harnesses
    • Watson Racing roll cage
    • Rear-seat delete
    • Katzkin leather trim

    2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740247
    “Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats, which are paired to Sparco four-point racing harnesses”

    Sadly, there are no photos of the interior, which is the norm with SEMA Show concepts launched before the event begins, so we can’t see the long list of updates Roush operated inside the cabin. Arguably the biggest upgrade are the Recaro racing seats. These are paired with Sparco four-point racing harnesses and a carbon-fiber rear-seat delete by Anderson Composites, the same company that provided carbon elements for the aerodynamic kit.

    The race-prepped interior is backed by a Watson Racing roll cage, as well as Roush’s very own performance instrument cluster. But this Mustang isn’t a stripped out race car. Roush also added new floor mats and a Ford Accessories leather interior kit by Katzkin. Needless to say, it’s a combination you can get in most Roush products nowadays, but with an extra touch of racing goodness through the rear-seat delete and other weight-saving measures.

    Drivetrain

    • Performance cold-air intake
    • Active exhaust system
    • Three-way adjustable suspension
    • Brembo GT brakes

    2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740246
    “The V-8 gained a new cold-air intake and performance exhaust system”

    Under the modified hood lurks the naturally aspirated, 5.0-liter V-8 engine that comes with the standard Mustang GT, but Roush made several modifications. A new performance cold-air intake was fitted, while the standard exhaust system was replaced with the tuner’s active quad x-pipe layout. No word on output figures yet, but it’s safe to assume that this V-8 delivers a bit more than the standard 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of twist.

    “The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension”

    The mill mates to the recently introduced 10-speed automatic, which makes the GT the quickest non-Shelby Mustang ever with a 0 to 60 mph sprint of “less than four seconds”
    (with Drag Strip setup enabled, of course). With all the extra oomph, the Roush model should be quicker by at least a tenth-second, but I can’t point out a specific figure since the official acceleration rating is not available as of October 2017.

    The beefed-up drivetrain is backed by a Roush three-way adjustable suspension and enhanced stopping power through Brembo GT series brakes.

    Conclusion


    2018 Ford Mustang By Roush Performance - image 740038

    When it comes to modded Mustangs, Roush products are as good as they get, usually raging from mildly upgraded cars to aggressively beefed-up packages that put a whole lot of extra oomph under the hood. This concept is a good example of the former, but it packs a very attractive body kit that makes it look as it just came off the race track. The Boss 429-inspired paint and detailing is also cool to have, but it remains to be seen whether this things becomes a production model in the future.

    • Leave it
      • Just a concept for now
      • Deserves more power

    References

    Ford Mustang


    2018 Ford Mustang - image 702254

    Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


    2017 Chevrolet Traverse SUP Concept - image 740208

    Read more 2017 SEMA Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA

    With just over 500 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is far from what you or I would consider a supercar. It’s got some burn to it, sure, but it’s not going to win any races when you line it up against the Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the world. Imagine, then, what kind of program it would take for the AMG GT S to have the muscle for that action. Well, stop imagining because it’s actually come to life, all thanks to the fantastic folks over at IMSA. For your enjoyment, folks, I present to you the Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA.

    Now, this is what a fully realized AMG GT S is supposed to look like. It may not be as sexy as its big bro, the AMG GT R, but it sure does make up for it in extra girth and muscle. That transformation was achieved in large part because of the work put in by the German tuner. There’s plenty to discuss here, including the steps by which IMSA was able to not only visually transform the AMG GT S. but increase power and performance to reach certified supercar territory.

    Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo

    Exterior


    2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739741
    “Take out the whole panels and put these carbon fiber pieces on the car, and you’re looking at a coupe that, at least according to IMSA, now weighs just under 1,300 kilos”

    Carbon fiber, carbon fiber, and more carbon fiber. That was the blueprint IMSA laid out in designing the exterior upgrades for the AMG GT S and it followed it to a tee. What you see here now is a sports car dripping in the precious (and lightweight) stuff, including on the whole bumper and spoiler assembly, hood, roof, wings, trunk lid, and, of course, the rear wing. Take out the whole panels and put these carbon fiber pieces on the car, and you’re looking at a coupe that, at least according to IMSA, now weighs just under 1,300 kilos (2,866 pounds). Do the math and that’s weight savings amounting to 300 kilos (661 pounds). It may not sound like much, but it’s a huge diet for a car that relies heavily on its performance credentials.

    Finishing off the exterior upgrades is a set of 20- and 21-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels from IMSA Racing. These wheels are then wrapped in 305/30-series and 315/30-series Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires in the front and rear, respectively.

    Interior


    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567783

    Note: Standard Mercedes-AMG GT pictured here.

    There’s always a rub when it comes to interior upgrades. Some tuners proudly showcase theirs whereas some ignore this section of the car completely. Then there are those that offer personalized upgrades, which essentially leaves it in the customer’s hands. IMSA’s interior upgrades for the AMG GT S sit along those lines, other than the fact that the tuner installed a roll cage inside for safety reasons. Apart from that piece of equipment, every surface that can be improved upon in the cabin lies in the personal whims and preferences of the buyer. That’s why IMSA refused to identify what kind of upgrades it gave to this showpiece model since the absence of expectations make it far more interesting for potential buyers of the whole program.

    Drivetrain


    2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739748
    “The Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo now has 848 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque at its disposal”

    Programs or projects with insanely long names are usually indications that a specific kit has something special to offer. The Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo is no exception because its engine upgrade is, in a word, potent. It also involved a lot of work on IMSA’s part, including the modification of the sports car’s turbochargers, the addition of new forged pistons, the installation of a new intake and intercooler, and the complete re-engineering of all these new components that allows them to function and live up to the enormous expectations IMSA put on its shoulders.

    Happy to say, then, that the result more than lived up to the hype. The Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo now has 848 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. Plain and simple, those are supercar-worthy numbers. Much more important are the ramifications of having that much power at the sports car’s disposal. IMSA didn’t say how this massive engine spike translates as far as performance times go, but let’s go back to the part of the car weighing 300 kilos less than its standard counterpart. If the AMG GT S can hit 0 to 60 mph in just under four seconds, the AMG RXR One Super Gran Trusmo should have enough (extra) power in its engine to blow that figure out fo the water.


    2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739745
    “The AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo should be able to hit 60 mph in vicinity of 3.1 to 3.3 seconds”

    Don’t be surprised if the difference is massive either because, in my mind, the AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo should be able to cover the same ground in the low-three-second mark. Perhaps somewhere in the vicinity of 3.1 to 3.3 seconds and a top speed in excess of 217 mph? Those numbers are completely unattainable for a standard AMG GT S, but they should be well within reach for a heavily modified AM GT S like the AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo.

    Suspension


    2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739749

    No surprises on this front either, considering the kind of power the AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo has at its disposal. Somebody puts that many upgrades on a car and it’s bound to need suspension upgrades to help the sports car maintain an appropriate amount of balance and sufficient handling. So, that’s precisely what IMSA did, and it threw in carbon ceramic brakes behind the wheels for good measure.

    Price


    2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739750

    Did you expect a specific price figure for this program? If you did, then I’m sorry to disappoint you because IMSA isn’t releasing any pricing details. That’s probably due to the fact that there are elements in the whole program – the personalized options – that would cause the final price to vary. The tuner did say that it’s only building a limited number of the RXR One Super Gran Turismo, so if you’re interested in getting one, now’s as good a time as any to make that inquiry. Who knows, if you hold off on doing it, you might lose out on the however many models IMSA plans to build.

    Competition

    Mercedes-AMG GT S by Lorinser


    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S by Lorinser - image 678801

    It’s been a while since the Mercedes-AMG GT S received a significant tuning upgrade that made a lot of noise in the business. There have been some past kits that have piqued our interest over the years, including this one from Lorinser. It’s actually one of the first programs were featured for the AMG GT S and it certainly didn’t disappoint, though it probably would’ve been much better if it featured an aero kit of some sort.

    In case, the program did have a hefty engine upgrade amounting to an increased output of 595 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Consider that the AMG GT S came with a standard output of 503 ponies and 479 pound-feet of twist and you’re looking at extra power amounting to 92 horses and 37 pound-feet of torque. According to Lorinser, the upgrades are good enough to help the sports car hit 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds. A 0-to-124-mph time has also been clocked at 10.1 seconds on its way to hitting a top speed of 186 mph.

    Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S by Lorinser.

    Mercedes-AMG GT S by Mansory


    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S by Mansory - image 669228

    If there ever was a tuning kit that really put the fear of metal on the AMG GT S, it was Mansory’s program from the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. This one covered the full boat, beginning with a massive carbon fiber wide-body kit made up of components like a front lip spoiler, a ventilated carbon fiber hood, wheel arch extensions, extended side skirts, and a fancy rear wing at the back.
    Those pieces were complemented by a fancy work on the interior that included red carbon fiber sports seats dressed in a hand-stitched, three-color premium leather upholstery.

    The real highlight though is the work Mansory put into the sports car’s 4.0-liter Biturbo V-8 engine, none more important than replacing the existing turbochargers with larger turbos and installing
    a high-flow air filter and adding an optimized ECU unit. The result is an output of 730 horses, a massive bump of 227 ponies over the standard AMG GT S, and translating itself to an acceleration time of just 3.4 seconds from 0 to 62 mph to go along with a top speed of 205 mph.

    Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S by Mansory.

    Conclusion


    2017 Mercedes-AMG RXR One Super Gran Turismo by IMSA - image 739742

    Without question, this is one of the most comprehensive tuning programs that I’ve seen created for the Mercedes-AMG GT S. There have been a lot of them, sure, but very few have come within the scope of what IMSA was able to do. From the generous use of carbon fiber on the aero kit to the personalized interior options and the robust engine upgrade, the German tuner left no stone unturned in turning the AMG GT S into a full-fledged supercar with ill intent on anybody that gets in its way.

    • Leave it
      • No set price so costs could go through the roof
      • Limited availability
      • Definitely not for everyone

    References

    Mercedes-AMG GT


    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567767

    Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT.


    2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739030

    Read more car tuning news.

    PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon

    The Mercedes-AMG G 63 may look like a car that has little care for the world of aftermarket tuning, but that couldn’t be further away from the truth. The hulking SUV has actually been a favorite subject among aftermarket tuners, and we see that on full display with this new tuning program from Poseidon.

    The program is called the G 63 RS 850, and you don’t need to be a mathematician to know that the “850” in the program’s name refers to the kind of power the AMG G 63 now has at its disposal. The extra grunt is complemented by a series of exterior and interior upgrades, all of which combine to create a tuning kit that establishes a more flamboyant personality out of Mercedes-AMG’s resident mastodon. The RS 850 kit may not be the first program for the AMG G 63 to dip into this kind of tuning upgrade, but rest assured, this upgrade brings a lot more to the table than what we’ve seen in the past. Consider this program, then, a top-of-the-line choice for owners of the AMG G 63. Whatever you may want to do to your premium, off-roading ride, there’s a good chance that Poseidon has the upgrade that’ll leave a smile on your face.

    Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG G 63 RS 850 by Posaidon

    Exterior


    2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739020
    “This particular finish is striking in its own right, specifically the way it shines in the light”

    If you want your Mercedes-AMG G 63 to stand out, then Posaidon has you covered with what it cals a “Crazy Color Edition” Solar Beam Yellow paint finish. It’s actually not the first tuning program for the SUV to feature a color similar to this one, but this particular finish is striking in its own right, specifically the way it shines in the light. There’s some burst-like elements to it that make it pop out even more than those traditional yellow finishes.

    Complementing the flamboyant color scheme is a set of 22-inch alloy wheels that come wrapped in 285/40R22 high-performance tires. Gold-painted brake callipers are located just behind the wheels, attention-grabbing in their own right.


    2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739024
    “Complementing the flamboyant color scheme is a set of 22-inch alloy wheels that come wrapped in 285/40R22 high-performance tires”

    There are no aerodynamic modifications to speak of though that shouldn’t be too much of an issue considering that the AMG G 63 isn’t the type of car that’s going to need that many aero bits to begin with. It’s one of those cars that’s fine on its own.

    Interior


    2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739027
    “Carbon fiber trim is the big star in this section as it adorns a significant amount of real estate in the cabin, including the center console and tunnel”

    From afar, the interior of the AMG G 63 looks pretty bland but a closer look at it reveals the complete opposite. Carbon fiber trim is the big star in this section as it adorns a significant amount of real estate in the cabin, including the center console and tunnel. The interior’s also dressed abundantly in black leather with contrast yellow stitching providing the matching look with the SUV’s exterior body paint. On the tech front, the tuner also installed an in-house speed camera update that can be integrated into the SUV’s Comand online navigation system.

    That’s the extent of Poseidon’s work on the interior of the AMG G 63. It’s not mind-blowing, but it sure is effective in creating a unified look between the exterior and interior of the car.

    Drivetrain


    2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739026
    “The end result is an output of 850 horsepower and 995 pound-feet of torque, staggering numbers even for an SUV as capable as the AMG G 63”

    This is where Poseidon’s expertise comes into the forefront. The tuner is known for its engine upgrade programs so it’s no surprise that the AMG G 63 RS850 comes with an impressive engine tune of its own. At the heart of the upgrades is an remapped ECU unit and an uprated intake and intercooling system. Together, these components are joined by in-house upgraded turbochargers and a stainless steel sport exhaust system with sound damper control and free-flow sport catalytic converters.

    The end result is an output of 850 horsepower and 995 pound-feet of torque, staggering numbers even for an SUV as capable as the AMG G 63. In fact, do the math and the resulting power actually adds 279 ponies and 335 pound-feet of twist into the mix from the SUV’s standard output of 571 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.

    “Those numbers translate to an incredible acceleration time from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds to go with a top speed of 177 mph”

    Those numbers translate to an incredible acceleration time from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds to go with a top speed of 177 mph. Again, compare that to what a standard AMG G 63 is capable of and you’re looking at a much more capable SUV when it comes to accelerating off the block and reaching a higher top speed.

    Check out the AMG G 63 RS 850’s performance capabilities by the numbers.

    Model Horsepower Torque 0 to 62 MPH Top Speed
    Mercedes-AMG G 63 RS850 by Posaidon 850 horsepower 995 pound-feet 3.6 seconds 177 mph

    Chassis and Suspension


    2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739018

    Upgrades to the SUV’s chassis are also included in the program since it’s going to need one with that much extra power now available on that all-too familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. With the engine mods in place, the tuner also threw in an adaptive damping system with three varying settings.

    Pricing


    2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739019

    There’s no word yet on how much the program is going to cost, but you can expect it to be more than just a pretty penny. After all, a base AMG G 63 already costs upwards of $140,000 so to get that program on the car, you’re probably looking at a price point that’s in the neighborhood of $200,000, donor AMG G 63 included.

    Competition

    Mercedes-AMG G 65 900PS by Brabus


    2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Brabus 900PS - image 731591

    If there ever was a tuner that can develop its own tuning kit for the AMG G 63 (or G 65 this case) and still look good doing it, Brabus is as good a choice as any. The German tuner actually presented a new program for the SUV a month ago and it featured a good amount of upgrades across numerous sections of the AMG G 65. Chief among these modifications is a carbon fiber wide-body kit that gives the G 65 a new look to appreciate.

    It also received a “luxury overhaul” in the interior made up of different shades of fine leather to go with a reconstructing the configuration of the cabin to extend the center console all the way to the rear.

    The most important upgrade though is on the SUV’s engine. See, Brabus wasn’t content with just playing around with the G 65’s 6.0-liter V-12 engine. Instead, it increased the displacement of the engine before proceeding on improving its engine mechanicals. The result is an output of 888 horsepower and a limited torque figure amounting to 885 pound-feet. That translates to a 0-to-62-mph sprint time of just 3.9 seconds to go with an increased top speed of 168 mph.

    Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 900PS by Brabus.

    Conclusion


    2017 Mercedes-AMG G63 RS 850 by Posaidon - image 739021

    There aren;’t that many tuners who are brave enough to develop a program for a car like the AMG G 63. On that measure alone, Posaidon’s RS 850 kit immediately checks a lot of boxes. It also helps that Posaidon has a reputation for building some impressive tuning projects in the past, and this doesn’t appear to be too different from any of its past works. It’s complete in the sense that it coves plenty of a customer’s “wants” and “needs” yet it still retains much of its AMG G 63 identity. It’s been said that the best tuners can adapt themselves to any car or situation. Consider this kit for the AMG G 63 as another example of the abilities of Posaidon as a full-fleged tuner of some of today’s most peerless exotics.

    • Leave it
      • Could be pricey
      • Not for everyone
      • Body color could attract ware more attention

    PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations

    “Subtlety” is not one of the first words you think of when talking about the SEMA Auto Show. Proving as much is Ford, which is headed to the annual aftermarket show in Las Vegas with a series of specially modified Focus hot hatches. We’ve already seen the Blue Oval’s collaborations with Bloody Type Racing, VMP Performance, and a triple-team effort from Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil. Now, it’s Rally Innovations’ turn in the spotlight, and the rally racing tuner is bringing with it a heavily tuned Ford Focus RS that now looks like its ready to throw down in Baja or Dakar.

    The project car officially goes by the name “Ford Focus RS Rally Revival,” and if there’s one thing that passes the proverbial eye test, it’s that this hot hatch looks ready to go flying in some sand dunes. It’s arguably the Focus hatch that underwent the heaviest and most significant of modifications among the four that are headed to SEMA. Given the new purpose it was given as a full-fledged rally marauder, it’s not far-fetched to think that the Focus RS Rally Revival can go throw down with the best rally cars. That’s the depth of Rally Innovations’ program for the Focus RS. It may sit at SEMA looking all peaceful and contained, but rest assured, there’s a beast lying underneath that modified body, and it’s one that’s itching to get uncaged.

    Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations

    Exterior


    2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738745
    “There’s an intensity by which Rally Innovations tackled the Ford Focus RS’ exterior.”

    There’s an intensity by which Rally Innovations tackled the Ford Focus RS’ exterior. You can see it by how the hot hatch looks post labor and there’s no question that it’s been retuned to fulfill one specific purpose: get down and dirty.

    The front section is noticeably different with the addition of aluminum front splitters. You’re going to see this trend in the side and rear too, but its most distinct in this section because of its vulnerability to the elements in rally racing. Notice also the presence of those LED lamps on the radiator grille? Those are Baja Designs 3×3 Squadron Pro & S2 LED Amber and they’re high priority for any rally racer, especially this one. Then there’s the inclusion of the vents on the hood, which Rally Innovations installed in collaboration with Anaheim Rod & Custom.


    2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738744
    “The wheels themselves also benefit from getting diverters and mud flaps courtesy of RS4”

    The wheels themselves also benefit from getting diverters and mud flaps courtesy of RS4 while the rear section of the newly created rally car is the recipient of an aluminum diffuser and a massive rally wing. Hard not to see that wing even from the angle of the photo.

    Stainless steel latches from Sparco complete the functional upgrades on the Focus RS while an Avery Intense Blue and 3M Storm Gray vinyl wrap make up a significant part of the aesthetic enhancements.

    Last but not least is the wheel-and-tire set-up. For this creation, Rally Innovations opted for a set of 19-inch OZ Racing Superturismo GT wheels and wrapped them all up in Nitto NT01 tires, 235/35- series tires on all four corners. Shop TPMS tire pressure monitoring sensors and Tred Wear raised white letter tire inserts complete the upgrades for this section of the hot hatch.

    Interior


    2016 Ford Focus RS - image 615129

    Note: Standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

    “Rally Innovations stripped away the rear seats of the hot hatch and put in its own version of a four-point roll cage.”

    Given that this is a rally car we’re talking about, the objective of the interior upgrades on the Focus RS is to make it as light as possible while also offering enough protection to ensure the safety and well-being of the driver and his navigator. On that front, Rally Innovations stripped away the rear seats of the hot hatch and put in its own version of a four-point roll cage.

    Interior panels from R4S and EVO racing seats add to the quality of the custom job on the cabin. The seats in particular should come very useful considering how unforgiving rally terrains traditionally are. A custom R353 steering wheel and globe shift knob are important in their own way, the latter specifically since quick and rapid gear changes are arguably one of the most important skills needed for any full-fledged rally racer. Combine those new equipment with an Omni pod mount and Autometer Cobalt Series boost, oil, air/fuel and Pro Shift light gauges and all the requisite equipment needed to get a full rally run is right in the cabin and within reach of both the diver and navigator.

    Last but most definitely not least are the HPI 4-point harnesses. Nobody should be reminded about the importance of safety when racing in a rally car.

    Drivetrain


    2016 Ford Focus RS - image 702708

    Note: Engine of t he standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

    “Rally Innovations took those specs and added a series of refined equipment modifications”

    Dressing the Ford Focus RS to look like a rally car is one thing. Actually turning it into one is another matter entirely. This is where Rally Innovations’ drivetrain upgrades come into the forefront. The base car still uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged I4 EcoBoost engine that’s paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

    Rally Innovations took those specs and added a series of refined equipment modifications, including an upgraded intercooler, a high-flow induction kit, and a Ultra-High Performance Silicon Boost/Coolant hose kit that come by way of noted Ford tuner Mountune. A new CSF triple-pass high performance radiator was also installed and the same goes in the back of the car where a Ford Performance S-Type 3” cat-back exhaust makes its way into the picture. A special COBB Access Port V3 tune round out the drivetrain modifications on the Focus RS.

    Neither Ford nor Rally Innovations divulged details on how much power this Focus RS rally car now boasts, but given that the standard version of the hot hatch is already capable of producing 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, there’s no question that this project rally car has more of that on tap.

    The likelihood of a significant increase in output is made more evident by the amount of modifications Rally Innovations put into the hot hatch’s chassis and suspension. Suffice it to say; the Focus RS now sits on coilovers (supplied by RS-R Sports-i) at all four corners with upgraded sway bars in the front and rear (courtesy of Eibach), and an adjustable camber kit from Whittling. Throw in the 4000 series front and rear slotted rotors from DBA USA and Rally Innovations’ own intercooler “X” brace, and you have the makings of a custom Focus RS that can can display its newfangled destiny on any rally course in the world today.

    Conclusion


    2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations - image 738197

    I’m impressed by how this particular project turned out, and not because of the novelty that comes with turning a Ford Focus RS into an actual rally car. We’ve seen that before and we’re likely to see more of that again. What I am impressed with is how Rally Innovations somehow made this project look easy. I’m sure it wasn’t by any stretch, but if we judge the difficulties based on how much work was done and the result of all that work, it does feel like the people from Rally Innovations didn’t have too many sleepless nights working on this project.

    The result is exceptional enough that I’m now legitimately curious to see how this rally car can perform when it lines up against its ilk in a race. Maybe somewhere down the road it’s going to happen. But for now, it’s going to be nothing more than a display at SEMA and a showcase of what Rally Innovations is capable of. Seems like a waste of a perfectly solid project car, doesn’t it?

    • Leave it
      • What was once the Focus RS is now all but gone
      • Not for everybody
      • Should be quite a handle on its own

    References

    Ford Focus RS


    2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664701

    Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.


    2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718773

    Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

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