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Archive for the ‘SEMA Auto Show’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Audi TT Clubsport Concept Turbo: Blast from the Past!!

Audi has launched the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The TT Clubsport provides a strong reminisce of the Audi 90 IMSA GTO from the 1980’s. Lots of parts for this car have been drawn from Audi Sport Performance Parts. Audi has managed to garner enough attention at the SEMA show with its visually appealing looks.

Let’s find out more about it.

Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept Details


Audi TT Clubsport Concept Turbo: Blast from the Past!! - image 744094

The Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept comes equipped with 2.5-liter, electrically assisted, turbocharged, five-cylinder engine that generates an impressive 600 horsepower; 200 horsepower more than the standard offering. This helps the TT attain naught to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 193 mph.

The TT is 5.5 inches wider, thanks to the widened wings. The TT also comes packed with a huge racing fender and a manually adjustable carbon fiber rear spoiler.
The TT has been fused with various parts from the Audi Sport Performance Parts, such as the light-weight 20-inch wheels, an adjustable suspension, and an exhaust system developed with Akrapovic.

Author’s Take


2015 Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Technology Concept - image 630048

The TT has created roars before and has taken it up by a notch with the TT Clubsport Turbo Concept. Audi also introduced the Audi Sports Parts for the TT RS and R8 V10 models at the SEMA show. Audi has done an incredible job with the TT and definitely gave it a nostalgic touch. We’re still waiting on more details for this concept, but until we get them, you can check out the 2015 Audi TT Clubsport Concept.

References

Audi TT


2015 Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Technology Concept - image 630061

Read our full review on the 2015 Audi TT Clubsport Concept.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Shelby Mustang 1000

2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000

It’s been only four three model years since the sixth-generation Ford Mustang arrived in showrooms, and the pony has already spawned an impressive number of versions wearing the Shelby badge. Although the iconic GT500 has yet to be revived, Ford has already launched the GT350, the Super Snake, GT-H, and GTE, just to name a few. The GT500 may still be a year away, but sixth-gen Mustang, but Shelby just launched yet another performance model. This time around it’s the Shelby 1000, the brand’s most menacing creation in terms of output and straight-line speed.

The Shelby 1000 is closely related to the GT500, as the first model to wear this badge, launched in 2011, was based on the fifth-generation GT500. Offered in both street and 1000 S/C track versions, the first iteration of the car was discontinued in 2012. The 1000 returned in 2013, once again based on the GT500, but now with the 5.8-liter V-8 instead of the old 5.4-liter unit under the hood. Both the street package and the S/C track package were offered. Also available as an upgrade for the GT500, the package was discontinued in 2014, after only two years on the market. The new Shelby 1000 is the first such model based on the sixth-generation Mustang, so everything about it is new compared to previous iterations. Let’s have a closer look at the car in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Shelby Mustang 1000.

Exterior

  • New front fascia with larger intakes
  • Bulged engine hood
  • Wider fenders
  • Fatter wheels
  • Sporty side skirts
  • “Shelby 1000” graphics
  • Trunk lid spoiler
  • New diffuser

2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000 - image 742932
“The wider fenders make way for fatter tires, but also give the car a more menacing stance”

Ever since it was introduced in 2011, the Shelby 1000 made a name for itself as the most aggressive road-legal production version of the Mustang in terms of exterior design. The new model is no exception from this rule and looks even more menacing on the styling cues of the facelifted, sixth-generation ’Stang.

As usual, it sports wider than usual fenders. These were added to make way for fatter tires, but also to give the car a wider stance for increased stability and a more aggressive look. Shelby redesigned both the nose and the bumper. The grille now features a honeycomb mesh and a trapezoidal element at the bottom with “Shelby” lettering inside.


2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000 - image 742933
“Around back, there's a new spoiler atop the trunk lid and a more aggressive diffuser below”

Below, we can see larger side cooling ducts, a more aggressive lower grille, and a bigger splitter. The hood is new as well, now sporting a massive center bulge and big vents, both added to accommodate the supercharged engine.

Moving onto the sides, we can see a new vent on the front fender, black side sill extensions, and “Shelby 1000” lettering on the lower door area. The standard Mustang wheels have been ditched for 20-inch, forged aluminum rollers with a twin-five-spoke design. Around back, there’s a new spoiler atop the trunk lid and a new, more aggressive diffuser with wide exhaust pipes below the bumper. As usual, the black panel between the taillights comes with “Shelby” lettering.

Interior

  • Illuminated sill plates
  • Katzkin leather
  • Rear-seat delete
  • Four-point roll-bar and harness
  • Autometer gauges
  • CSM badging
  • Custom floor mats

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702221

Note: Standard 2018 Ford Mustang pictured here.

“The front seats are wrapped in Katzkin leather, while the rear seats have been removed”

Shelby has yet to release interior shots of the 1000, but it did post a list of upgrades it made to the sixth-generation Mustang. Open the door and you’ll be greeted by special, illuminated Shelby sill plates. You’ll notice almost immediately that the front seats are wrapped in Katzkin leather. Because this car was built with racing in mind, the rear seats have been removed and a four-point roll-bar and harness system was added for enhanced safety. Other highlights include an instrument with Shelby by Autometer gauges, CSM badging on the dashboard, and custom floor mats.

In addition to all of the above, customers will benefit from the sixth-gen Mustang’s redesigned interior. Despite this model being almost four years old as of 2017, I’m mentioning it because this is the first Shelby 1000 based on it. So the new 1000 will have quite a few features to stand out by compared to previous versions of the supercharged coupe, including a redesigned dashboard with a more modern design, fresh technology, softer materials, and a bit more room.


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702222

Note: Standard 2018 Ford Mustang pictured here.

“In terms of new-for-2018 tech, there's a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and Ford SYNC Connect with FordPass”

Those who opt to have the Shelby 1000 update on the facelifted, 2018-model-year ’Stang will also benefit from hand-made contrast stitching, padded knee bolsters, and aluminum door handles, rings, and bezels. You can even have a heated steering wheel if you check the option on Ford’s ordering list.

In terms of new-for-2018 tech, there’s a 12-inch digital instrument cluster with a personalized LCD and Ford SYNC Connect with FordPass. Available as an option, the latter is an app that enables drivers to start, lock, unlock, and locate their car using smartphones.

Drivetrain

  • 5.2-liter Alluminator V-8 engine
  • 4.5-liter Shelby by Whipple supercharger
  • Upgraded new, manual transmission
  • Shelby exhaust system
  • Short throw shifter
  • 1,500-horsepower rated axles
  • Penske adjustable shocks and springs
  • Ford Performance sway bars
  • Brembo braking system
  • Frame strengthening
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires

2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang - image 643647

Note: 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang pictured here.

“The 1000 package ditches the 5.0-liter V-8 that comes with the Mustang GT, replaced by a larger, 5.2-liter unit”

As it is the case with most Shelby muscle cars, most of the upgrades are hidden under the engine hood. The 1000 update ditches the 5.0-liter V-8 that comes with the Mustang GT, replaced by a larger, 5.2-liter unit. If it sounds familiar it’s because Shelby is using the same engine found in the cool GT350. However, while the GT350 is a naturally aspirated car, the Shelby 1000 also gets a 4.5-liter, Whipple-designed supercharger.

The assembly also gets new radiator, heat exchanger, oil cooling, and an aluminum cooling tank, as well as a Shelby exhaust with long tube headers. It mates to a new manual transmission with revised cooling parts and a short throw shifter. There’s also a one-piece drive shaft, a truple disk clutch, and a Shelby fuel pickup system. Driveline upgrades are rounded off by an oil recovery system, an ATI vibration dampener, and a high capacity oil pan.

“The new axles are rated at a whopping 1,500 horsepower”

The new axles are rated at a whopping 1,500 horsepower. Speaking of which, Shelby has yet to announce the power rating of the 1000 model, but if the past is any indication, you can specify as much horsepower as the axles can handle. In this case, 1,500 horsepower. It’s worth noting that the first-gen model developed 920 horses in road-legal specs, while the second-gen car was good for a whopping 1,200 horsepower. Assuming that Shelby will offer two power ratings, expect at least 1,000 horsepower from the base model.

But the Shelby 1000 isn’t just about engine upgrades. The chassis has been heavily modified too and now includes revised front spindle and control arms, new rear lower control arms, Penske adjustable shocks and springs, a caster camber plates and adjustable sway bar link, Ford Performance sway bars, Ford Performance half shafts, a Brembo brake system, and further frame strengthening. The wheels, which feature hardened studs, are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires for enhanced grip.

“It's safe to assume that it will hit 60 mph from a standing start in less than 2.5 seconds”

Of course, you’re probably asking how fast this car is in a straight line. It’s difficult to tell without actual specs, but it should be the quickest Shelby ever created. If you really need a figure, it’s safe to assume that it will hit 60 mph from a standing start in less than 2.5 seconds. Actually, it could be almost as quick as the Dodge Challenger Demon, which needs only 2.3 ticks.

Interestingly enough, Shelby claims that the new 1000 is an entirely different car compared to its predecessors, as it has been designed to be the “ultimate road course warrior.” But this mission was far from easy, according to the firm, which said that modifying the sixth-generation Mustang was far more complication due to the independent rear suspension system and the new platform.

“Since Ford dropped the solid axle rear end, we had to take an entirely new approach,” said Vince LaViolette, Shelby vice president and head of development. “Not only did we build strength into the car with components like heavy-duty halfshafts and CV joints, we revised the entire suspension by using tubular adjustable upper and lower control arms, as well as fully adjustable coilovers. We then added 10 and 12 inch forged wheels with sticky 20 inch rubber to maximize traction with this high level of power.”
While the previous generation Shelby 1000 was offered in both street and off-road configuration, a decision was made not to pursue emissions compliance on the new model, Shelby added, which makes the newest generation 1000 “purely a track star.”

Prices


2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000 - image 742305

While the new Shelby 1000 package was advertised on the facelifted, 2018 Mustang, the upgrade is available for any sixth-generation Mustang GT. Production will be limited to only 50 units per year, but Shelby didn’t say whether this edition will last more than the previous ones, which were around for only two model years each. Like any Shelby out there, each car will be documented in the official Shelby Registry. Pricing for the package is set at $169,995, not including the Ford Mustang GT. Add the base car, which retails from $35,095 before options, and the Shelby 1000 will cost you a whopping $205,090!

Competition

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon


2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - image 713286

When it comes to massive horsepower and drag-ready underpinnings, the Challenger Demon is the best competitor I can think of. Developed with fast quarter mile runs in mind, the Demon is a development of the Hellcat, but with significant upgrades in just about any department. The Demon is a Hellcat on steroids on the outside, featuring a new splitter, wider fender flares, and a beefed-up engine hood. Inside, the Demon is again similar to the Hellcat, but benefits from new seats with “Demon” logos, a bespoke instrument cluster, extra performance apps, and optional leather. The standard model comes with just the driver seat, but options include two- and five-seat layouts. Power comes from a souped-up supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 that cranks out horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque. It might not sound like much compared to the Shelby 1000, but the Demon needs only 2.3 seconds to hit 60 mph. However, this figure is achieved when the car is equipped with radial drag tires and used in Drag Mode. The Demon is also the fastest quarter-mile production car with a 9.65-second run at 140 mph. It’s so quick that the NHRA actually issued a ban, as regulations state that a car that’s quicker than 9.99 seconds on the drag strip (at more than 135 mph) requires extra safety equipment and a racing license. This coupe is also fitted with a large number of upgrades developed to sustain the insane performance, including the SRT Power Chiller, TransBrake, and Bilstein shocks tuned for drag racing, just to name a few. Pricing starts from $84,995 (including $1,700 gas guzzler tax, excluding $1,095 destination), which makes it $20,800 more expensive than the Hellcat, but significantly more affordable than the Shelby 1000.

Read our full review of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Hennessey Camaro ZL1 “The Exorcist”


Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey - image 715078

Built by Texas-based tuning company Hennessey, “The Exorcist” is not a factory-built car like the Demon, but it’s put together in the same way as the Shelby 1000. And the outrageous power and its nickname make it a suitable rival for the other cars in this comparison. Built around the latest Chevy Camaro ZL1, “The Exorcist” has a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 rated at 1,000 horsepower and 966 pound-feet of torque and rides on drag slicks. The 0-to-60 mph sprint comes in “under three seconds” while the quarter-mile happens in “less than 10 seconds,” which should be pretty close to the Shelby 1000. The good news is that even though it’s not a factory vehicle, the upgrade can be ordered through Chevrolet dealerships and comes with a two-year/24,000-mile warranty. What’s more, the 10-speed automatic transmission is joined by a six-speed manual, whereas the Demon can’t be had with a stick. Pricing for this package starts from $55,000, not including the car, which means that the sticker actually begins from $116,140. Get all the options and “The Exorcist” will set you back a whopping $142,080. Far from affordable, but definitely not as expensive as the Shelby 1000.

Read our full story on the Hennessey Camaro ZL1 “The Exorcist.”

Conclusion


2018 Ford Shelby Mustang 1000 - image 742306

The Shelby 1000 is far from being among the brand’s most iconic nameplates. Because it’s still relatively new, having been first introduced in 2011, it will be overshadowed by the GT350, GT500 and the Super Snake for many years to come. On the other, I have to give the 1000 credit for being the most extreme Shelby ever built. And with new axles rated at 1,500 horsepower, the new Shelby 1000 will be more powerful than ever. Granted, there’s a chance it won’t be as quick as the Challenger SRT Demon on the drag strip, but it will put any production muscle car and most aftermarket upgrades to shame in terms of horsepower. And needless to say, it doesn’t look bad either. Put a big wing on that thing, and you’ll have a full-fledged race car on your hands. The only downside here is that the Shelby 1000 is very expensive. You can buy a Porsche 911 GT3 and still have some $60,000 to spend on fuel and weekends at the Nurburgring.

  • Leave it
    • Likely not as quick as the Demon
    • Very, very expensive

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang - image 671847

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang.

PostHeaderIcon AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers

The SEMA Show in Las Vegas is a great event if you like aftermarket car upgrades and various equipment for SUVs and pickup trucks, but sometimes it’s a nice place to find restomods. Ringbrothers is one of the companies that bring one or two new restomods at each edition, and needless to say, it’s doing a great job at combining classic designs with modern features and drivetrains. Well, Ringbrothers did it again this year, but unlike previous events, the 2017 SEMA Show hosted the public debut of a truly special car. While most tuners usually go with Fords, Chevys, and Dodges for their restomod projects, Ringbrothers picked a 1972 AMC Javelin this time around. Yup, this underrated competitor for the Big Three muscle cars of the late 1960s and early 1970s got a complete makeover with all the bells and whistles Ringbrothers is known for.

Granted, choosing a Javelin for such a project may seem like a weird choice with much more popular muscle cars around, but it’s great to see that big companies like Ringbrothers is trying something different for a change. And needless to say, the Defiant! turned out great. It’s not only the coolest AMC restomod yet, but it also puts most projects from this year’s SEMA Show to shame. Keep reading for the full details.

Continue reading for the full story.

What makes the AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers special?

  • Carbon-fiber front fenders
  • Bulged hood
  • Aggressive front bumper
  • Side-exiting exhaust
  • Black roof
  • Wider rear fenders
  • Custom rear diffuser
  • Machine-turned instrument cluster
  • New upholstery
  • Modified Dodge Challenger Hellcat engine
  • 1,100 horsepower!
  • Four-speed transmission
  • Modern subframe and suspension

“It's a Javelin AMX on steroids. Brutal and modern”

Much like any Ringbrothers creation, the Defiant! is a significant makeover of the stock vehicle. It’s a Javelin AMX on steroids. Brutal and modern.

Most of the car’s notable features, such as the round headlamps, the pointy grille, and the arched fenders are still there, but everything else from the windshield to the nose has been redesigned. Arguably the most interesting fact here is that Ringbrothers moved the front wheels and arches forward by 6.5 inches in order to eliminate the original car’s long overhang. But the firm didn’t modify the stock fenders. These were removed and replaced by custom-made, carbon-fiber ones. The bumper was also replaced with a more menacing element that reminds of modern race cars. Finally, the engine hood gained a massive bulge to make room for the supercharged engine.

The remaining side body panels were modified too. While the rear fenders became wider, the side skirts now feature side-exiting exhaust pipes. The A-pillars and the roof are finished in black, just like the upper front fascia and the center section of the engine hood. The wheels are new too and feature a twin-five-spoke, dual-color design with high-performance tires.


2017 AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers - image 742608
“The stock front fenders were replaced by custom-made, carbon-fiber ones”

Modifications are rather subdued around back, where the ducktail spoiler, taillights, and bumper were kept in stock form. However, Ringbrothers did add a two-piece diffuser and a new emblem between the thin and long taillights. Rounding off the custom Javelin AMG is a sparkly gold color that keeps some of the car’s classic vibe alive.

Interior changes aren’t as radical, but the instrument cluster gained a machine-turned metal finish. There’s also new leather upholstery, modern floor mats, and slight changes to the steering wheel and center console. Classy!


2017 AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers - image 742611
“Interior changes aren't as radical, but the instrument cluster gained a machine-turned metal finish”

Under the hood, the AMX is no longer a Javelin. While the 1972 model was powered by a naturally aspirated V-8, this modern rendition draws its juice from a modified version of the Dodge Challenger Hellcat’s 6.2-liter V-8. A bit blasphemous for AMC loyalists I guess, but hey, this is a restomod after all. The V-8 is topped with a 4.5-liter supercharger that raises the power from the Hellcat-standard 707 horsepower to a whopping 1,100 horses. All that oomph is channeled to the wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission connected to the rear wheels via a carbon fiber driveshaft. Six-piston brakes provide stopping power.


2017 AMC Javelin AMX Deviant! By Ringbrothers - image 742613
“The modified Hellcat engine cranks out a whopping 1,100 horsepower”

The muscle car rides on a custom front subframe originally designed for a Camaro and fitted with modern sway bars and RideTech suspension components. A Chevrolet 12-bolt rear end is mounted on a four-link suspension designed by the Ringsbrothers.

The original Javelin might not have been that impressive compared to the competition, but this thing is something else. But as it is the case with Ringbrothers builds, the Defiant! will remain unique. But I’m sure they wouldn’t say no to another AMC-based project should you want one.

References


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept

Raise your hands if you feel a little hoodwinked by Infiniti and its Q60 Red Alpha Concept. I know I have my hands in the air because I expected something completely different from this concept. But, that’s the beauty of the auto industry. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, it gives us a car like the Q60 Red Alpha. I don’t think I’m the only one who thought that the concept would be a traditional go-faster iteration of the performance coupe. You know, something along the lines of the Q50 Eau Rouge with some extra luxury offerings thrown in for good measure.

Instead, Infiniti went a completely different direction in achieving the same goal. There may be a significant power and performance increase, but any hints of wood or carbon fiber trim are not just in short supply, they’re non-existent, to begin with. What we do get is a gutted interior with a roll cage in the back, Mickey Thompson drag racing tires, and a racing parachute in the back. A racing parachute! Did anybody see that coming? Granted, the concept does also come with a range of performance parts that will be available in the future for Red Sport 400 versions of the Q50 and Q60. We can at least look forward to that. But everything else about the Q60 Red Alpha speaks about a car that’s been heavily modified for one purpose: drag racing. I will admit though that I’m a little curious on how it’s going to fare on a drag strip, even if it’s something that I completely did not expect.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept

Exterior

  • Matte Red paint finish
  • Mickey Thompson drag racing tires
  • Bogart Racing wheels
  • Carbon fiber rear wing
  • Racing parachute

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742577
“In essence, this concept isn’t so much about aerodynamic bits being added to the car as much as it is about the new equipment it’s actually carrying”

Boy, oh boy, where do I even start? On the one hand, the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept still looks like a Q60. The front end still looks the same though it does get somewhat of a more sculpted bumper. The striking headlights are still the same. The front grille is still the same. The sloping hood is still the same too. It’s a similar story in the side and rear sections of the coupe, at least when you disregard the accessories that were fitted into the Q60 by Infiniti and AMS Performance.

In essence, this concept isn’t so much about aerodynamic bits being added to the car as much as it is about the new equipment it’s actually carrying. Let’s start with the wheels because no Q60 coupe will sit on a set of
Bogart Racing wheels and Mickey Thompson drag racing tires unless there’s a purpose behind it. The adjustable carbon fiber wing could be an exception, except that it’s been bolted in at such a weird angle that it makes you think once again that there’s a reason behind why it looks the way it does.


2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742578
“And then there’s the racing parachute”

Not only does the wing cover the taillight, but opening the trunk with that thing looks complicated unless Infiniti and AMS Performance designed it in a way that the trunk becomes an afterthought. And then there’s the racing parachute. Obviously, there’s no explanation needed for its inclusion because from the way the concept was prepared, it’s not something that you’d be driving to Whole Foods, but something you’re more likely to see in a drag strip.

Interior

  • Carbon fiber racing seats
  • Harness bar

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742583
“Infiniti actually went the opposite direction for this coupe, preparing the cabin in such a way that it becomes more race-focused than it once was”

Apparently, there’s not a lot going on in the interior of the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept, at least if your concern is what kind of new luxury upgrades it has. Infiniti actually went the opposite direction for this coupe, preparing the cabin in such a way that it becomes more race-focused than it once was. There are no clear photos of the interior, but I can at least make out the presence of a harness bar at the back of the front seats. Speaking of which, the seats themselves are now of the carbon fiber bucket seat variety, specifically added to not just shed some pounds off of the car’s total weight, but also to serve its new purpose as a full-fledged drag racer. It’s unclear as to how the dashboard and the center console look like but, if it the same philosophy applies, I don’t expect to see too much in the way of luxury trims and accents in those areas of the interior.

Drivetrain

  • Red Alpha Intercoolers
  • Red Alpha Intakes with Dry Media Filters
  • High Flow Exhaust Downpipes
  • Red Alpha Catback Exhaust System
  • Red Alpha ECU Calibration
  • High Capacity Overflow Tank
  • High Capacity Red Alpha Center Heat Exchanger

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742576
“The Q60 Red Alpha Concept has around 467 horsepower and 452 pound-feet of torque at its disposal”

As surprising as the intent was of presenting the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept as a coupe fit to drag race, there’s nothing surprising about the work that was done under its hood, especially since AMS Performance is involved. For those who are unaware, AMS Performance is responsible for some of the sickest and gaudiest aftermarket programs in the business today. This is the same tuner that was responsible for the 2,500-horsepower Nissan GT-R Alpha G R35. If there’s a tuner that knows how to crank up a car’s power and performance abilities, it’s AMS Performance.

And as expected, it did just that to the Infiniti Q60, which benefits from a long list of upgrades to its 3.0-liter V-6 engine, including the addition of new intercoolers, intakes with dry media filters high-flow exhaust downpipes, a high capacity heat exchanger, and the age-old ECU tuning kit. All together, it’s been reported that the Q60 Red Alpha Concept has around 467 horsepower and 452 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. The numbers have yet to be finalized though because Infiniti hasn’t confirmed – or denied – the exact power of the Q60 Red Alpha. What it did say is that the work of AMS Performance on the engine helped increase the latter’s output by 29 percent from its standard output of 400 ponies and 350 pound-feet of torque. Do the math on that and the numbers mentioned above ware the fact ones that come as a result of this extensive engine upgrade.


2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742585

I actually expected a little bit more owing to AMS Performance’s involvement in the creation of the concept, but I’ll let it pass on account of Infiniti’s plan to actually offer some of the products at its dealerships in North America. Likewise, AMS distributors will also get their hands on some of these upgrades in the near future. Either way, I do think that there’s still a lot more to the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept than meets the eye. I can’t place my finger what the purpose there is in the creation of the Q60 Red Alpha, but rest assured, I’m all ears to learn more about it.

Conclusion


2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742575

This is a bit of pickle, isn’t it? Personally, I’m impressed that Infiniti and AMS Performance were able to turn the Q60 Coupe into a full-spec racer with drag racing credentials. That’s a difficult task in of itself, but it’s even more impressive when you consider that the Q60 Coupe isn’t exactly the first performance car you’ll think of as far as getting a drag racing makeover is concerned.

That said, I don’t really know what the plans are for the concept beyond using it as a showcase of the new engine upgrades that Infiniti and AMS Performance cooked up for the former’s existing lineup of coupes and sedans. Is there a bigger play involved here, one that’s going to conclude with the Q60 Red Alpha becoming the kind of performance car that makes the whole auto world stand up and take notice? Or is this the extent of the what the concept is all about? The answers should hopefully come soon enough because at this point, it’s hard to see what the real purpose of the Q60 Red Alpha Concept really is. I suppose it’s a mixture of a lot of different things, but I still don’t know if it’s going to be anything more than what’s been presented by Infiniti.

  • Leave it
    • The whole point still escapes me
    • No clue on whether the concept will turn into a production model
    • I like the Q50 Eau Rouge much better

References

Infiniti Q60


2017 Infiniti Q60 Coupe - image 661437

Read our full review on the 2017 Infiniti Q60.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon This Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts Is the Ultimate Rock Climber

The 2017 SEMA Show was packed with modified pickup trucks, but none was as spectacular as this EcoBoost-powered rock climber built by CJ Pony Parts. The aftermarket parts supplier has been a constant presence in Las Vegas in recent years, showcasing a restomod 1965 Ford Mustang built with TMI Products, a custom Focus ST with Ford, and a beefed up Mustang EcoBoost with Ford Performance. In 2017, CJ Pony Parts chose to stay away from the car performance realm and opted to create a stunning off-road-equipped F-150 pickup truck.

Already a solid truck thanks to its aluminum body, leading technology, and fuel-efficient engines, the F-150 is now able to tackle the Moab Easter Jeep Safari alongside the most hardcore Jeep Wranglers out there. CJ Pony Parts says that its goal with this build was to create something “that not only looked tough but can back up that look with massive off-road capability,” it seems that the result matches the description. Exterior upgrades are numerous, starting with Lund fender flares, custom two-tone paint with orange graphics, and a rear differential cover. There’s also a T-Rex grille; Rigid Radiance LED lights, Rock Slider side steps, and new Stealth Fighter and Honey Badger bumpers front and rear. The truck also features an Oracle Lighting ColorShift LED underbody lighting kit.

The list of accessories continues inside with a Raptor steering wheel with orange stitching, Ford Performance door sill plates, custom headrests with CJ Pony Parts logo, and orange accents on the dashboard, door panels, center console, and floor mats. But the really important upgrades were operated under the skin.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts.

What’s under the skin?


This Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts Is the Ultimate Rock Climber - image 742565
“Performance has been improved using a Borla dual side-exit exhaust system, and aFE Momentum GT Stage 2 cold air intake, and a Bully Dog GT Platinum gas tuner.”

This pickup truck uses the same 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission as the production model, but there’s no word whether it’s the standard unit or the high-output version. The former generates 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet, while the latter cranks out 450 horses and 510 pound-feet. But no matter the drivetrain, performance has been improved using a Borla dual side-exit exhaust system, and aFE Momentum GT Stage 2 cold air intake, and a Bully Dog GT Platinum gas tuner.

The enhanced off-road capability comes from a ReadyLift seven-inch lift kit with SST3000 shocks and Custom Power suspension by PA Powder Works. The standard wheels have been replaced by two-piece, forged 20-inch rollers wrapped in BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires. A spare wheel was mounted in the bed in case one goes flat while climbing rocks. Arguably the most off-road capable vehicle at the 2017 SEMA Show, CJ’s F-150 is a sight to behold!

References

Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700457

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

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 Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck

2017 Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck

Chevy brought two custom Colorado ZR2 pickups to SEMA this year with some heavy modifications that make them even better off-road. One was built in collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles and meant for over-landing while this, the Colorado ZR2 Race Development Truck, is built for high-speed desert running. In fact, many of the upgrades on this truck were first tested on Chad Hall’s Colorado ZR2, which ran in the “Best In The Desert” race series.

The list of modifications isn’t overly extensive, showing just how capable the Colorado ZR2 is from the factory. The truck’s crown jewel is its DSSV spool valve shock absorbers from Multimatic. DSSV shocks were developed for supercars and F1 race teams, so its adoption for an off-roader was unconventional. The factory truck also has better ground clearance than a regular Colorado, along with bespoke bodywork that improved approach and departure angles. Adding to its capability are front and rear electronic differential lockers – something not found on any other Colorado. Still, Chevy improved on the ZR2’s design for hard-core racing.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck.

What makes the Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck special

  • 1.5-inch body lift
  • Long-arm front suspension
  • Long-travel DSSV shocks
  • Skid plates for rear shocks
  • Skid plate for rear differential
  • 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires
  • Cold-air intake for 3.6-liter V-6
  • Performance exhuast

2017 Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck - image 741890
“The list of modifications isn’t overly extensive, showing just how capable the Colorado ZR2 is from the factory”

Chevrolet started off with a stock Colorado ZR2 with the 3.6-liter V-6 and crew cab. They then added a 1.5-inch body lift to help fit larger, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires. The stock wheels were retained, but wheel spacers and longer wheel studs were added to widen the truck’s already wide stance. Underneath, the rear DSSV shocks got skid plates for added protection from trail damage. A skid plate was also added to the rear differential. An upgraded steel driveshaft was added, too.

Suspension enhancements make the biggest difference, however. A long-arm suspension kit was added to the independent front suspension, and long-travel versions of the DSSV shocks were added. The shocks also have a slightly modified tuning to better handle high-speed runs in the sand.


2017 Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck - image 741888
“An off-road air intake was added, as well, helping filter out dirt and sand”

An off-road air intake was added, as well, helping filter out dirt and sand. On the other side of the V-6, Chevy added a performance exhaust system. There’s no word on how these changes affected power output, but we’d certainly guess the 3.6-liter makes more horsepower and torque.

All told, the Colorado ZR2 Race Development Truck is a beast for high-speed desert running, while staying close to the factory ZR2 anyone can buy. Chevy undoubtedly is preparing for battle against Ford’s upcoming Ranger Raptor – a mid-size pickup with parts styled after the F-150 Raptor. It seems Chevy is definitely ready to throw some punches.

References

Chevrolet Colorado


2017 Chevrolet Colorado - image 686537

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695944

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.


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 NASCAR Champ Truex Jr. Designs All-Black Toyota Camry for SEMA

Toyota got really busy for the 2017 SEMA Show and its lineup for this year’s event included a handful of bespoke Camry sedans designed by NASCAR drivers. Among those who created their own race-inspired Camry was Martin Truex Jr., who recently clinched the Sprint Cup title behind the wheel of his NASCAR-spec Camry. Built as a homage to his track-prepped car, the production Camry was modified with help from Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center (MTC) and Misfit Industries.

Much like the race car he used this season, the SEMA-bound Camry is finished in black. But the color is far from being a Toyota palette standard. Crafted by Misfit after going through six different shades, the final paint is covered with a satin top coat for a unique, nearly matte look. What’s more, all existing chrome trim was refinished in durable cobalt Cerakote, which turned the exterior of the Camry completely black. The wheels, which are based on those of Truex Jr.’s race car are also finished in black. But NASCAR’s new champion didn’t stop at new paint, trim, and wheels. The Camry also sports a front splitter, a ducktail spoiler with visible rivets, and a new diffuser with redesigned exhaust pipes with three holes on each side.

The interior matches the sober look of the exterior with black leather with black stitching on the seats and Truex Jr.’s initials stitched on the headrests. Under the skin, the Camry gained an AEM intake system, a TRD exhaust, a custom Tein coilover suspension for lowered ride height and bigger brakes from StopTech. The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric high-performance tires also add to the sedan’s improved performance.

Needless to say, Truex Jr.’s options for this Camry are a bit too serious as far as exterior updates go, but I must admit I would like to see this package offered on a limited-edition model. High-performance features and black matte paint are the perfect combination if you like subtle looks on beefed-up cars. Of course, a few engine upgrades would be nice too. What do you think? Let me know in the comments section.

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 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept

2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept

Folks like to modify their rides for a variety of reasons. Some like to add a dash of personalized style, while others want to enhance the vehicle’s natural talents. However, some of the most interesting results come from the desire to take a vehicle out of its comfort zone, and as a result, create the unexpected. The Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept is a great example of something from that third category. While the Silverado is best known for its ability to haul goods, Chevy decided to see what would happen if it built a Silverado that could also haul ass. As such, this 2018 model gets a boatload of extra power thanks to a new concept supercharger system that ramps up output from the truck’s 5.3-liter V-8 engine by more than 100 horsepower. Of course, while gobs of extra power is always appreciated, a well-rounded build needs the complementary gear to go with it, and the Silverado Performance Concept delivers with additional performance parts, styling upgrades, and more.

Making its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Silverado Performance Concept joins roughly 20 other factory-backed Chevy models in attendance to entice both builders and enthusiasts alike with Bow Tie-styled goodness. Read on for the details on this go-faster truck.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept.

What Makes The Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept Special

  • Concept supercharger adds more than 100 horsepower
  • Blower is based on the Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Z06
  • Big Brembo brakes in front
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Breathing support mods
  • Custom exterior graphics
  • Black badges and trim
  • Carbon fiber gauges
  • Performance Data Logger

Wait, It’s A Blown Silverado?


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741741
“Under the hood we find a brand-new supercharger stuffing the stock 5.3-liter V-8 with enough boost to produce more than 100 extra horsepower.”

You heard right. The big news with this concept is what’s going on under the hood, where we find a brand-new supercharger stuffing the stock 5.3-liter V-8 with enough boost to produce more than 100 extra horsepower. Although Chevy didn’t give us specific figures, we know that the V-8 Silverado makes 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque from the factory, so it’s probably safe to assume as much as 460 horses and nearly 480 pound-feet of torque from this concept. In stock form, the 0-to-60 mph sprint takes 7.2 seconds, and we’re guessing the blower cuts that down to the high-five-second range.

That’s a huge jump in output and performance, but we’re not surprised. Chevy says the supercharger system is based on the same blower you get on the LT4-equipped Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Z06, even utilizing an intercooler system to keep the incoming air nice and chilly.


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741737
“That’s a huge jump in output and performance, but we’re not surprised. Chevy says the supercharger system is based on the same blower you get with the Camaro ZL1.”

To help put it all to the pavement, the Performance Concept gets 22-inch performance-oriented tires, which are mounted on custom aluminum wheels painted in a unique hue. Under the front rollers are new brakes from Brembo, rocking six-piston calipers finished in red.

Supporting the superchargers is a new cold-air intake, as well as a cat-back exhaust with a polished tip. This last bit left us a bit surprised, as we would have expected a full-length exhaust upgrade to make the most of the blower, but hey – 100 horsepower is still 100 horsepower.

What’s Going On With The Exterior?


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741739

To help it look the part of a tuned performance machine, this concept Silverado gets a new Satin Steel Gray paint job. Adding extra lines and muscly sinews is a restyled lower fascia up front, plus new air ducts and a new hood. The grille surrounds and bumper were also repainted to match the color of the body.

Complimentary details include darker accents for the window moldings and various body emblems, as well as smoked coverings for the headlights and taillights. You’ll also find custom exterior graphics and a tri-fold tonneau cover.

Looks Pretty Good!


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741738

We agree, and the good stuff continues inside where the steering wheel is covered in black suede and gets the requisite performance red stripe. The concept also uses carbon fiber gauges from the Z71, as well as an LCD competition-style dash logger so you can put some numbers to your extra performance.

And, being a truck, there’s some practicality-oriented gear as well, including all-weather floor liners and a storage organizer under the rear seat.

We didn’t get any photos of the interior, but it sounds like it’s got the right stuff to impress.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 648480

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition II

2018 Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition II

One of the best-selling sedans in the United States in recent decades, the Camry is known mainly for its solid quality, good bang for the buck, and excellent reliability. It was never among the best looking vehicles in its niche and needless to say, Toyota received a lot of heat for that. This changed with the latest-generation Camry, which arrived with a decidedly sportier exterior design that borrows a few cues from the premium Lexus brand. The new styling was immediately transferred onto the NASCAR race car, which was used by four different teams and driven by more than 15 drivers during the 2017 season. Among them is Kyle Busch, who designed a custom Camry for the 2017 SEMA Show.

In second place in the Sprint Cup standings as of November 1, Busch teamed up with Chuck Gafrarar of Chuck G Fabrication, who collaborated with NASCAR race teams since 2002, to give already eye-catching sedan a bit of a twist design-wise. Busch also delved into the Toyota parts bin for performance-enhancing upgrades and called his creation the “Rowdy Edition II.” If you’re not familiar with the term, Busch uses the nickname “Rowdy” after Days of Thunder character Rowdy Burns. He’s actually nicknamed “Shrub,” as the younger brother of Kurt Busch (a shrub is a smaller bush, get it?), but let’s face it, the Camry Shrub Edition doesn’t sound as appealing.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota
Camry Busch.

What makes the Toyota
Camry Busch special

  • Standard black paint
  • Chrome roof and front grille accents
  • NASCAR-inspired Ducktail spoiler
  • “Rowdy” badges
  • Soft leather upholstery
  • Chrome and carbon-fiber trim
  • Red contrast stitching
  • AEM cold-air intake
  • TRD exhaust system

2018 Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition II - image 741839
“The roof, and front bumper trim are finished in chrome, which provides a great contrast with the black exterior”

Despite being modded by a NASCAR driver, this Toyota Camry is not significantly more aggressive than the production model. Sure, it has just enough features to stand out, but it’s more like the kind of sedan Kyle Busch would drive to the supermarket rather than a track-prepped four-door. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting take on the sleek, new Camry. Although Busch decided to go with the factory black paint instead of a fancy hue, the A-pillars, the roof, and front bumper trim are finished in chrome, which provides a great contrast with the dark appearance of the car.

The only significant change to the production form of the new Camry is the custom, ducktail-style spoiler on the trunk lid. The element is obviously inspired from NACAR and has visible mounting rivets. The exterior is rounded off by oval “Rowdy Edition II” badges on the trunk lid and front doors.


2018 Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition II - image 741846
“Busch updated the interior too, adding smooth leather instead of the Camry's standard upholstery”

Busch updated the interior too, adding smooth leather instead of the Camry’s standard upholstery. The sedan also has brushed-metal trim on the dashboard, center console, and door panels, as well as silver accents on the seats. The contrast created with the overall black cabin is similar to the exterior. However, the interior sports an additional splash of color through the red stitching and the red “Rowdy” lettering and stripes on the seats. The sedan also features carbon-fiber trim, which is rather unusual for a Camry.

As far as performance updates go, Busch kept things simple and added just an AEM intake and a TRD exhaust. So there aren’t any horsepower and acceleration gains, but it’s likely that the sedan now has a more aggressive exhaust note.

Although not as spectacular as other SEMA Show concepts, the Rowdy Edition II is one of those cars that blends flashy and motorsport-inspired elements in a subtle and cool way. I’d definitely like to see this show car make it into production as a limited-edition model for NASCAR fans.

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 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept

While SEMA certainly has plenty to offer when it comes builds that are low and fast, the annual vehicle modification extravaganza also offers loads of rough-and-ready off-roaders, many of which are rocking big suspension and the right stuff to tackle whatever Mother Nature has in store. The Chevy Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept is one good example, which looks to add to the Bow Tie’s already impressive performance truck cred as one part in a duo of custom Colorado concepts. Unlike its desert-running counterpart, the AEV focuses more on overland capability, adding robust off-roading exterior protection, enormous 35-inch tires (plus the requisite suspension lift), and even a fridge in case you get hungry while stomping around the great outdoors.

And that’s about right, considering AEV stands for American Expedition Vehicles, a private Montana-based manufacturer that’s been making comprehensive off-roader packages for the past two decades. “Our collaboration taught us that Colorado makes a great platform for building an off-road truck that can take you as far out as you want to go, safely,” says AEV’s founder, Dave Harriton. Read on for the specifics on what that claim entails.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept.

What Makes The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept Special

  • 35-inch BF Goodrich tires
  • AEV off-roading exterior protection
  • Plenty of overland gear
  • ARB refrigerator and freezer
  • 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel
  • Big suspension upgrades
  • Custom Multimatic DSSVTM shocks

Looks Pretty Serious…


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 741882

It most definitely is. Like any proper off-roading truck, the AEV Concept mounts some seriously impressive tires and wheels, with 35-inch BF Goodrich KM2 mud and terrain rubber wrapped around AEV’s custom DualSport beadlock wheels. Complementing the wheel and tire package are new bumpers front and rear, once again customized by AEV for superlative off-roading performance, plus the necessary high-clearance fender flares. Thick underbody protection, including a rear differential cover, keeps all the vital components safe from wayward bits of terrain.

Out in back is an Expedition bed rack, an indispensable component considering how much gear this thing is packing (more on that in a bit). Finishing off the exterior upgrades is LED lighting, both front and back.

You Said Something About Gear?


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 741883

Yeah, and there’s a lot of it. Check out the above-pictured panel mounted just behind the driver’s side taillight – it looks like it offers all kinds of amenities, such as an external source of electricity, a source for water, and an air compressor.

Chevy also says the AEV concept comes with aluminum storage cases from Equipt and a James Baroud USA awning for the bed, plus NATO-style fuel cans for extra go-juice in reserve. Recovery shackles, a Hi-Lift jack, a Warn 9.5XP-S winch, and MAXTRAX recovery devices were also added. Finally, an ARB refrigerator and freezer keeps the rations fresh and tasty.

What About The Hard Bits And Oily Stuff?


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 742243

You probably noticed that high-rise snorkel snaking its way up the passenger-side A-pillar. In addition to blessing the AEV Concept with additional water wading capability, the tube directs fresh air to a 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel powerplant under the hood. No word on whether or not the engine gets a tune or additional performance mods, but in stock form it creates 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 741881

Much more impressive than the engine is the suspension set-up, which utilizes a comprehensive Chevrolet Performance system incorporating plunging front half-shafts, stiffer high-angle tie rods, front and rear jounce shocks, and a high-angle upper ball joint. There’s also an anti-wrap link and long-travel rear leaf spring. Custom Multimatic DSSVTM shocks finish it off.

All told, this thing is an overlanding beast. Impressive stuff all around.

References

Chevrolet Colorado


2017 Chevrolet Colorado - image 686537

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695944

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Hennessey Venom F5

We live in some truly incredible times. In the fight for the title of fastest production car in the world, there’s always something new on the horizon, some clever new speed tool that manages to warp what’s possible with four wheels and an engine, setting a new standard by which all other competitors are judged. This is exactly that, the latest and greatest in the world of hypercars. Recently revealed in Las Vegas at SEMA, the Venom F5 is a follow-up to Hennessey’s first-gen Venom GT from 2011, offered as a clean-slate approach to the problem of going faster than all the rest. Now breaking cover after four years in development, the Venom F5 is built in Texas and touts itself as America’s Hypercar. The F5 name is nod to the most powerful tornadoes rated on the Fujita scale, and for good reason – low weight, low drag, and a Texas-sized dose of turbocharged V-8 ponies at the rear wheels combine for a top speed predicted to eclipse 300 mph. Shots most definitely fired.

“We’ve designed F5 to be timeless so that in 25 years it will still have a level of performance and design that will be unmatched,” explains Hennessey Performance Engineering CEO and Founder, John Hennessey. We can’t wait to get a closer look at this thing, and we’re guessing you can’t either. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hennessey Venom F5.

Exterior

Fast Facts

-  Clean-slate design approach
-  0.33 Cd, lower than Venom GT
-  Active aero elements
-  Lightweight carbon fiber body


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742054

Right from the off, we’re enthralled by the way this thing looks. It’s got the otherworldly lines of a true modern hypercar, eschewing the older Venom GT’s Lotus-inspired tuner-special look for something all its own.

The brand-new look is very exciting indeed, and arrives as the product of a blank-sheet approach created exclusively by Hennessey and his team. That fresh start gives the F5 a leg up on its predecessor by allowing for more elegant aerodynamic solutions that simply weren’t possible with the Elise-bodied GT.

“The fresh start gives the F5 a leg up on its predecessor by allowing for more elegant aerodynamic solutions that simply weren’t possible with the Elise-bodied GT.”

To that end, Hennessey employed advanced computational fluid dynamic (CFD) calculations to make the Venom F5 cut through the air as easily as possible. Features like a flat underfloor and active wing elements work together to bless the speed slab with a Cd of 0.33, making it significantly more streamlined than the Venom GT. And although Hennessey didn’t say anything about downforce, rest assured it’s got the right stuff to stick at speed.

What’s more, the car’s entire body was made from carbon fiber, meaning it’s extremely lightweight. More on that in a bit.

Interior

Fast Facts

-  Interior spec not yet known
-  Shouldn’t be stripped down
-  Leather and aluminum both likely


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742060

We have yet to get the skinny on what’s going on inside the cabin of the Venom F5, but based on what we saw from the Venom GT, there are a few assumptions we can safely make. Long story short, expect a relatively nice cabin space. Yeah, it won’t be like a Rolls-Royce Phantom or anything like that, but it won’t be some hardcore, stripped-out bunker either.

We’re guessing loads of high-end materials, like Alcantara and leather upholstery, as well as aluminum and carbon fiber trim bits. It might even get a small touchscreen as well. What’s more, it’ll be large enough to accommodate an average American’s backside, which means oodles of room. Digital instrumentation behind the steering makes sense, as do harnesses to keep the pilot in place while testing the car’s ludicrously high limits.

“Yeah, it won’t be like a Rolls-Royce Phantom or anything like that, but it won’t be some hardcore, stripped-out bunker either.”

We’d also expect to see some fanciness with the door operation, with something like a gullwing hinge utilized. Because why not add a little extra drama to the thing? Sure it might add a little weight, but we think it’s probably quite necessary when looking at those extended side sills.

Drivetrain

Fast Facts

-  Twin-turbo 7.4-liter V-8 engine
-  1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque
-  300-mph top speed
-  Quicker to 300 km/h than an F1 car
-  Faster 0-to-400 km/h-to-0 time than Chiron and Agera RS


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 654421

Note: Hennessey Venom GT pictured here.

While the previous Venom GT got an incredible twin-turbo 7.0-liter LSX V-8 (pictured above) tuned to produce 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 pound-feet of torque, the new Venom GT ups the ante with even more power. And displacement.

Mounted in the middle is a brand-spanking-new 7.4-liter V-8 engine, which once again utilizes two turbochargers for adding on the power. In an interview with Top Gear, Hennessey confirmed that he and his team thought about incorporating a hybrid set-up, a popular choice these days, and possibly even a quad-turbo set-up like the F5’s primary competition, the Buggati Chiron. However, in the end, both ideas got the axe over concerns of adding too much complexity, and more importantly, too much weight.

“I’m a purist. I like simple, elegant functionality, and that’s not a knock against hybrids, but they’re for the big OEMs to do,” Hennessey told Top Gear.

“Mounted in the middle is a brand-spanking-new 7.4-liter V-8 engine, which once again utilizes two turbochargers for adding on the power. Simplicity and efficacy are the name of the game here.”

Makes sense to us. And in all honesty, it’s a refreshing approach in a world where it’s usually assumed more technology is always a good thing.

Despite its somewhat simple approach to making the go, the Venom F5 has oodles of output to its name – up to 1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque.

Impressive, no doubt, but here’s the really important number – 300 mph. Plus. That’s right, the Hennessey says the F5 will be able to eclipse the elusive 300-mph mark. Truly incredible times, indeed.

Compare those figures to the preceding GT’s 1,245 horsepower and 270 mph top speed, and you can see why the F5 took four years to create.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742052
“Here’s the really important number – 300 mph. Plus. Truly incredible times, indeed.”

Routing the power exclusively to the rear wheels is a seven-speed single-clutch paddle-shift transmission, which we think is the right replacement for the GT’s Ricardo six-speed manual. “Why no double-clutch?” you might ask. Once again, simplicity seems to be the name of the game. Of course, if you absolutely must row your own, word has it a third-pedal option is on the way.

Let’s get back to those performance numbers. Hennessey says the Venom F5 will go from 0 to 186 mph (300 km/h) in less than 10 seconds, which makes it quicker than the current crop of Formula 1 cars. What’s more, going from a dig to 249 mph (400 km/h) and back down to 0 takes less than 30 seconds, making the Venom F5 a better performer than the Koenigsegg Agera RS and Bugatti Chiron.

Of course, it bears mentioning that Hennessey has yet to perform the real-world testing required to prove these numbers, but based on the firm’s track record, it’s safe to bet the F5 will hit the mark.

Chassis And Handling

Fast Facts

-  Carbon fiber chassis
-  Weighs less than 3,000 pounds
-  Normal Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742069

Like the rest of the vehicle, the Venom F5 gets a brand-new chassis under all those sleek carbon fiber body panels. That’s right – you won’t find any of the old Venom’s Lotus bones here.

As you’d probably expect, the Venom F5 was built around a carbon fiber chassis, once again cutting out unnecessary weight without sacrificing rigidity. All said and done, the Venom F5 weighs in at 2,950 pounds, which means there’s less than 2 pounds for each horsepower to motivate.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742059
“The Venom F5 was built around a carbon fiber chassis. Curb weight is rated at 2,950 pounds, which means there’s less than 2 pounds for each horsepower to motivate.”

Interestingly, that makes the Venom F5 heavier than the preceding GT by a little over 200 pounds. Culprits for this increase include the bespoke body, the automatic transmission, and the larger engine. That said, tipping the scales at less than 3,000 pounds is still an impressive feat, especially against such heavyweights as the 4,400-pound Bugatti Chiron.

The lower weight also means the Venom F5 doesn’t need tires made from unobtanium to test the upper limits of speed, unlike its Buggy competition. Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup 2 compound provides the traction for the F5.

Finally, carbon-ceramic brakes haul it all down, while also adding a little lightness along the way.

Prices


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742063

So what’s this bleeding edge of American-bred performance cost? Pricing starts at $1.6 million, and it’s rumored that there will be a variety options on the table for customization. We’re imagining a nicer interior spec and a race-ready spec as just a few examples.

Just 24 individual units are slated for production, with deliveries scheduled for early 2019. Production will take place at Hennessey headquarters in Sealy, Texas.

If you want one, placing an order isn’t a simple matter of filling out a form and sending a check. According to Top Gear, you’ve actually gotta apply for the privilege of owning a Venom F5, and John Hennessey himself is responsible for ultimately choosing who will see one in their garage.

How very Ferrari-esque, Mr. Hennessey. That exclusivity will undoubtedly pique the interest of collectors.

Competition

Bugatti Chiron


How Should We Measure Fast? - image 729361

If the Venom F5 came with crosshairs, the safe bet is they’d be aimed at the Bugatti Chiron. And rightfully so. The Chiron’s predecessor, the Veyron, was arguably the model that originally launched us into the modern age of hypercars, and the Chiron continues that tradition with an 8.0-liter W-16 engine boosted by four turbos to produce upwards of 1,500 horsepower. Properly applied to the pavement by way of a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Haldex AWD system, the Chiron manages a top speed in excess of 260 mph.

Read the full review here.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 619951

The speed freaks from Sweden also have a play in this whole “fastest production car in the world” game, and it’s called the Agera RS. Propelled by a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V-8 producing as much as 1,160 horsepower and 944 pound-feet of torque, this mighty machine manages the 0-to-400 km/h-to-0 run in a record-breaking 36.44 seconds. The question is – can it hold off the shock and awe of Hennessey’s Venom F5?

Read the full review here.

Conclusion


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742061

Hennessey likes to frame the Venom F5 as “America’s Hypercar,” something that’s on par with the best of the best from Bugatti, Ferrari, and McLaren, and on balance, we think that’s a fair characterization. After all, what other U.S.-built, bespoke performance machine can make that claim?

However, Hennessey also likes to characterize itself as an underdog, and while it’s certainly a smaller operation than Bugatti and the Volkswagen Group (according to the company’s LinkedIn page, the employee head count at HPE is between 11 and 50 individuals), Hennessey did partner with big names like Shell and Pennzoil to develop the Venom F5. In reality, we think the firm is a little closer to a Texas-style version of the sub-100 employee Koenigsegg Automotive.

“Some will undoubtedly question whether the Venom F5 even has the right to lay claim to the title of fastest production car on the road. Putting that to one side, this is one of the most exciting cars we’ve seen in quite some time.”

And another thing – when delving into the performance world’s pecking order, technicalities are bound to appear, and some will undoubtedly question whether this limited-series boutique hypercar even has the right to lay claim to the title of fastest production car on the road.

Putting all that to one side, there’s a whole to like about the Venom F5. It looks gorgeous, with all the wild flair and aggression we’d expect from a top competitor in this segment. It’s simple, with a straightforward (and lightweight) approach to making speed. Oh, and the speed – 300 mph is a helluva statement to make, and by all accounts, it’s looking like Hennessey is gonna be the first to say it.

All told, this is one of the most exciting cars we’ve seen in quite some time.

  • Leave it
    • Exclusive and expensive
    • Is the powerband even drivable?
    • Performance numbers not yet verified

History And Background

Like so many others like it, the Hennessey Performance story has its roots in grassroots enthusiasm. Inspired by astronauts and fighter pilots, John Hennessey decided to max out on the ground, racing a Mitsubishi 3000 GT at Pikes Peak in the ‘90s. Around this time, he founded the tuner shop that bears his name as a means to fuel his speed habit.

Over the years, Hennessey Performance Engineering created some truly outrageous automobiles. In the process, the shop built a reputation for churning out modified muscle cars with incredible, over-the-top power numbers, proving their worth by participating in numerous magazine performance shootouts.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742056
“Over the years, Hennessey Performance Engineering built a reputation for churning out over-the-top power numbers. But where do you go from a four-figure Viper?”

But once you make a four-figure Dodge Viper, where do you go next?

The next step was floated almost as a joke – what about stuffing one of those 1,000-horsepower monster motors into something extremely lightweight, like a Lotus? Thus, the Venom GT was born.

Hennessey built 13 of ‘em, challenging the world with a top speed run of 270 mph back in 2014. Although the Guinness Book of World Records did not recognize it as qualifying for the title of world’s fastest production car (the run was only in one direction and a total of 30 units were required for production status), the gauntlet had effectively been thrown.

The F5 is the follow-up to the older Venom GT. The question is – where will it land in the current crop of hypercars?

References


Hennessey Venom GT Spyder Becomes The World's Fastest Convertible - image 672254

Hennessey Venom GT

Lotus Elise


How Should We Measure Fast? - image 729361

Bugatti Chiron


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 619951

Koenigsegg Agera RS

PostHeaderIcon Mopar Floods SEMA With 200+ Parts For The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL

Anybody not living under a rock knows Jeep Wrangler owners love customizing their rigs. The aftermarket industry for the Jeep has exploded in the last decade and Jeep has made moves to finally get into the action. But now Jeep is getting ahead of the curve with its new 2018 Wrangler JL by offering more than 200 parts and accessories right from the start, long before third-party aftermarket companies can even begin developing items for the all-new off-roader. Under the Mopar brand, Jeep and its Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) division have teased these accessories at the 2017 SEMA Show.

Of course, SEMA is the natural place to debut parts and accessories. But, in order to debut these new Mopar and JPP parts, Jeep needed to show the actual 2018 Wrangler. That’s why Jeep did a soft launch on Halloween with only three photos of its new model. As for the parts and accessories, they range from graphics to lift kits and everything in between. And, because of the 2018 Wrangler’s new roll bar design, Jeep can now offer a range of roof racks. The list also includes off-roading items like a Warn recovery winch, rock sliders, and beadlock wheels. There is plenty of others, so keep reading for everything Jeep has announced so far.

Continue reading for more information.

Mopar & Jeep Performance Parts

“The parts have been developed by Jeep engineers to work with the 2018 Wrangler and have undergone countless hours of testing.”

Besides being available before anything from aftermarket companies, the biggest advantage to Mopar and JPP parts is the connection to Jeep. The parts are not only warrantied and installed by Jeep dealerships, but they also do not void the Wrangler’s new-vehicle warranty. In line with that, the parts have been developed by Jeep engineers to work with the 2018 Wrangler and have undergone countless hours of testing.

Since the 2018 Wrangler shares almost zero parts with the outgoing 2017 Wrangler JK, these Mopar and JPP parts are technically all new. However, most are just modernized to fit the new Wrangler. A few, on the other hand, really are completely new to the Mopar and JPP portfolio. That roof rack previously mentioned is one, as it fits the Wrangler’s new roll bars. Jeep hasn’t been able to offer a roof rack on Wranglers in the past. Another new part is a screen protector for the 7.0- and 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system. It’s a first for Mopar, likely because no other FCA vehicle really needs a screen protector for its infotainment system. Well, maybe the Ram pickups…

Off-Road Parts


Mopar Floods SEMA With 200+ Parts For The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL - image 742112
  • JPP is offering LED off-road light bars. There’s a five-inch bar with 4,080 lumens and a seven-inch bar with an impressive 8,000 lumens.
  • JPP also includes the brackets needed to mount them. JPP also has an auxiliary switch bank for controlling these lights and other accessories.
  • For those wanting a taller ride height for bigger tires, JPP has a 2.0-inch lift kit.
  • JPP rock rails are made from heavy-gauge steel and are coated with bedliner. They protect the rocker panels from trail damage and give a step for getting into the Jeep.
  • JPP’s beadlock-capable wheel is 17 inches in diameter and can be upgraded with the optional beadlock ring for holding the tire to the rim when ran at low pressures during off-roading. The wheels have a 12-mm backspacing and come in silver and black.
  • Mopar will happily sell you a Warn recovery winch at a markup over what you’d pay directly at Warn. Still, the dealership will install it for you, making the upgrade as simple as sliding the credit card or rolling it into the vehicle’s financing.

Other Add-ons

  • Those Uconnect screen protectors are designed to perfectly fit the 7.0- and 8.4-inch Uconnect system and keep scratches off the sensitive screen.
  • A molded cargo tray fits within the cargo area for organized storage of all the random items that tend to accumulate within a vehicle
  • Grab handles have a new design and are hard-mounted onto the roll bar unlike the Velcro-secured grab handles for the Wrangler JK.
  • Fuel Door covers can be had in brushed aluminum and satin black
  • All-Weather Floor mats help protect the carpet from rain, snow, sand, and mud. They are molded to fit perfectly within the footwells, too.
  • Mopar graphics add flare to the Wrangler. Available on the Sport trim is a 1941 graphic and an American flag-themed design for the hood. Another graphic for the Wrangler’s sides are available for all three trim levels and have a 1941 stripe and a silhouette themed after off-roading at Moab.
  • Tire covers allow for more expression on the Wrangler but still allow for the spare-mounted backup camera with a hole stitched in the center of the cover.

Of course, these are just some of what Mopar and JPP offer and we expect more accessories to be added as the months roll on. The parts and accessories are available at any Jeep dealership and on Mopar.com/jpp.

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 741966

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK.

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 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2

2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2

Unveiled in 2013, the sixth-generation Mustang marked the beginning of a new era for the iconic pony car, one that brought an independent rear suspension for the first time and revived the turbocharged ’Stang after a long hiatus. Revised for 2018, it received a 10-speed transmission, also a first, and a performance package that made the GT version the quickest in history with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of fewer than four seconds. But Ford didn’t stop there, and after just a few months it launched the Performance Pack Level 2 for the range-topping GT model.

Unveiled at the SEMA Show, the place where the world’s most spectacular aftermarket upgrades are introduced to the world, Level 2 is essentially an update to the first Performance Pack. It includes everything that comes with the latter but adds redesigned aero elements front and rear, new tires and wheels, and new suspension parts and settings. The purpose of the Level 2 upgrade is to make the Mustang GT even faster than it already is and turn it into a better competitor for German coupes such as the BMW M4. Also, the Mustang GT with Performance Pack Level 2 may be a solid proposition to the Porsche 911 Carrera. Which is a big achievement for a pony car. Find our more about that below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2.

What makes the Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 special

  • New front splitter and rear spoiler
  • New lightweight wheels
  • High-performance tires
  • Custom graphics
  • Optional Recaro seats
  • Includes Performance Pack Level 1
  • Custom-tuned MagneRide dampers
  • Quicker steering calibration
  • Stiffer stabilizer bars
  • Stiffer springs

2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 - image 740006
“The new splitter is based on that of the Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca”

The Performance Pack Level 2 may not do much to alter the Mustang GT’s appearance at first glance, but look closer and you’ll see a new splitter below the front bumper. Designed around the splitter of the iconic Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, it’s attached to the underside to fan out as much as three inches around the corners. This creates about 24 pounds of extra downforce at 80 mph, helping give the car enhanced grip. To balance the downforce, a subtle rear spoiler was added atop the decklid.

The spoiler was created with a 3D printer, which enabled quicker turnaround times, eliminating much of the time wasted on the usual trial-and-error process. What’s more, both the splitter and the spoiler were designed by Mustang veteran Jonathan Gesek, also a
former aerodynamics specialist at NASA.


2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 - image 740008
“The rear spoiler was created with a 3D printer”

Other features that set it apart from the first Performance Package model are the split-fitment, 19-inch aluminum wheels and the lowered ride height. The rollers were designed by longtime tire and wheel engineer Chauncy Eggleston. Wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire, the 19-inch wheels help provide improved steering and handling response.

Finally, the package is rounded off by black detailing on the splitter and spoiler, the tire spat on the back edge of the rear wheel wells, which are exclusive to this upgrade.

Everything remains unchanged inside the cabin, but customers who opt for Performance Pack Level 2 can select Recaro front seats in either leather or cloth.


2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 - image 740007
“The bespoke wheels are wrapped in high-performance Michelin tires”

There are no changes to the 5.0-liter V-8 engine, but the unit already benefits from the extra oomph that comes with the facelift. Specifically, it cranks out 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, a 25-horsepower and 20 pound-feet improvement over the previous Mustang GT. The package is available exclusively with a manual transmission, so forget about that new 10-speed automatic transmission if you want this upgrade.

Before we move further, it’s important to note that the Performance Pack Level 2 includes all of the features of Performance Pack Level 1. That’s a unique chassis and antilock brake tuning, unique stability control and electric power-assisted steering, Brembo six-piston front brake calipers with larger rotors, a K-brace, larger radiator, silver-painted strut tower brace, and a Torsen rear differential with 3.73 axle ratio.


2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2 - image 740013
“Custom-tuned MagneRide dampers and quicker steering calibration provide better response”

In addition to that, it sports custom-tuned MagneRide dampers and quicker steering calibration for better response, new stabilizer bars, and stiffer springs. The rear stabilizer bar is 67-percent stiffer, while the rear bar is 12-percent firmer. Likewise, the Level 2 bundle has 20-percent stiffer front springs and 13-percent stiffer rear spring. These updates provide a more stable ride around corners with less body roll. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, usually found on high-profile sports cars, are 1.5 inches wider than those offered with the Performance Pack Level 1. They provide a firmer grip and put the car more than a half-inch closer to the ground.

There’s no word on performance yet, but this performance pack could make the Mustang GT a tenth-second quicker than it already is. A 3.8-second sprint from 0 to 60 mph seems doable and makes the GT quicker than a lot of significantly more expensive alternatives made in Germany.

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


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…


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741807
“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.

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    End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:30:00 PST
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    2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE Z16 GRAND SPORT LT COUPE AUTO 3K MI #115791 Texas Direct
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    1967 Chevrolet C-10 HORT BOX RESTORED V8 MANUAL PS PB DISC HOT ROD 71 72 stepside STREET ROD 69
    $5,225.00 (3 Bids)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:02:01 PST
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    2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 3LT AUTO NAV HUD 27K #106770 Texas Direct Auto
    $1.00 (1 Bid)
    End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 14:50:47 PST
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    2015 Chevrolet SS Base Sedan 4-Door 2015 CHEVY SS 415HP 6SPD VENT SEATS SUNROOF NAV HUD 5K! #117724 Texas Direct
    $39,230.00
    End Date: Tuesday Nov-28-2017 15:41:41 PST
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    1955 Chevrolet Other Pickups 3100 1955 BIG WINDOW 3100 Automatic CUSTOM CLEAN stance SHOW QUALITY
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    End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 18:00:00 PST
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    2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY 3LT AUTOMATIC NAV HUD 16MI #109470 Texas Direct
    $30,100.00 (6 Bids)
    End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 13:10:17 PST
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    2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2SS RS NAV Extras SLP TVS2300 Supercharger
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    End Date: Thursday Dec-7-2017 13:58:59 PST
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    1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 1969 mach 1 390 4 speed super solid project ! S code !
    $12,500.00 (1 Bid)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 17:10:34 PST
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    2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY SUPER SNAKE 800-HP ONLY 544 MI #227961 Texas Direct
    $87,980.00
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    2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible 2-Door 2013 CHEVY CORVETTE 427 COLLECTOR ED 6SPD NAV HUD 6K MI #701843 Texas Direct
    $6,100.00 (11 Bids)
    End Date: Thursday Nov-23-2017 16:07:31 PST
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    1965 Ford Mustang C CODE 1965 FORD MUSTANG HARD TOP C CODE AUTOMATIC
    $11,500.00
    End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 10:37:06 PST
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