Chicago Auto Show Blog

What Happens in Vegas...

Posted by: Jackie Carey

The SEMA show in Las Vegas is a fantasy land for those who love to upgrade, "supe"-up and "rev"-up their cars. Devoted to showcasing aftermarket equipment and parts, SEMA is the place to see just how many possibilities there are when it comes to vehicle customization. SEMA is a skies-the-limit, no-hold-barred automotive orgy of parts, performance and possibilities. If you couldn’t make it out to Sin City this week, here’s what you missed:

The Honda CR-Z Hybrid R Concept & HPD CR-Z Racer

CR Z R ConceptIn total, Honda rolled out 12 modified CR-Z sport hybrid coupes at this year’s SEMA show, most notably two concept cars from Honda Performance Development (HPD), which is Honda’s North American racing company.  Determined to demonstrate the potential of the CR-Z for personalization among the import tuner community for both street and racing performance, the pictured CR-Z Hybrid R Concept (street styling) and the HPD CR-Z Racer (race capability) share many performance enhancements.  For example, both feature a turbocharger and upgraded IMA hybrid system, performance clutch, limited-slip differential, track-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes and aerodynamic components.

The Lexus CT 200h

CT 200hLexus is the only automaker to offer four hybrid vehicles.  This year, Lexus added a fifth "electrifying" hybrid to its exhibit and celebrated the launch of the all-new 2011 Lexus CT 200h. Some highlights of the CT 200h: F Sport 18x8.0-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli PZero Nero 225/40R/18 front and rear; F Sport high performance Big Brake Kit – Front with 12.9 x 1.1-inch cross-drilled rotor; and F Sport performance adjustable suspension and adjustable dampening shocks

The ARK Track Time Attack Genesis Coupe (3.8L)

GenesisHyundai boasted a modified Genesis Coupe, designed specifically to provide enhanced turnability--aka better handling.  ARK was able to reach 585 horsepower with engine modifications, including an APG KOREA 3.8 supercharger kit, to Genesis Coupe’s already powerful 306 horsepower, DOHC 3.8-liter V6 engine.  As an added feature the ARK Genesis Coupe’s paint scheme was designed and completed in collaboration with artists from Hyundai's North American Design Center.  

The Elegant Equus

EquusHyundai also brought its new flagship luxury sedan, the 2011 Equus, to SEMA this year.  The VIP themed "Elegant Equus" featured a modified 450 horsepower engine.  Along with a turbo kit and carbon fiber accessories to enhance Equus’ V8 performance, Mummbles installed an Apple iPad to control certain aspects of the vehicle such as ride height, luxury curtains, stereo and windows. 

The Red Flash Camaro

Red Flash CamaroNamed "hottest car" at the 2010 SEMA show, the Chevy Camaro has been recognized as the most accessory-friendly new model, based on the number of vehicles at the show.  With four custom-built Camaros at this year’s exhibit, a wide range of possibilities was explored...including the attention-grabbing Red Flash Camaro.  The Red Flash showed off a modified intake and exhaust system and a V8 engine.

The Autonomous Audi TTS Pike’s Peak

Audi TTSAudi of America exhibited at SEMA for the first time this year, showing off a number of cool ideas, including an integrated iPod Satellite Adapter and illuminated floor mats.   Most notably, the manufacture brought its Autonomous Audi TTS Pike’s Peak technology research project to the show, where the vehicle was displayed for the first time ever in an auto show setting.  Based on the street ready Audi TTS sports car, the TTS was chosen for this project because of its compatibility with a variety of in-vehicle technologies.  

The Red "Play" Sportage & the Blue "Work" Sportage

SportageKia Motors America has teamed with fashion and lifestyle magazine Antenna to showcase two stylish and highly customized Sportages created by Antenna, nicknamed "work" and "play".  The "Play" Sportage concept appeals to the athletic and adventurous sides of today's driver with custom bike rack, motorized barbecue grill, flat screen television and locker space. The "Work" Sportage concept offers unique convenience features and technologies, including a built-in closet, shoe rack, iPad and Motorola Droid X3, that will benefit today's professional.

The Nurburgring Subaru WRX STI

SubaruSubaru of America brought along a number of vehicles to Las Vegas at this year’s SEMA show--one of which was the "Fastest STI Ever," the record breaking Nurburgring Subaru WRX STI.  Major upgrades to the 2011MY WRX STI focused on the chassis and suspension set-up, and tests at the Nurburgring demonstrated the supreme overall dynamics and linear behavior of the new STI. 

Madza2 Evil Track "Twin"

EvilBack again, the Mazda2 Evil Track car showed up at SEMA as a fully equipped car for series racing with an enhanced motorsport look.  The Mazda2 Evil Track car is equipped with a Mazda Design aero body kit, including side skirts, front and rear air-dam and carbon fiber rear deck spoiler. Modifications include H&R race suspension and coil over kit, AWR full custom safety cage, Sparco Circuit pro seat, steering wheel, safety harness and fire system, AIM MXL Pista data acquisition system, race-tuned Magna-flow exhaust, 949 6UL 15x9 lightweight wheels and 225/45/15 Hoosier race tires.

The 2010 Fiat 500 

Fiat 500The Fiat 500 is an extreme version of the popular European Fiat 500. The concept features a number of unique parts created by the Mopar team including a front airdam/lip, lower sill, spoiler, rear valance and brake ducts. The vehicle has a lower ride on 18-inch Alcoa wheels and flared wheel arches reminiscent of the Fiat 500 models that dominated race tracks in Europe back in the day. 


Fortunately, in the auto industry what happens in Vegas doesn't have to stay in Vegas.  If you missed the 2010 SEMA show, I have great news--some of these vehicles may be making their way to Illinois this February for the 2011 Chicago Auto Show.  See you there?

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