Kia is going sporty with its newest crop of cars for the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas. By sporty, don’t expect sports cars – instead, the automaker has crafted five custom cars based on athletic sports.
We’ve already shown you Kia’s Retro Surf Rio 5-door, which put 17-inch three-piece gold wheels and brown paint on top of a standard Rio hatchback to hearken to the world of professional surfing. It also features a wood-grain-finished surfboard mounted on top, a wood front splitter, and brown and beige plaid upholstery that was designed to look like a pair of board shorts.
But wait, there’s more. Kia’s SEMA presence also features four additional vehicles, including two designed and built by the famous West Coast Customs shop.
WCC’s first car is the Blake Griffin Optima Hybrid. Griffin, as you may recall, won this year’s Sprite Slam Dunk Competition during NBA All-Star Week when he jumped over a Kia Optima, grabbed a basketball thrown through the Optima’s open sunroof, and dunked it through the basket. As a sort of celebration, WCC took an Optima Hybrid and painted it to look like -- you guessed it -- a basketball. Other additions include basketball court-like flooring, 20-inch matte-black wheels, and a flat-screen television that connect to an Xbox. If you’d like to stage your own personal dunk contest, there’s also a Pop-a-Shot basketball hoop game mounted in the trunk.
Prefer golf? WCC also created the 2012 Kia Soul Hole-In-One, which is inspired by professional golfer (and Kia commercial star) Michelle Wie. The Hole-in-One Soul is painted So Blue, wears five-spoke 20-inch wheels, and has graphics inspired by Wie’s own customized golf bags. Wie’s logo is embroidered in the leather headrests. The cargo compartment receives a Microsoft Xbox 360 with Kinect, two golf bags, and a slew of speakers.
Kia is also showing the Hat Trick Forte 5-door, which is a bit more sedate than the other WCC-fettled cars. It features a custom ice-metallic gray paint job, 19-inch blue alloy wheels, and a custom aero kit that features a front bumper borrowed from the Forte Koup. It’s party piece, however, is a custom hockey stick holder that allows hockey players to store sticks between the custom rear bucket seats. It also sports an Xbox 360 with LCD TVs in the back of the front seat headrests which play--you guessed it--the NHL12 video game.
What if you’re into racing? There’s a car for that, too. Kia is showing the Rio 5-door that was prepped for the upcoming Sports Car Club of America B-spec racing series. It’ll compete against cars like the Mazda 2 and Honda Fit in an upcoming grassroots race series. To prep the car for race duty, the car wears a typical assortment of race equipment, including a quick-release steering wheel, lightweight wheels, an interior roll cage, a racing seat, and a harness.
Additionally, Kia is showing a modified version of its Optima Hybrid that will serve as pace car for the United States Touring Car Championship series. Performance modifications include a new intake, a coil-over suspension kit, a new front splitter and rear wing, and a Magnaflow exhaust system.
All of these models will be on display for swooning--or scrutiny--at this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas.