Kia celebrates the spirit of the American road trip at 2015 SEMA Show | Ken Brown KIA

Kia celebrates the spirit of the American road trip at 2015 SEMA Show

  • Four all-new Kia concept vehicles debut
  • Trail'ster electric hybrid AWD concept makes first appearance at SEMA
  • Fun and functional Ballast Point Sedona returns to refresh showgoers

Kia Motors America (KMA) has unveiled four all-new customised vehicles at the opening day of the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. Kia's line-up includes a first-time SEMA appearance for the Trail'ster electric hybrid AWD concept, first unveiled at last year's Chicago Auto Show, alongside a return for the Ballast Point Sedona.

Tim Chaney, vice president, marketing communications, KMA stated: "This year's SEMA show gives us the opportunity to embrace that spirit of adventure found on the open road as we highlight the diversity of America and the many ways that people personalise their vehicles in pursuit of their passions and the expression of individuality."

A total of six custom vehicles are showcased in Kia's booth at SEMA to help tell the story of an all-American road trip inspired by unique traits of different regional landscapes throughout the nation.

A1A Optima

The A1A Optima takes inspiration from Florida, as its sliced top and shortened windscreen give it a sporty appearance. Reinforced steel tubes have been discretely hidden within the body so that the vehicle retains a rigid structure. Invoking a concept-car appearance, the back doors of the A1A Optima swing open on rear-mounted hinges. A set of 20-inch alloy wheels and upper and lower grilles give the A1A Optima a contemporary aesthetic.

The exterior features a custom turquoise paint scheme, whilst the interior of the A1A Optima has been extensively re-worked to match this eye-catching design. Deep bucket seats up front and custom double buckets in the rear are separated by extended armrests and a unique centre console. Titanium and cream leather cover the seats and extends throughout the interior with accents painted silver. The powerful 245hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine is combined with a high-performance exhaust. A Ksport coilover sport suspension lowers the vehicle's ride height and raises its visual appeal.

PacWest Adventure Sorento

Designed and hand-built by the creative team at LGE-CTS Motorsports, the exterior of the PacWest Adventure Sorento is inspired by the Pacific Northwest forests, with a camouflage print and chrome accents all painted matte black. The Sorento is also equipped with twin LED low-profile light bars on the front bumper and roof rack.

To provide the PacWest Adventure Sorento with go-anywhere capability, the car is built six inches higher than a standard Sorento. The high-riding suspension enabled LGE-CTS to perform off-road with LT285/70R17 Nitto Trail Grappler M/Ts, which are wrapped around a set of BMF's new S.S.D. 17x8.5-inch beadlock-style wheels. The tailor-made roof rack holds everything needed for an overnight camping trip, including an ARB tow strap and E-Z deflator kit. The stock Sorento's 290hp and 252lbs ft. of torque are enough for anything short of a vertical climb, but the new WFJ snorkel intake system allows the PacWest Adventure Sorento to be a land-based submersible.

Interior features include custom painted dash- and door-panel inserts, a Daystar switch panel and rocker switches to activate the LED lights, and rugged floor mats. Stitched Kia logos found in the headrests and the seat cushions include custom tyre-tread embroidery with green leather back and thigh supports. A colour eight-inch Alpine Mobile Media entertainment system with front camera rounds out an artfully crafted off-roader.

Photo Safari Sedona

The Photo Safari Sedona exterior is painted different shades of reds and browns, as it takes inspiration from the autumn season in the Northeast of the USA, a popular spot for photographers. Consequently the car has converted the standard eight-passenger model to a two-passenger vehicle with room for a rolling professional editing studio. Designed and crafted by the creative team at LGE-CTS Motorsports with multiple custom features, this vehicle can be used by photographers to capture and edit still images and videos at any time of the day.

A custom fabricated tubular steel roof rack is utilised for mounting traditional DSLR cameras, a high definition WASPcam action sports camera system, booms, or jigs. The rear bed area has been left open for easy accessibility and has multiple compartments for storage, exterior outlet ports, and a hidden compartment for lower angle shots. The Photo Safari Sedona incorporates ultra-bright six inch KC HiLites pro-sports gravity LED lights on all four sides of the vehicle. The Photo Safari Sedona has on- and off-road capability with Nitto Dura Grappler 265/65R17 tyres wrapped around 17-inch Method "Rally" wheels bathed in a matte gold finish.

The technology is backed up by a military-grade battery that will keep the studio running for hours without starting the engine. The battery automatically recharges once the Photo Safari Sedona is underway. Rugged RW wireless radio headsets provide uninterrupted communication between the driver and photographer.

Forte Koup Mud Bogger

Teaming up with Lux Motorwerks to create the Forte Koup Mud Bogger, a car purposely built for off-road fun, the sort of sports commonly seen in the South. Giving this one-of-a-kind Koup the clearance to tackle extreme terrain started with a generous four-inch body and suspension lift along with meaty 28-inch off-road tyres on Fuel Off-Road 15x10-inch Revolver wheels powder coated white.

To further accommodate the massive wheel and tyre combo, the fenders and side skirts were modified and custom riveted fender flares were added. Additionally, the Koup was fitted with a hand-built, white-powder-coated brush guard and a rigid LED light bar to protect the Midnight Sapphire Forte Koup from the terrain, day or night.

A panoramic roof with a vinyl pushback top gives way to the stripped-down interior where the carpet has been removed and the entire floor is lined with Line-X protective coating. The stock seats of the Forte Koup have also been replaced with two Sparco Evo II Red Race Seats with Sparco 4PT Snap-In Harnesses and a Sparco L575 steering wheel. Roll cages are required equipment when pounding through sludge, and the Forte Koup Mud Bogger incorporates a hand-built roll cage powder coated white to match the wheels.

Ballast Point Sedona

Returning for a second year to refresh visitors to the show, the Ballast Point Sedona features a hand-formed solid mahogany shell with a flip-top roof and fold-down front bar. Removing the roof required the installation of a custom boxed-steel frame that incorporates heavy-duty hinges and struts to allow for the wood clam-shell top to open a full 90 degrees. While one of the Sedona's power sliding doors has been welded shut, the other remains fully functional to allow access for a bartender into the open-air cabin. The rear shell is also removable, allowing patrons to enjoy a frosty beverage from the tailgate as well. The passenger compartment has been gutted to make room for two functioning Micro Matic taps, a jockey box with 120-feet of copper beer-cooling coils, and up to four half-barrel kegs of Ballast Point's finest. The front passenger seat has been removed to accommodate storage for extra kegs and supplies.

Trail'ster

Originally shown at the 2015 Chicago motor show and based based on the brand's iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle, the turbocharged Trail'ster - with its Polar Pearl Snowdrift/Terra Bronze Metallic paint scheme, roll-top canvas roof, and armored aluminum skid plates - captures the essence of an advanced and capable CUV. It is intended for those venturing on a road trip to escape their urban environs in search of higher-elevation playgrounds in the Rocky Mountains where snow, mud, streams, and trails abound. Efficient and lightweight, the Trail'ster is ideal for transporting adventurers and their gear.

The exterior paint is a modern neutral colour against the warm and contrasting Terra Bronze Metallic tone of the roof and lower cladding. Anodized fire-red wheel accents and polished billet aluminum sections infuse a purposeful and sophisticated aesthetic to the Trail'ster's precise design, taking inspiration from high-tech, high-performance outdoor sporting gear.

- Posted on: Monday 16th November 2015