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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
We’ve seen a lot of cars that were made into toys and scale models, but what about the other way around? Well, Superlift Suspension Systems did just that with its Matchbox F-350 Brush Truck, which made its debut at the 2011 SEMA Show. Not only that, but this full-sized truck drove off with a Ford Product Excellence Award.
Created as a concept by Matchbox, the Superlift’s R&D team turned it into a full-sized, drivable reality using a 2011 Ford F-350. If you were lucky enough to attend the show, you may have even snagged one of the limited-edition Matchbox models of the truck. If not, you can buy this mini truck from your favorite toy store now.
“Receiving this award from Ford is an incredible honor,” said Superlift Marketing Director/project coordinator Joey Arbogast. “It’s a tribute to efforts from Matchbox’s and Superlift’s design and marketing departments as well as Superlift’s engineering and R&D team, who brought the design to life.”
The Ford Product Excellence Award recognizes superior achievement in new product development, vehicle appearance, use of aftermarket parts and overall display.
Yakima debuted their new WHISPBAR roof rack system at the 2011 SEMA Show last week, and AutoGuide got an exclusive look at their new portable wind tunnel, which Yakima brought along to SEMA to showcase the reduction in wind noise that their new WHISPBAR can bring.
AutoGuide got a demo of the wind tunnel itself and we had the chance to take some video as well. Check it out after the jump.
10. Five Axis Project GS
Ever since Lexus first began participating at the SEMA Show the team from Five Axis has been around. Showing just what’s possible when you’re not constrained by styling that must appeal to all types or by volume manufacturing, creative boss Troy Sumitomo has been crafting wild one-offs for years. Initially some rather wild tuner-style cars, more recently the design house seems to have developed its own identity, showcased most recently in the “Project GS” concept based on the all-new 2013 Lexus GS. With an extra wide body, massive 20-inch wheels and a low-low stance, this unique interpretation of the new GS is easily the best reason yet why Toyota should hire Sumitomo.
GALLERY: Five Axis Project GS
It wouldn’t be the SEMA Show without plenty of lifted pickups and this year’s aftermarket expo did not disappoint. In addition, several extra-custom creations were on display from the likes of Ford, Chevy, Ram and Toyota. Of note was Ford’s Matchbox styled F-350 brush truck; Ram’s 392 Quick Silver and a selection of Toyota Tacoma and Tundra pickups.
Check out the gallery of well-over 100 photos below.
GALLERY: Trucks of the 2011 SEMA Show
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Watch all of AutoGuide’s 2011 SEMA Show Videos after the jump and check out the complete coverage here:
To say that Ford put a focus on the Focus would be an understatement at this year’s SEMA Show. Nine different, fully customized Focuses were shown off in the Ford booth, with several of them part of a spectator voting competition. Projects ranged from mild to wild, with a plethora of colors being splashed on each creation.
Our personal favorite of the bunch was the Focus by the ID Agency, sporting a custom BASF green paint job with a Wraptivo roof wrap. Ford also leant a helping hand with their official Ford Licensed Accessories bike rack by Thule, adding to the versatility of the new Focus SE 5-Door. The Downforce carbon fiber lip kit was a nice and subtle touch, while we just loved the choice of bolting on 19×8.5-inch HRE Performance C90 wheels. Under the hood, the ID Agency outfitted the 2.0L Ti-VCT four-cylinder with an AEM cold air intake and MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust. A Brembo big brake kit was paired with KW Variant 3 coilovers to give this Focus plenty of braking and handling improvements – not to mention how great it looks. On the inside, Recaro Sportster seats can be found along with custom interior by Top Stitch and a Kicker car audio system by BP Auto Sound.
With so many Focuses to focus on, we decided to make a life easier to taking a photo of each of the information plaques by each car. Feast your eyes on the creations from Bojix Design, ID Agency, 3dCarbon, Capaldi Racing, ROUSH Performance, Steeda, Hot Wheels, Metal Mulish/Rockstar, and M&J Enterprises and let Autoguide know which was your favorite.
GALLERY: Bojix Design Ford Focus
GALLERY: ID Agency Ford Focus
GALLERY: 3dCarbon Ford Focus
GALLERY: Capaldi Racing Ford Focus
GALLERY: ROUSH Performance Ford Focus
GALLERY: Steeda Ford Focus
GALLERY: Hot Wheels Ford Focus
GALLERY: Metal Mulisha/Rockstar Ford Focus
GALLERY: M&J Enterprises Ford Focus
10. Chrysler 300 Pickup Mess
With the 2011 SEMA Show just about wrapped up we’re sure you’ve already seen plenty of “best of” stories. But the world’s largest aftermarket expo is known as much for its abominations as for its stunning creation and so we’ve assembled a list of the very worst. The selection of eye-searing why-did-they-do-that cars and trucks was picked with the expert help of celebrity judges Barry Meguiar, RJ de Vera and Wally Sema – the man this whole crazy car show is named after (Note: none of the preceding sentence is true).
Placing in 10th spot and somewhat of an honorary member of the Top 10 is the school bus yellow Chrysler 300-grilled pickup truck. It’s got all the requisite terrible attributes from oversized chrome wheels to scissor doors and odd speaker housings. We can’t go too hard on it, however, as the truck looks to be built by a collision repair shop and is obviously meant to represent an accident.
GALLERY: Chrysler 300 Pickup Mess
Celebrating 110 years of racing history at the SEMA Show, Ford‘s display includes some of the brand’s most iconic race cars. And while the folks at the Blue Oval had plenty of aftermarket tuner cars to announce, fans of motorsports were treated to the debut of two new Ford race cars, the Fiesta B-Spec and Focus ST.R.
Watch the video after the jump to find out more about these two front-drive fasties:
We’ve seen the Mansory Siracusa before, but this is the first time one of the wildly modified Ferraris has been on display in the U.S., garnering plenty of attention at the Pirelli tires booth at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
Shown in a traditional red, it’s a perfect example of what the German exotic tuning firm is all about, mixing bold styling with some other features that are just excessive. In case you don’t agree from the photo above, take a stroll through our gallery below and pay particular attention to the Lamborghini Aventador-style carbon fiber rear window cover. Reminiscent of the sort of design you might see on an ’80s Camaro or Trans Am, it’s pretty much how you say mullet in Italian.
There’s no word of power-adders, but Mansor does claim its modifications cut the weight of the 458 by a solid 150 lbs.
GALLERY: Mansory Siracusa
High End Performance is known around the nation for building some of the world’s top show cars while running a shop that supplies some of the rarest and highest quality parts around. But what sets them apart from the crowd is their custom, hand-crafted wide body kits that can see on many of their show cars. This matte orange Nissan GTR was spotted in the Eneos booth, and is arguably the best creation to come out of High End to date.
High End owner Ben Abutin is known for meticulously hand-crafting custom widebody kits for his customers. And we’re digging everything about this GT-R from bumper to bumper. The front bumper does a fantastic job in flowing with the GTR’s headlights, while the widebody almost looks factory. The car then headed over to DTM Autobody to gets it body sprayed a nice, bright matte orange that fits in perfectly with Eneos.
Based on the logos on the car, it looks like this GTR sports suspension from Cusco, carbon fiber accents from Seibon while the HRE Wheels are wrapped with Falken Tire rubber. We’re sure we’ll be seeing more of this GTR now that it’s made its official debut at SEMA 2011.
GALLERY: Eneos / High End Performance Nissan GTR
While perusing through the Central Hall of this year’s massive SEMA Show, we came across this little gem tucked away in AirREX’s booth. There was a bit of information that was lost in translation, but AirREX is an air suspension manufacturer out of Taiwan and decided to use a Honda Insight to show off their product.
It probably sounds strange to hear of a Honda Insight sporting air bag suspension, but AirREX also equipped with sleek black Insight with a custom widebody – that’s surprisingly done well – and an aggressive set of Volk Racing TE-37s in a brilliant, bright red shade. Matte gray was applied to the body to give it some contrast, but we feel that the Insight would have looked a lot better without it. Nonetheless, this is one of the nicest and coolest Insights we’ve ever spotted and kudos to AirREX for finding a way to get people to their booth.
GALLERY: Widebody Honda Insight
Lexus chose the world’s largest aftermarket expo to reveal its new GS350 F-sport. Debuting at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the F-Sport model adds a new aero kit, upgraded wheels and a modified suspension, plus there are some bigger changes inside.
Find out exactly what by watching the video after the jump:
Matte-black is so played out. For that matter, matte-white paint jobs pretty much are too. But what about matte orange, blue and green? Not just yet.
Next year, yes, you may be sick of them, but it’s hard not to be at least amused by a matte-orange widebody Nissan GT-R (above), or a matte-red BMW 5 Series wagon.
Let your eyes taste the rainbow in our gallery below.
GALLERY: Matte Cars of the 2011 SEMA Show
Matte-black cars have become as much a part of the SEMA Show as Chinese tire manufacturers and lingerie-clad models. While we’re tempted to post up galleries of those two (we know how much Chinese tires turn you on), we’ll stick with the cars for now.
Ranging from American muscle to a Rolls-Royce Phantom, and everything in between, we even found a matte Ford Raptor and a Chevy Sonic. Browse through the extensive gallery below.
GALLERY: SEMA Show Matte-Black Cars
We’ve seen sneak preview shots of Enjuku Racing’s Hyundai Genesis project, and now it’s sitting happily at the BC Racing booth showing off its supercharged LS1 engine swap. The swapped Genesis is sitting on a new set of white BC Racing wheels sporting a perfectly aggressive fitment. The LS1 swap is clearly executed well, sporting a Chase Bays wiring harness and a fancy supercharger.
The Genesis project is lowered on a set of BC Racing coilovers, while the LS1 has some goodies from ISIS Performance, SPEC Clutch and Quaife. A brake upgrade came courtesy of Wilwood while the carbon fiber goods are from VIS Racing.
You can check out a video of the Genesis here.
GALLERY: Enjuku Racing Supercharged LS1 Hyundai Genesis
Honda may in fact be closer to offering a supercharged CR-Z than expected. Tucked away in a corner of the Japanese automaker’s booth at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas is what Honda is calling the HPD CR-Z Supercharged Engine Concept.
This engine follows after the debut of the CR-Z Hybrid R Concept at last year’s SEMA Show, which used a similar supercharged 1.5-liter Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid engine to generate around 200-hp. It’s also remarkably similar to the supercharged 1.5-liter IMA built by Mugen.
Seemingly yet another concept that won’t make it to fruition, Kurt Antonius, Honda’s assistant vice president of public relations, dropped a big hint and urged us to take a second look at the engine. Raising our hopes of a 200-hp CR-Z, Antonius commented that the engine on display isn’t a highly-polished show piece like you might expect of a concept, but rather what appears to be a production-ready engine.
Antonius’ comments were enough to raise our eyebrows, and our hopes, but he was mum on any further comment. Will the CR-Z Hybrid R Concept eventually make it to production? Antonius admitted that Honda has taken a bit of a break from performance cars, but insisted that they’re coming back.
GALLERY: HPD CR-Z Supercharged Engine Concept
Hyundai may be promoting its new Veloster model at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, but it’s the brand’s modified Genesis Coupes that are generating the most buzz. With a supercharged V6 built in-house at the company’s technical center and a 5.0-liter V8 version using the donated engine from the Genesis R-Spec sedan it’s hard not to imagine a more fun-filled future for this Korean sports car.
Find out more in the video after the jump:
The big surprise here was the announcement of the Fiat 500 as the Hottest Sport Compact, despite a relatively small presence at the SEMA show. The Hyundai Veloster seemed like a far more likely candidate for the award, given the ubiquity of the new Hyundai hatchback.
Check out AutoGuide’s SEMA coverage here
When we first heard about D3 Cadillac’s Le Monstre packing 1,001-hp in CTS-V Coupe form, we had pretty high expectations. Now we know that even the renderings were a little on the conservative side. The completed project made its debut in the Toyo Tires booth at this year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas and it has exceeded our expectations. Simply put, this is one bad widebody Cadillac CTS-V Coupe.
As tired as we might be of seeing matte black cars at this year’s show, D3′s Le Monstre probably wouldn’t have the same impact if it was in any other shade. The widebody was executed perfectly, giving the CTS-V Coupe the aggressive stance that we’d expect from a 1,001-hp monster. Inside and out, the Cadillac features all of D3′s products, from suspension to power upgrades to drivetrain modifications.
The subtle yellow accents do a fantastic job to contrast the matte black body and a perfect choice and fitment of wheels and tires. We can’t wait to see this thing hit the track.
GALLERY: D3 Cadillac Le Monstre
Road Race Motorsports has revealed one serious little lapping day machine at the SEMA Show, with a highly customized Fiat 500 packing plenty of race-inspired modifications. Under the hood is a B-Spec tuned engine pumping out 133-hp thanks to a Road Race intake system and sport exhaust. To be a true race car though, they also outfitted it with a timing controller, Zeitronix Data logging system with Drew Tech touchscreen and Drew Tech’s GPS and Track mapping system.
Suspension modifications are plentiful, starting with Bilstein’s coilovers and springs, Road Race/Progress rear anti-sway bar, and Road Race camber adjusters. For brakes, Road Race outfitted the Fiat with their slotted rotors and sports brake featuring different brake pads for track days.
The outside sports a Carbontrix/Road Race widebody carbon fiber kit further accented with 18×8-inch Stance Mindset wheels paired with 205/45/15 Toyo R1R tires. Plenty more carbon fiber goodies are also on the car courtesy of Road Race and Carbontrix while the interior packs Racetech race seats and 5-point harnesses.
Hopefully we’ll see this bad boy hit the track one day soon.
GALLERY: Road Race Motorsports Fiat 500
The Scion iQ has still yet to go on sale, but Scion came out in full force with their new subcompact, presenting a multitude of concepts aimed at all corners of the aftermarket segment.
The Pit Boss iQ by Cartel is the wildest interpretation of the iQ we’ve seen so far, with the roof completely chopped off and an electric blue paint scheme applied. Massive 18″ wheels and an iPad with an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot are also included, though it adds an extra element of danger in the event of rain.
At the other end of the spectrum is the iQ-RS, designed to look like a full-blown race car. With a classic white paint scheme, red wheels, a front splitter, rear wing and fender flares, the iQ-RS looks the part, and a roll cage, racing seats and a stripped out interior re-enforce the iQ-RS’ mission.
Finally, the Scion iQ-MR blends race car style with the ever popular “stance” movement, with both a roll cage, fender flares and Axis Sakura wheels fitting flush to the iQ’s body. A mid-engine conversion has been carried out to make the iQ rear-wheel drive while the engine itself features a thorough re-build and new internals. KW Variant 3 coilovers let the car sit low to the ground while offering excellent damping.
Check out more SEMA coverage here
Gallery: Scion iQ
Even though the Fiesta was last year’s news, Ford handed out a trio of them to be customized and shown off at this year’s SEMA Show. None of the projects were crazy exotic, but really show off what the Fiesta can achieve when done with the right modifications.
The Candy Purple Fiesta is a creation from M2-Motoring, featuring upgrades in all departments of the vehicle’s performance. Under the hood is an Injen Technology cold air intake system, DC Sports cat back exhaust, Mishimoto oil coolers and Champion lubricants. For suspension, a set of coilovers came from Megan Racing while brakes from Wilwood gives the Fiesta proper stopping power. On the outside, APR Performance chipped in with a carbon fiber splitter, while the rear gets a roof spoiler from 3dCarbon. The stereo has also been upgraded using products from Jensen and Audiovox.
Next up is a Fiesta creation from Gold Coast Automotive featuring a four-piece body kit from 3dCarbon while Gold Coast further accented the body with its fender flare kit. Under the hood, Jackson Racing enhanced the performance of the Fiesta with a Rotrex intercooled supercharger and Performance Electronics “Edge” stand-alone ECU. H&R coilovers and Wilwood brakes round off the chassis upgrades while the Fiesta sits on a set of 17×7-inch Kyowa Racing 206 wheels.
Aaron Vaccar’s Signature Series Fiesta features a BASF Custom Bright Silver Matte Metallic paint finish while custom body kit by Canfield offers subtle changes to the exterior. 3dCarbon’s upper roof spoiler can also be found on this Fiesta, along with a set of carbon fiber mirrors from APR. Coilovers are also from Megan Racing, along with the Wilwood brakes for chassis upgrades. Under the hood, Vaccar turned to Weapon-R for their air intake, oil catch tank and coolant overflow tank. The Fiesta rocks a set of 17-inch Advanti Racing V3 Vago wheels wrapped with 205/40/17 Toyo Proxes 4 rubber.
GALLERY: M2-Motoring Ford Fiesta
GALLERY: Gold Coast Automotive Ford Fiesta
GALLERY: Aaron Vaccar Ford Fiesta
The Hyundai Veloster is arguably this year’s hot sport compact, and Hyundai came out in full force with a collection of Velosters covering both the “show” and “go” ends of the spectrum.
First up is the hotly anticipated ARK Performance Veloster, featuring the first application of a turbocharger on the Veloster. With Hyundai’s subsequent announcement of a Veloster Turbo for 2012, the ARK gives us a pretty good preview of what to expect – a twin scroll turbocharger putting out 210 horsepower. The wild green paint scheme and tuner-esque wheels likely won’t make the cut.
The PM Lifestyle Veloster was developed by Universal Technical Institute, a training school for auto mechanics. Konig wheels, carbon fiber hood, a custom interior and the usual bolt-ons add visual flair and boost power to 163-horsepower. The Hyundai Re:Mix Veloster Music Veloster is obviously focused on audio, with a full DJ deck setup installed in the trunk while the Re:Mix Gaming Veloster is focused on video games, with an XBOX in place of the DJ booth.
Finally, the RMR Global Rallycross Veloster was built by Rhys Millen Racing to take on the competition in 2WD Rallycross. The sport exists in a much different form in the rest of the world, as opposed to the X-Games style Rallycross popular on our shores. Lightweight body panels, a 300 horsepower turbocharged engine, rally suspension, safety modifications and rally tires help take the Veloster from sport compact into a real deal race car.
For more SEMA coverage, click here