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For over to a decade, Stephan Papadakis rewrote pages and pages of the drag racing record books behind the wheel of several different Hondas. Looking for a new challenge, Papadakis took to drifting in a beautiful Chargespeed widebody S2000 before dedicating his time to running a very successful race and drift program that included back-to-back Formula Drift championships with Tanner Foust behind the wheel. Now Papadakis is back behind the wheel of a Honda, but this is not a sports car, nor is it a Civic.
For the 2011 season Papadakis is competing in the Pro Lite Truck Racing series, driving a highly-modified Honda Ridgeline off-road. But in true tuner fashion, this truck doesn’t have factory V6 under the hood, but a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder – the very same motor found in Honda’s new 2012 Civic Si.
This isn’t actually Papadakis’ first try at off-road truck racing, having campaigned a KA-powered Nissan in the Lucas Offroad Series last year in the Unlimited Pro Lite 2WD class. After the experience he was hooked but decided to go back to his Honda roots with this Ridgeline.
[Source: Wrecked Magazine]
The sub-$20,000.00 2010 Kia Forte Koup has made quite the splash amongst the younger demographics with its attractive price tag and 2.4L 173-hp engine. Its attractive, stylish yet aggressive lines clearly make a statement that Kia has stepped up to the plate to play ball, capturing a market that used to be almost exclusive to Honda, Acura and Scion. But much like their Japanese counterparts, Kia has looked towards marketing with customization and personalization, especially with the hip Forte Koup. The result? The Kia Forte Koup SX-R with a fine collection of accessories that have Forte Koup SX owners going wild for. The major disappointment for those in the US? It’s currently only available in Canada.
The buzz was started with the official debut at the Toronto Auto Show and a little less than a month later the orders are coming in. The Forte Koup SX-R will be made available to Canadian Kia dealers by mid-May with pre-orders starting now. The aesthetics of the Forte Koup has been further complemented with a front chin spoilers, new side skirts, and a rear lip spoiler. Minor details on the outside come in the form of chrome “R” badges while the interior receives “R” branded door sills. Engine performance has been enhanced thanks to an AEM Performance drop-in air filter and performance axle-back exhaust system. The car rides lower and stiffer thanks to a set of Eibach Pro lowering springs (1.3-inch drop) and a front upper strut brace. No custom car is complete without a fine set of wheels and tires and Kia delivers in a big way with a set of 18-inch Europa wheels wrapped with, surprisingly, Yokohama S-Drive performance tires. The Kia Forte Koup SX-R is available in three attractive colors: Titanium Silver, Racing Red and Black.
Now all these accessories will be available for order through Canadian Kia dealerships only for those already cruising around in Forte Koup SX. American enthusiasts will probably have to open up their wallet a little bit for freight across the border, but we anticipate many of them to be willing to do so. If you’re interested, contact any Canadian Kia dealership and reference accessory bulletin AY10 007. It’s exciting times for Kia owners and we can’t wait to see what’s next from the Korean manufacturer.
Gallery: Kia Forte Koup SX-R