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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.
 |  Nov 05 2010, 1:51 PM

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For all you lovers of body on frame chassis and four wheel drive, we bring you our favorite trucks of the 2010 SEMA Show.

If you prefer big motors, Made In America and think that lifting a truck is better than slamming a sport compact, check out the gallery below for all sorts of pickup-bed goodness. And for the record, our favorite trucks were anything based on the Ford Raptor.

Gallery: Trucks Of SEMA

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 |  Nov 04 2010, 8:34 PM

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Our second installment of the Best In Show series profiles the cars that made SEMA what it is – sport compacts. Yes, some of these cars push the boundaries of taste, but others are fairly creative and actually enhance the looks of the stock car.

The dominant cars this year seemed to be the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo and the Nissan GT-R. Honda products seem to have fallen from their once hegemonic dominance of the tuner crowd, while Scion and Hyundai have taken some crucial market share.

We assembled a gallery of some of the choicest sport compact. Check it out below.

GALLERY: The Sport Compacts of the 2010 SEMA Show

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 |  Nov 04 2010, 7:04 PM

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SEMA is so vast that it’s hard to truly see it all. Thanks to our eagle-eyed photographers, we’ve been able to cherry pick the best cars over the past few days, starting with the cars of the wheel and tire exhibit.

Rather than the usual dubs and donks, the wheel and tire exhibit had everything from a Lexus LFA to a gaggle of Ferraris to a perfectly restored 1953 MG TD. We even saw a Gumpert Apollo, a rare beast on this side of the Atlantic. The full gallery is below – it’s massive, but definitely worth your time.

Gallery: Wheel & Tire Expo

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 |  Nov 04 2010, 3:26 PM

Ford Mustang

Pardon the bad Spanish puns, but the Ford Fiesta isn’t the only game in town at the Blue Oval’s stand at this year’s SEMA Show. Ford’s pony car came galloping into Vegas with 6 variations of the Mustang, including V6 and V8 versions.

While most of the cars were packing the 5.0 V8, the V6 still made an appearance in the form of the Mobsteel Mustang, which features a very trick remote-mounted turbo system and an exterior treatment that was more import tuner than American muscle.

The other cars range from atrocious to badass, but we won’t tell you which – you’ll have to make up your own mind.

GALLERY: Ford Mustang Custom Accessories

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang Boss 302 Street

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang Boss 302R

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang Street Scene

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang Race Skinz

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang Team Baurtwell

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang Predator

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang Mobsteel

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang Dub/Roush

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

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GALLERY: Ford Mustang RTRX

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 |  Nov 04 2010, 1:43 PM
Ford F-150 F150

Ford F-150 F150

The “bro truck” is a distinctly local phenomenon, common in the Southwestern United States, where a stereotypical bro drives a souped-up pickup, usually with an enormous and inappropriate lift kit. Ever concious of this important demographic, Ford made sure to bring some outrageous F-Series concepts to SEMA, in the hopes of capturing the all-important flat-bill baseball cap crowd.

This year, Ford is also highlighting their 6-cylinder Ecoboost powertrain option with two concept trucks, the Godfather Customs F-150 and an F-150 put together by an imaginatively named outlet called “The Custom Shop”. While they don’t quite fit the “bro truck” model, they do look like vehicles that those with discerning taste would avoid…making them perfect for SEMA!

Gallery: Mickey Thompson F-150

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Gallery: F150 Custom Shop

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Gallery:F-Series Super Duty Skyjacker Suspensions

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Gallery: Ford F-350 Super Duty by Cars by Kris and Airhead Kustoms

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Hit the jump to check out the official press release

 |  Nov 03 2010, 9:28 PM
2011 Dodge Durango

2011 Dodge Durango

Dodge‘s new Durango is a pretty nice looking truck, and its shared components with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, especially the interior, should finally take it from its current status as a warmed over Dodge truck to a contender in the upscale SUV segment.

The Durango Citadel Black & Tan is a special edition of the upcoming Durango Citadel, the top of the line 2011 Durango. The interior is supposedly “inspired by supercars” but to us, it just looks nice. See for yourself in the gallery below or watch the video of the SUV’s reveal after the jump.

GALLERY: Dodge Durango Citadel Black & Tan

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Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 03 2010, 8:04 PM

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Although images of the Dodge Mopar ’10 Challenger have previous surfaced, we managed to get some live shots of the first special edition Challenger.

The Mopar ’10 Challenger is actually based on the Challenger R/T rather than the SRT-8, giving customers the choice of an automatic or manual transmission. Upgrades include a cold-air intake, front and rear strut tower braces, 20″ forged wheels, hood pins, unique badging.

The Mopar ’10 Challenger will only be available in a run of 500, and will be offered only in Brilliant Black. Check out the gallery below for more pictures.

Gallery: Mopar ’10 Challenger

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 |  Nov 03 2010, 2:29 PM
Honda CR-Z

Honda CR-Z

It’s safe to say that the Honda CR-Z has been given a solid reception by everyone outside the “enthusiast” community. Sales have been brisk and reviews are generally positive, but car lovers seem unable to accept the “hybrid” part of the equation.

Honda gave a few tuners the chance to trick out a CR-Z, and some came back with turbocharged monsters, while others returned with vinyl wraps and big wheels. We think the six cars cover the spread pretty well, but we’ll let you decide. You can check out the pictures below, and hit the jump for the official specs.

Gallery: Bismoto Honda CR-Z

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Gallery: Fortune Honda CR-Z

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Gallery: Eibach Honda CR-Z

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Gallery: Honda Tuning Honda CR-Z

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Gallery: Wraptivo Honda CR-Z

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Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 03 2010, 2:12 PM

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For the first time ever, SEMA awarded three vehicles the distinction of “Hottest Car”, “Hottest Truck” and “Hottest SUV”. Not surprisingly, the winners were all domestics, with the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford F-Series and Jeep Wrangler winning their respective categories.

The vote is something of a popularity contest, as organizers used the “influence” of the cars, to judge the winners. Since these three cars are everywhere at SEMA, their victories make sense.

Hit the jump to read the official press release

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 02 2010, 7:15 PM

2010 ford fiesta

After bringing you a preview of the Ford Fiesta SEMA exhibit, we now bring you pictures of Ford’s newest compact in the flesh, looking quite a bit different from the Fiestas you might see at college campuses or 16th birthday celebrations across the country.

For the Fiesta’s SEMA debut, Ford enlisted the services of a variety of tuners, among them H&R Springs, Steeda, 3D Carbon, L&G Enterprises, FSWerks and the hilariously named UTI Inc., which is actually a technical college. We have galleries of each of the Fiestas, and the official details on each car are listed in the press release below.

Gallery: Ford Fiesta Steeda

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Gallery: Ford Fiesta 3D Carbon

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Gallery: Ford Fiesta Custom Accessories

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Gallery: Ford Fiesta FSWerks

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Gallery: Ford Fiesta UTI

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Gallery: Ford Fiesta L&G Enterprises

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Gallery: Ford Fiesta H&R Springs

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Hit the jump to check out the official press release

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 02 2010, 5:31 PM
Subaru Impreza STI

Subaru Impreza STI

The other star of the Subaru booth is decidedly less ostentatious than Travis Pastrana’s hillclimb special, but has an equally impressive motorsports pedigree.

This STi was driven by legendary rally driver Tommi Makinen, who set a production sedan record of 7:55 around Germany’s famed Nurburgring course. While not everyone agrees that Nurburgring times matter all that much, it’s nice to see a bit of Subaru history brought to SEMA.

Gallery: Subaru Impreza STI Nurburgring

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 |  Nov 02 2010, 3:22 PM

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Chevrolet debuted three new compact cars, as part of its new Z-Spec factory upgrades lineup, with the new Cruze and Volt, as well as the upcoming Spark subcompact rounding out the lineup.

While the concepts modifications are cosmetic in nature, the upgrades really elevate the conservative lines of the Cruze, with an orange paint job, Recaro seats and big wheels featuring prominently. The Spark could be considered a throwback to the days of “The Fast and the Furious”, with its creamsicle orange paintjob, white BBS wheels and Altezza taillights. Of the three, our favorite was the Volt, whose sharp angles, white paintwork and big wheels complimented the car in a way that the stock styling just doesn’t do.

Hit the jump to see all three galleries of the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze and Spark Z-Spec

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 02 2010, 11:52 AM

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One wouldn’t normally think of the Lexus hybrid compacts as “tuner cars”, but if there’s one thing that SEMA proves, it’s that you can make anything a “modified vehicle” by throwing wheels and other bolt-on modifications onto a car.

We highlighted the Lexus SEMA lineup earlier, but since we all know how much you love hybrids, we sought out some pictures of our own. The CT200h is actually previewing an F-Sport suite of aftermarket parts, including wheels, tires, a big brake kit and suspension pieces.

The HS250h was tuned by VIP Auto Salon, and comes with a baller-ific WALD aerokit, 20″ Work wheels, a custom exhaust system and Lexus Japan OEM-spec window visors. We can hardly contain our excitement at that bit of JDM trivia.

Gallery: Lexus HS250h and CT200h

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 |  Nov 01 2010, 9:43 PM

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Hyundai‘s new Equus luxury sedan is the company’s undoubted star of the SEMA show, and long-time Hyundai partner Rhys Millen Racing for a special show car.

The big news here are the RMR bolt-on intake and exhaust pieces that add an estimated 30 horsepower. A 14″ brake kit helps bring the portly sedan to a stop, and 21″ HRE wheels will no doubt help act as anchors to the already heavy car. Carbon fiber spoilers and mirrors will help accent the Red Bull inspired blue paintjob, while the interior features ballerific ostrich leather upholstery. Stay tuned for this car to appear in a rap video sometime soon.

Hit the jump to see the official press release

Gallery: Hyundai Rhys Millen Racing Signature Edition Equus

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[Source: Hyundai]

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 01 2010, 9:17 PM

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Hyundai‘s RIDES Magazine Sonata Turbo is apparently inspired by the Mercedes-Benz CLS, but we almost think it looks better than the current generation car (CLS63 AMG notwithstanding).

Maybe it’s the fact that the matte white paintjob looks absolutely wild in person, or that we didn’t expect RIDES Magazine to come up with such a tasteful build for this car, but we’re sold.

Along with a custom bodykit comes 20″ Rennen Modular M9 wheels with a very low offset, Falken FK452 tires, a painted and debadged grille and smoked tail lights. Apparently, MB wasn’t the only German company that was used as inspiration, as RIDES managed to integrate Audi foglamps into the front bumper as well. Inside, the black leather (looking much better than the standard Sonata upholstery) is offset with red stitching and carbon fiber trim, while a pair of JBL subwoofers and amps help the tunes bump. Finally, a custom exhaust and a front mounted intercooler help keep up the “go” quotient.

Gallery: Hyundai RIDES Magazine Sonata Turbo

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Hit the jump to see the official press release

[Source: Hyundai]

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 01 2010, 9:00 PM

GM invited us out to Vegas a day early to treat us to a sneak peek at some of their SEMA Show cars. We met at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, home to the Ron Fellows Racing School – along with one of the best private member tracks in the world. The first car that GM showed us looked right at home in this setting – The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06X Track Car Concept.

This white and black ‘Vette was developed by Pratt and Miller, the firm that prepares most of the Corvette race cars for Chevrolet – just like the C6R.S parked next to it. The Z06X concept starts as a Corvette Z06 with the 1LZ package, the Z07 Performance Package and the CFZ Carbon Fiber Package. Sounds like a perfect showroom selection from your local Chevy dealer. It goes a few steps further than that dealership darling however.

It uses a lot of off-the-shelf parts from General Motors Performance Parts to create a club racer of sorts. The Z06X Concept gets some full competition mods including an adjustable carbon fiber rear wing, a polycarbonate rear window, roll cage, racing seat and safety harness, racing wheels, suspension tweaks that include coil-over struts with fully adjustable camber plates, a racing-spec cooling system and more. It does lose a few things in the process, however, like the radio, carpeting and sound-deadening material. They won’t be missed.

Will they build it? Nobody is saying just yet, but if enough gentlemen racers show up with blank checks in hand, we can’t see any reason why they wouldn’t. Live pics and media pics below, along with the full press release.

GALLERY: Chevy Corvette Z06X Track Car Concept

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 30 2010, 1:55 PM

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Knowing that they potentially have a huge hit on their hands, Honda has really leveraged this year’s SEMA show to hand some of the aftermarket’s most brilliant minds their new CR-Z. Eibach Springs is one of these companies, and having received the car in July, they went straight to work researching and developing new products for the tiny hybrid. And with such a well-known brand as Eibach Springs behind the helm of this build, it’s no surprise that Eibach’s trusted partners for the past several decades also played a role in building the CR-Z for this year’s SEMA Show.

From the Eibach camp, they went straight to what they do best: suspension modifications. The Honda CR-Z was their test bed for a new set of springs, sway bars and mono-tube coilovers. For power, Eibach Springs called their friends at K&N to develop an intake for the new Honda sport hybrid.

Once they got their coilovers installed, the car headed off to get a roll bar designed and the C-West aero kit installed. To accent the C-West aero, Eibach Springs had a Mugen spoiler overnighted from Japan (no, this is not a Fast & Furious joke) – the deadlines of building a SEMA car are pretty stressful.

After paint and body, the car made it back to Eibach to have the Stoptech big brake kit installed along with a set of wheels. With the paint scheme and graphics applied, this CR-Z looks killer. The interior Sparco seats and roll bar really hint that Eibach will be flaunting it out at the track someday soon. We hope so.

With several other CR-Zs planned to be on display at SEMA we’ll be sure to bring you photos of all of them, with AutoGuide’s 2010 SEMA Show coverage starting November 2nd. Until then, check out our complete SEMA Preview here.

GALLERY: Eibach Springs SEMA Honda CR-Z

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[Source: CRZ Forum]

http://www.crzforum.com/forum/aftermarket-crowd/2312-eibach-cr-z.html
 |  Oct 29 2010, 9:10 AM

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Chevrolet will be doing something pretty unique this year to gather the crowd around their booth at the SEMA Show. They will have a team of their mechanics and engineers present to assemble a supercharged LS9 6.2-liter V8 from scratch. And while the assembly is going on, those present will be free to ask any questions they might have on the process.

The goal of this isn’t just to be flashy or to educate the consumer, Chevrolet is promoting their Corvette Engine Build Experience program. Chevrolet currently offers Corvette buyers the chance to build their very own engine that will ultimately be in the vehicle they purchase (Z06 or ZR1).

The cost to the program? An additional $5,800. You’ll get the chance to assemble your own LS7 or LS9 at General Motors’ Performance Build Center. And even though your untrained hands built it, GM will cover it with their five-year, 100,000-mile warranty. So fear not aspiring engine builders, impressing your children or grandchildren is only $5,800 away.

 |  Oct 28 2010, 6:54 PM

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We’ve checked out Oakley Designs’ rendition of Ferrari’s 458 Italia before and now we’ll have a chance to see it in person in the HRE booth at this year’s SEMA show. By far one of the cleanest styling packages we have seen for the new Italia, the British tuner looks to to give it the American spotlight with its North American debut at the largest aftermarket show in America.

Since the Oakley Design 458 comes exclusively with HRE P40S Monoblok wheels, it’s no surprise Oakley Design opted to go with a co-branding opportunity in HRE’s booth. And for those that don’t know the details behind Oakley Design’s 458 Italia, it gets a power boost from 562-hp to 618-hp thanks to a remapped ECU and larger carbon fiber intake box.

The exterior is accented with a new front spoiler that provides plenty of additional down force while the rear gets a spoiler with Gurney flap.

We’ll be sure to check out this beautiful model in person with live coverage of the 2010 SEMA Show starting November 2nd. Until then, check out our SEMA Preview here.

Press release available after the break.

GALLERY: Oakley Design Ferrari 458 Italia SEMA Car

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 |  Oct 27 2010, 8:46 PM

Ernie Manansala is no stranger to building cars. Most well known for his NOS Lexus SC300, it looks like Manansala has moved on to bigger and better things, teaming up with Wraptivo to build one menacingly good looking Nissan GT-R for SEMA.

On the outside, it looks like the GT-R has received a full flat black wrap treatment with some carbon fiber accents including the roof. The wheels look fully powdercoated a contrasting matte red with a “hellaflush” fitment with wheelspacers courtesy Fatlace. That is an awesome and aggressive fitment, pushing the wheels as far out as possible, without looking too ridiculous.

Suspension upgrades come from a set of KW coilovers while the Advan wheels are wrapped with a set of Falken Tires. Ernie hasn’t disclosed any full vehicle shots, but we’ll be sure to add this to our growing list of cars to check out at SEMA this year. No doubt it will be joining a host of other wild creations at Meguiar’s Wraptivo booth at SEMA.

Full SEMA coverage starts November 2nd. Until then, check out our SEMA Preview here.

[Source: Fatlace]

See more pics of the GT-R after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 27 2010, 12:08 PM

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Heide Performance Products, a Michigan company that helps convert Chevrolet Camaros to modern day Pontiac Firebirds, has unveiled their latest creation, a replica of the 1969 Trans-Am based on the current Chevrolet Camaro.

The HPP Firebird will probably perform just like the Camaro – fast in a straight line, but at it’s best while standing still. Check out our gallery for now, and stay tuned for the car’s official unveiling at SEMA starting November 2nd.

Gallery: HPP Firebird

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[Source: HPP]

 |  Oct 26 2010, 2:15 PM

Well, we suppose it was inevitable. Hyundai is set to unveil the Equus DUB Edition at the SEMA show, and really, should we have expected anything different?

The DUB edition takes Jay-Z’s mantra of “all black everything” to the next level, with tinted windows, tailights, a Trex DUB Design mesh grille, DUB Design custom body kit and a custom black and charcoal two-tone paint job. Riding on 24′s, the Equus will also get people’s attention with a booming audio system that builds on the Lexicon system already present in the car. Infiniti Kappa speakers and amps round out the system, and custom leather and suede on the seats and headliner swaddles the car’s occupants in pimptastic luxury.

We’re honestly a little surprised at how mild the build was – there’s not even an air suspension. Our guess is Hyundai is hedging their bets, by trying to attract the hip-hop crowd to the Equus while still retaining the discretely wealthy clientele that flocked to the Genesis.

[Source: Hyundai]

Hit the jump to see the official press release

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 26 2010, 1:32 PM

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Now if you were just begging for a reason to head over to Las Vegas next week for the SEMA Show, and just really couldn’t find yourself one, we understand. Maybe modified versions of the Honda CR-Z, Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustangs and Hyundai Equus, are just not your thing. If you’re going to have to spend your hard-earned vacation days to check out some cars, you want to make sure it’s worth it. Well, now it is. Hennessey’s wickedly sick, fast, powerful and beautiful Venom GT will be hitting American soil to be seen by the public at this year’s SEMA show.

The $1 million dollar supercar (based on the Lotus Exige chassis and sporting a 1,200-hp twin-turbo V8) hasn’t really seen the public daylight, having been shipped straight from the production facility in England to UAE, home of its new owner. But it looks like it’s back in the United States for some fine tuning and will be heading to Las Vegas for all of our benefit.

For those that intend on heading to SEMA to check this bad boy out, we highly recommend sticking around whatever booth it is in on the last day. In any hopes they won’t push it out and onto a trailer, but actually fire it up to take it outside. We can only hope.

AutoGuide’s coverage of the 2010 SEMA Show starts November 2nd. Until then, check out our SEMA Preview here.

GALLERY: Hennessey Venom GT

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Video of the car idling after the break.

Continue Reading…

 |  Oct 25 2010, 8:58 PM

With SEMA just a week away, cars are being teased and sneak previewed left and right. Back in August, we got sight of the Fortune Motorsports / Tjin Edition Tour Honda CR-Z under wraps, literally. Now the cover’s been blown off the rendering and put on the finished product.

The full rendering reveals what the Honda CR-Z is going to be all about, a very clean and functional build without going overboard with the actual cosmetic modifications. Carbon fiber accents come in the form of a hood and a front lip while sportier mirrors round off the exterior modifications.

The half-reveal of an actual photo of the car shows Baer brakes with a red caliper setup and the custom Track Spec ADV10 wheels from ADV.1 wheels are looking good on the finished project. The front lip sports a different design than the rendering while the finished project will sport a HKS Kansai Lips which is more of an add-on to the factory front bumper.

This is just the first of numerous Honda CR-Zs that will be on display and AutoGuide will be sure to bring you full photos of all of them with coverage of the 2010 SEMA Show starting November 2nd. Until then, check out our SEMA Preview here.

GALLERY: Fortune Motorsports / Tjin Edition Tour SEMA Honda CR-Z

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