Auto News

AutoGuide News Blog

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 13 2009, 1:00 PM


Revealed ahead of the 2009 SEMA Show and then officially debuting at the aftermarket expo, it seems as though with all the hundreds of modified Camaros to cover, Saleen’s latest project flew under the radar. To remedy that, we thought we’d look back and give an update now that the new Saleen (Saleen Performance Vehicles) has released complete details on its 2010 S281 model.

The car features a Saleen Series VI.5 twin-screw supercharger and dual-stage intercooler mated to the factory 4.6-liter V8 engine to produce 485 hp and 460 ft-lbs of torque. All S281 models also feature a limited-slip differential. Additional modifications include a lowered suspension with new springs and shocks/struts, a sway bar, 7-spoke 20-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tires, a custom interior and aerodynamics kit.

“Our goal was to create the most visually enticing American sports car ever,” said David Byron, design director at Saleen Performance Vehicles. “Ford provided the perfect launching pad with the 2010 Mustang, which allowed our team to create a car that’s world class and authentically Saleen. We painstakingly toiled over every bend and break in the body and every stitch and fold in the interior.”

“For more than 25 years the Saleen name has stood for excellence in design, engineering, and driving dynamics,” said Mike Shields, CEO of Saleen Performance Vehicles. “The new S281 is an excellent example of what those words mean when we craft concepts into real cars. Our team has done a terrific job; I’mproud of them and proud to be offering this car to our customers.”

GALLERY: 2010 Saleen S281


See more details on the 2010 Saleen S281 after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 10 2009, 12:00 PM


A big part of the SEMA Show each year (both in terms of quantity and, well, size) is the truck and off-road industry. Some trucks get lowered suspensions and some lifted, some run on supercharged 4-cylinders, while others rely on massive turbocharged diesel units. Yet despite all that divides some truck lovers from others, they all seem to equally love to modify their rigs – often to the extreme.

We’ve gathered together a collection of all (or almost all) of the trucks at the 2009 SEMA Show for you to peruse. We also explored some of the trucks in more detail, including the Dodge Ram Bianco, DeWALT 2011 F-Series Super Duty, the new 411-hp F-150 SVT Raptor, the Toyota Tundra Hot Rod and the Chevy Silverado ZR2. You can find more on those trucks after the jump.

GALLERY: Trucks of the 2009 SEMA Show


For more on the Dodge Ram Bianco, DeWALT 2011 F-Series Super Duty, the new 411-hp F-150 SVT Raptor and the Chevy Silverado ZR2, see after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 06 2009, 2:27 PM


With all the Camaros at the 2009 SEMA Show, the number of Japanese cars were few and the number of European cars almost non-existent. H&R Springs was one of the few booths with a strong Euro presence with this 2010 Golf TDI being one of our favorites. With a Volkswagen Accessories complete aero kit, it just looks too cool to be a diesel. And yet thats exactly what it is.

The car sits low on a set of H&R Ultra Performance Coilovers, while a set of sway bars help keep it planted in the corners. Also helping in the handling department are some wheel spacers, which make room for the big 20-inch OZ Superleggera HLT wheels.

Additional highlights include the Volkswagen Accessories aluminum pedals and TDI floor mats, Custom Race Tuner exhaust tips, as well as the stylish German flag graphics provided by Sticky Jewel Graphics.

GALLERY: H&R Springs Golf TDI


 |  Nov 06 2009, 2:17 PM


Mazda doesn’t officially have a presence at the 2009 SEMA Show, but the Japanese automaker did decide to bring two custom cars to Las Vegas. Using in-house parts (many from the Mazda RX-8) and calling upon the automaker’s World Challenge motorsports partner, Tri-Point, Mazda has come up with two fresh and clean examples of the popular Mazda3 and its high-performance MazdaSpeed sibling.

Both cars get a Crystal White Pearl paint job with some faded gray graphics, reminiscent of the style first shown on the Mazda 787B that won Le Mans in 1991. Many of the remaining exterior details get black paint, including the grille inserts, side mirrors, fog lamp bezels and the roof. The front headlamps also get a black treatment. Then both cars have been outfitted with a set of 19×8-inch forged aluminum wheels straight off the RX-8 with a set of 225/40/19 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires.

The Mazda3s with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder was then shipped over to Tri-Point, which installed the company’s turbo kit to boost power to 250-hp thanks to a Garrett GT2871R turbo.

The front brakes have been upgraded to those of the MazdaSpeed3, with rear brakes coming from the Mazda5. Suspension duties were outsourced to KW, with a Tri-Point rear stabilizer bar.

With the MazdaSpeed3 already finely tuned from the factory, only an AEM air intake was added for a gain of 20-hp. Along with the same exterior changes and wheels, a KW suspension was also added but with new suspension mounts for camber adjustability. The brakes were also upgraded to Stoptech units – the same used on the World Challenge cars.

GALLERY: Tuned MazdaSpeed3 and Turbocharged Mazda3s


 |  Nov 06 2009, 1:59 PM


Kia’s big news at the 2009 SEMA Show was the announcement of the brands foray into motorsports, but the track-ready Forte Koup wasn’t the only car on display at the Kia Motors booth. In fact, three more traditional SEMA vehicles were on display. Competing in the youth-oriented box-car segment, the Soul is a hit with younger buyers and so it’s no surprise to see three tricked-out models at SEMA.

The first of the Soul Xpression trio is the Black “Sinister” Soul featuring matte-black paint with blacked out headlights and taillights. Even the rims (20-inchers no less) are black and the car has a meaner look to it thanks to a lowered suspension. Inside, the theme is the same with black seats and some gray detailing. Other highlights include a 1,300-watt 11-speaker audio system.

Next up is the baby-blue Soul built by the folks at Antenna Magazine. Outside the car features highlights like a matte-brown roof and baby blue brake calipers. Inside, the brown and blue theme continues with an ornately decorated cockpit featuring “chocolate” brown leather and actual denim. The car also features a “pop out” display of trendy clothing from brands like Huff and Etnies.

The final car of the group is the Kia Soul Safety Car. Its not overly wild with a special aero kit, black wheels and appropriate “safety” lighting, but it will serve as the safety car in several US Touring Car Championship races, where Kia hopes to build up grassroots support for its motorsports program.

GALLERY: Black “Sinister” Soul


GALLERY: Antenna Denim Kia Soul


GALLERY: Kia Soul Safety Car


Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 06 2009, 1:20 PM


Modified Nissan GT-Rs are surprisingly few at the 2009 SEMA Show, but the ones that are in attendance are impressive machines. With the GT-R’s impressive Nürburgring lap time it was only time before tuners and race shops got started on tuning the GT-R to fulfill its motorsports calling.

The car features modifications including shocks by JRZ, aerodynamics by GT:R Fabrication and engine tuning by AMS and Cobb tuning. Power is a reasonable 550-hp, although the GOTO Racing team is reportedly working on upping the output to closer to the 650-hp mark.

Driver Brian Lock pilots the GT-R in both the Super Lap Battle and Redline Time Attack.

GALLERY: GOTO:Racing/Dell Equallogic GT-R


 |  Nov 06 2009, 1:01 PM


As a brand, Hummer’s time in the spotlight is pretty much over, although if there is something that can save the brand it might be a core group of enthusiasts and a strong motorsports background. While Hummers are best known for being excessive street machines, unlike a lot of SUVs, they are actually incredibly capable off-roaders.

And so despite the brand’s near disappearance for the marketplace over the past year, Hummer was in attendance at the 2009 SEMA Show displaying two special edition street machines and two off-road racing trucks – including the incredible Robby Gordon Off-Road Dakar Hummer.

Gordon has raced a Hummer in off-road events since 2008, and last year places third overall in the grueling Dakar Rally. This year, the Hummer team and Gordon have their sights set on first and it looks like they have the truck to do it.

Hummer claims the race-truck is based on an H3, but with what appears to be an entirely carbon fiber vehicle, we’re not sure there’s much of the factory car left. It’s a tube-chassis vehicle and while it is built for serious off-roading, Gordon will be comfortable inside thanks to a fully enclosed cockpit with air conditioning. As for the engine, Hummer will only say that it is based on a production GM V8.

The 2010 Dakar Rally starts January 1st and we’ll be sure to check in on how Gordon and his crazy carbon Hummer are doing.

GALLERY: Robby Gordon Off-Road Dakar Hummer


Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 05 2009, 7:06 PM


Situated right across the isle from Honda’s official SEMA Show booth we found a modified Honda Insight at the ENEOS Oil booth. Owned by member Xtremeview, the car features a custom aero kit and a lowered suspension.

Other modifications include a set of Rays wheels with Yokohama Parada tires, a Tanabe exhaust and some Bride racing seats. The car also features a new audio system with light weight components that are also designed to use less power.

The project is based on the idea of blending high performance with efficiency. As cool as it may look, we have to admit, considering the reputation the Insight has earned, we’re not sure it’s the poster boy for either.

GALLERY: ENEOS Honda Insight


 |  Nov 05 2009, 6:42 PM


Over the past year or so Steve Saleen’s new project, SMS Supercars has released high performance versions of the Camaro, Mustang and Challenger. This week at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show, SMS announces the introduction of SMS Superparts, a division of the company that will sell the parts individually through a distribution network.

“We are excited to launch our newest addition to the SMS Supercars family right here at SEMA, where it all happens,” said Steve Salleen. “To have a strictly SMS Superparts display was a conscious choice on my part. I wanted to underline the importance of the aftermarket business, the passion of the enthusiasts and the true Steve Saleen fans.”

Saleen also included a second announcement, the introduction of the SMS 296 supercharger for the 2005-10 Mustang. This new blower is expected to produce output of 475-hp, with higher output packages reaching all the way to 650-hp.

For photos of the new SMS 296 Supercharger installed on a 2010 Mustang, as well as a Sour Grape Green 2010 SMS 570X Challenger, check out the gallery below.

GALLERY: SMS Superparts Cars at SEMA


Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 05 2009, 6:17 PM


One of just two vehicles worthy to flank the Mobil 1 booth at the 2009 SEMA Show is the Hennessey HPE700 LS9 Camaro. As the name suggests, under the hood there’s a supercharged LS9 motor lifted from a Corvete ZR1. The easy-to-remember HPE700 name isn’t entirely accurate, however, as the engine has been tuned somewhat to deliver closer to 725-hp. As for torque, it’s rated at 741 ft-lbs from just 3200 rpm.

Hennessey claims the ZR1-powered Camaro will scoot to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and run the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds at 126 mph.

Talking with John Hennessey he told us that the HPE700 is very much the theoretical love child of a Camaro and a Corvette ZR1, with that theme continuing to more places than just under the hood. The car also gets lots of carbon fiber parts, like a carbon rear lip spoiler, carbon side skirts and a carbon fiber front splitter. There’s even a ZR1-inspired hood with a glass section to view the powerful LS9.

GALLERY: Hennessey HPE700 Camaro


 |  Nov 05 2009, 5:55 PM


The Underground Racing Lamborghini Gallardo has it all. On display at the Mobil 1 booth, the Italian exotic not only sports a matte-black paint job, but it’s what’s under the glass engine cover out back that will really get your attention.

There you will find what Underground Racing has become famous for, a twin-turbo kit. The North Carolina tuner builds each twin-turbo application specifically to the needs wants of the customer, with output ranging from 1,000-hp to 1,500-hp. And don’t think it’s as simple as two big turbos and some shiny metal piping either, the team at UR will tear down and rebuild an engine to ensure maximum performance and longevity, with new cylinder heads, CP Race Pistons, Carrillo billet con rods and lots of other hard core parts.

The result, claims UR, is a 0-60 mph time of just 2.5 seconds, with a quarter mile pass taking just 9.1 seconds at 169 mph! The company also claims a speed of 241 mph in a mile, with a top speed of 257 mph.

Not only was the UR matte-black twin-turbo Gallardo getting respect with a huge draw at the Mobil 1 booth, but according to Jesse Poole at Mobil 1′s PR agency Theory PR, the car was also nominated in the Gran Turismo awards, where the Best of Show car gets digitized and immortalized in an upcoming Gran Turismo video game.

GALLERY: Underground Racing Lamborghini Gallardo


 |  Nov 05 2009, 5:37 PM


No, this isn’t a modified show car built specifically for the SEMA Show. It’s a factory stock Ford. Called the Focus RS, Ford offers this scalding hot hatch in Europe but has continually denied plans to offer the car in the U.S. But then why would Ford display the car at its booth at the SEMA Show? Are they teasing us, or trying to drum up interest to see if they can in fact sell the car in the U.S.?

We hope it’s the latter.

The front-drive Focus RS makes even cars like the MazdaSpeed3 look like toys, with a turbocharged 5-cylinder engine that makes 295-hp and 305 ft-lbs of torque. There’s also an impressive suspension setup, along with the obvious rally-inspired aerodynamics and a seriously sporty interior.

Again, Ford has continuously denied bringing a car like this to the U.S., but the last time we heard a denial, the worldwide economy was crumbling. Now that the recovery is well under way and Ford seems to be emerging as a bigger player on the automotive scene, perhaps it’s time they revisited the possibility.

GALLERY: Ford Focus RS


 |  Nov 05 2009, 4:12 PM


After the success of Ford’s 2008 Mustang Cobra Jet, Ford announced at the 2009 Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show the return of the car for 2010. In a “SEMA Special” silver with a charcoal Cobra Jet graphics package, the new turnkey race car is ready for NHRA competition.

“The 2008 Cobra Jet was a great car, it did everything we wanted it to do,” said Brian Wolfe, director, Ford North American Motorsports. “We’re really proud of the car, but then again we’re always trying to make the next one better. With the 2010 Cobra Jet, we had the luxury of a longer development cycle and the result is absolutely stunning. Where the 2008 Cobra Jet was an extremely potent starting point for NHRA Stock competition, the 2010 will enhance the car further. We are all excited to see the new Cobra Jet in competition.”

The new model uses a 425-hp supercharged 5.4-liter V8 direct from the Ford Racing Performance Parts catalog. Ford also plans to make another engine available, with an aluminum block and 475-hp. A six-speed manual transmission (the same found in the ‘08 model) will be standard equipment, however, there will be an option to upgrade to a 5-speed Liberty manual unit or a race-spec auto-box. In addition, the Cobra Jet will get an NHRA certified roll cage and lightweight racing brakes. The car will also get launch control.

Only 50 2010 CJs will be built.

GALLERY: 2010 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet


Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 05 2009, 4:09 PM


There was no doubt that the focus of Ford’s SEMA Show booth was the all-new 2010 Mustang, with a total of nine modified Stangs, plus the all-new Cobra Jet model. Ford originally scheduled eight cars, but it looks like Galpin Auto Sports snuck in a second entry. The cars were built by tuner shops, race shops and even in-house, with most of the cars featuring parts available to the public – rather than one-off custom items made just for the SEMA Show. After all, the Mustang continues to be the most popular car to modify in the world.

First up is the 3dCarbon Mustang, which recreates the “Boy Racer” Mustang that the shop first built back in 2005, based on the previous generation car. Bright red with white stripes, this car takes take the Stang’s classic lines and add some wild sport compact-themed aerodynamics. Still, in person it was somewhat underwhelming. What is more impressive, however, are the rest of the car’s modifications with a complete Steeda suspension setup, a Brembo brake upgrade and NC Forged three-piece 22-inch wheels.

The only convertible of the bunch is from Galpin Auto Sports and as much as we mocked the Ford Vehicle Personalization Mustang when we first heard of this lineup of cars for SEMA, the Galpin car is our new whipping boy. It’s not all bad, with a pretty aggressive widebody conversion although as much as we like the wheels (a set of massive Forgiato rollers), they just don’t seem right on a Stang. The real travesty, however, is out back where an overly ornate rear diffuser just makes us nauseous. Under the hood there are 550 ponies thanks to a Ford Racing super pack, and as silly as those wheels might look, the rear 345 tires will be needed with all that power.

For more on Ford’s 2009 SEMA Show Mustangs and galleries of each car, follow the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 05 2009, 2:11 PM


One of the many Camaros on display at the 2009 SEMA Show is the Formula Drift Camaro SS. Sponsored by Hankook Tire and displayed prominently at the General Motors booth, the car was built by BR Racing, Luke Lonberger and Conrad Grunewald Racing and will compete in next year’s Formula D drift championship piloted by none other than Conrad Grunewald.

In race-prepped form, the Camaro gets a GM Performance LS-A suercharger along with an AEM Universal EMS to make in excess of 600-hp at the rear wheels. The heavy beast has also been put on a diet with a striped out interior and a full cabon fiber body made by Seibon Carbon.

The car will also sport a set of custom Forgeline three-piece wheels and will (obviously) run on Hankook tires  of the Ventus R-S3 variety.

GALLERY: Hankook Tire, Formula Drift Camaro SS


 |  Nov 05 2009, 1:36 PM


To our surprise, the number of Nissan GT-Rs at this year’s SEMA Show is much lower than expected, with the Camaro being the obviously dominant vehicle. One of the nicest GT-Rs on display is the Black Bison model from Japanese tuner WALD.

We found the car over at the Jonari booth, the company that distributes WALD (along with other brands like Rinspeed and even Mansory) in North America. The pristine white GT-R features the full WALD aero kit including side skirts, rear fender arches, a new front bumper with carbon fiber accents, a carbon rear wing and a carbon diffuser. Also included in the build are a set of 22-inch WALD P13F wheels with Yokohama Advan tires, WALD lowering springs and a full titanium exhaust from Arqray Japan.



 |  Nov 04 2009, 8:04 PM


One of the most surprising vehicles a this year’s SEMA show (and a refreshing change from the excessive number of Camaros) was the dry carbon widebody Nissan GT-R. Hidden away on the back side of the 3T Motorsport booth, the car was built by AIT Racing, which specializes in aerodynamics for a long list of vehicles.

On display, the AIT car sorted a set of HRE wheels with racing slicks, but the car’s street tires measure 335 in the rear!

In speaking with a 3T rep, he told us that the car is mostly stock under the hood. There is, however, a KW suspension setup, and those HRE wheels.

We look forward to hearing more about this car in the future.

GALLERY: AIT Racing Carbon Fiber Widebody Nissan GT-R


 |  Nov 04 2009, 7:47 PM


Hurst Performance Vehicles used the 2009 SEMA Show to expand its product lineup significantly with the introduction of Performance Series versions of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. Both cars appeared in predominantly white livery with black and gold detailing.

The Hurst Performance Series Camaro features a Magnusson Supercharger, Hurst Competition/Plus shifter with a Hard-Drive shift handle and AirSpeed spoiler. The kit also includes an Eibach suspension, Magnaflow exhaust system, Hurst black-chrome forged wheels with BF Goodrich KDW tires and a unique Katzkin leather interior. Output from the Camaro’s V8 engine has been raised to 600-hp! Just 50 Performance Edition Camaros will be built.

As for the Performance Series Mustang, it will come with a Roush supercharger, Willwood brakes, Eibach coilovers and sway bars, a Magnaflow exhaust, a new front lip spoiler, 20-inch wheels and BF Goodrich KDW tires. Of course, there will also be a Hurst Competition/Plus manual shifter with a gold anodized Hard-Drive shift handle. A Katzkin leather interior is also a part of the package. Power from the supercharged 4.6-liter V8 is rated at around 435-hp.

“I am very pleased to officially announce that Hurst is once again mixing it up in the middle of the muscle car wars,” states Nate Shelton, Chairman of Hurst Performance Vehicles.  “Hurst made
history by building some of the most collectible muscle cars ever for Ford, GM and Mopar, and we are doing it again!”

“We have been stunned by the overwhelming success of the Hurst/Hemi-Challenger; collectors and dealers have snapped up every single one that we can build,” said Ron Flint, President of Hurst
Performance Vehicles. “For the lucky few that step up, a Hurst/Mustang or Hurst/Camaro may prove to be the best investment they’ve ever made.”

GALLERY: Hurst Performance Series Camaro


 |  Nov 04 2009, 7:16 PM


Toyota actually bothers to spell out in its press release on the Hard Kandy Yaris, that it is aimed at attracting the attention of female buyers. We kind of thought the pink and white interior and exterior was a bit of a give away, but…. whatever….

The custom Yaris also gets a custom body kit, as well as a set of 18-inch wheels and a Corporate Accessories Department (CAD) rear spoiler. There’s even an aftermarket sunroof, because Toyota doesn’t offer a sunroof on the Yaris.

Some the car’s interior is absolutely hideous, like the pink center console and center stack. On the other hand, we love the Alcantara seats and door inserts.

Toyota CAD supplied an interior lighting kit, along with sport pedals and a new shift knob, as well as a Blu-Logic Bluetooth hands-free system. Alpine Eletronics donated an iPod touch screen interface, while West Coast Customs installed a media center that offers 3G internet service.

For more on the Hard Kandy Yaris, see the car’s full specifications after the jump.

GALLERY: Toyota Hard Kandy Yaris


Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 04 2009, 6:58 PM


Hideous? Absurd? Why of course it is! This is the SEMA Show after all. Known throughout the world for some of the most extreme show cars that are destined to be thoroughly mocked before being retired to collect dust in a backlot warehouse, the Toyota Tacoma All-Terrain Gamer is just such a vehicle.

Starting life as a 2009 Tacoma Double Cab Long Bed PreRunner V6 with a five-speed automatic, this pickup was built to showcase serious off-road performance as well as a gamer’s dream play center. Toyota shipped the truck off to The B.A.D. Company, which removed the center door pillars and created a single gullwing door on each side. With the doors open, two side rails with seats can be attached, while four 24-inch LCD screens fold out, allowing for four-way Xbox 360 gaming action. Gamers will also be treated to some serious audio with a 2,250 watt Kicker setup.

In terms of driving performance, the 4.0-liter V6 gets a TRD supercharger to deliver 304-hp and 334 ft-lbs of torque, while the stock wheel and tire setup was tossed in favor of a set of 16-inch TRD wheels with 295/75/16 BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A Tires.

The list of additional modifications is incredibly long and we won’ get into it all here, but feel free to check out all the specs after the jump.

GALLERY: Toyota Tacoma All-Terrain Gamer


Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Nov 04 2009, 6:36 PM


Built as a tribute to country music duo Brooks and Dunn, Toyota unveiled the Midnight Rider Tundra Tailgater at the 2009 SEMA Show. Out back, the truck’s bed folds out to reveal a complete tailgating station with countertops, a BBQ, an ice chest and even a draft beer tap. Oh, and let’s not forget an external audio system and a 42-inch flat screen TV.

But the modifications don’t stop there, with this Tailgating machine receiving a long list of toys, ranging from fender flares and a 3-inch lift kit, to a set of 20-inch Mickey Thompson “Classic look” wheels and 35-inch tires. There are also some particularly gaudy western silver door handles as well as a bronze cast and chrome plated Brooks and Dunn steer’s skull logo.

GALLERY: Midnight Rider Tundra Tailgater


 |  Nov 04 2009, 6:18 PM


Toyota and the Hot Rod movement aren’t two things you’d normally associate with each other, which is why a Hot Rod Toyota Tundra is the perfect concept vehicle for the SEMA Show. Built by Phoenix-based motorcycle shop Sucker Punch Sally’s, the Tundra gets a long list of design cues from the hot rods of the 1950s and ’60s.

The Regular Cab 4×2 gets some matte black paint, red flames and Bonneville moon hubcaps, along with a custom 1950’s Toyota logo on the grille. There’s also a classic cherry bomb exhaust.

The interior gets a long list of custom items like a bench seat, while Fender Guitars was sourced to build custom hand-turned brass control knobs, as well as a polished maple wood cargo deck.

The engine was left stock… which is too bad, because a carbureted NASCAR V8 would certainly have been a cool addition.

This truck is not, as previously thought, a tribute to country music duo Brooks and Dunn. A separate vehicle, the Midnight Rider Tailgater, was also built for that purpose.

GALLERY: Toyota Tundra Hot Rod


 |  Nov 04 2009, 6:03 PM


Thanks to tuner Five Axis, the Toyota Prius has never looked this cool. Now in its third generation, the 2010 Prius has gotten considerably better looking over the years, but the two modified versions on display this week at the 2009 SEMA Show take green motoring to a stylish new level.

Five Axis has built numerous Scion and Lexus SEMA vehicles for Toyota Motor Corp. over the years, but for 2009 the designers were called upon to get creative with Toyota’s flagship hybrid. The first of the two cars is called the Prius Aerius (Latin for “belonging to the air”), while the second is called the Prius Aemulus (meaning “envious imitation”). The Aerius is a pure show car, while the Aemulus is a street legal replica with slightly less exciting modifications. It will, however, be given to the Environmental Media Association (EMA) and auctioned off for charity.

Both cars get a Five Axis aero kit that has been made using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, to not only ensure it looks cool, but also to maintain the Prius’s amazing 0.25 drag coefficient.

The show car gets Five Axis FIVE:AD S6:F 19-inch wheels with clear covers to reduce drag, along with a set of Yokohama Super E-Spec low rolling resistance tires. The actual street car will get slightly less “bling” with factory rollers.

Outside, both cars get a truly amazing custom paint job that resembles the color of the sky, while the rear and side glass has been coated in 3M’s Crystalline Automotive Window Film to block 99.9 percent of UV rays.

Inside the Prius Aerius show car has its seat fabric replaced with 100 percent consumer recycled polyester, while the seatbacks are made of Polyurethane produced by Ultrafabrics that produces almost zero pollutants in the production process. The factory seats weren’t just tossed out either, but recycled to make business cards and cosmetics cases.

GALLERY: Five Axis Toyota Prius Aerius


 |  Nov 04 2009, 5:58 PM


As promised, import car tuner GReddy debuted its X-Gen Street Genesis Coupe at the 2009 SEMA Show. Apart from the wild and wacky paint job (a SEMA necessity), the modified 2.0T model is the kind of car we’d like to have in the driveway.

The philosophy behind the build was to improve performance in all areas. GReddy calls this its “Total Tune-Up” theme. First up is what’s under the hood, with a larger turbocharger and an intercooler setup that produces 350-hp and 320 ft-lbs of torque for a 0-60 mph time of under 6.0 seconds. The kit is fully available from Greddy and includes all the other components, like the downpipe, blow off valve, etc. GReddy also offers the sweet looking quad-exhaust system.

That exhaust fits nicely with the JP USA rear diffuser. The rest of the car’s aerodynamics are also directly from JP USA.

In terms of improving performance in other areas, the GReddy Genesis Coupe gets a set of 19-inch Volk Racing G2 wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes R888 tires. And inside those lightweight rollers is a GReddy big bake upgrade.

Be sure to check out the full gallery below.

GALLERY: GReddy X-Gen Street Genesis Coupe