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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 02 2011, 5:53 PM

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Jon Sibal’s Scion iQ won this year’s edition of the Scion Tuner Challenge, beating out a mid-engined iQ as well as a race prepped example to take home the prize.

Sibal claimed the $10,000 reward for his iQ, which featured a 32″ flat-screen TV in the trunk, complete with a Wi-Fi hotspot and a motorized system to allow for flush mounting inside the tiny iQ. In second place was Michael Chang’s iQ-RS, which was fashioned after what an iQ race car would look like, while the iQ-MR, which featured a mid-engine conversion, came in third.

Check out AutoGuide’s SEMA coverage here

Gallery: Scion iQ Tuner Challenge

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 |  Nov 01 2011, 7:06 PM

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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

Gallery: Hyundai Veloster SEMA Concepts

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 |  Oct 31 2011, 8:00 PM

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Chevrolet unveiled the first of what will surely be many concept cars based on their new Sonic compact car, with a lifestyle/tuner car designed with input by Motocross legend and NASCAR driver Ricky Carmichael, and a ready-to-go racer intended for SCCA competition.

The Sonic All Activity Vehicle – Ricky Carmichael Concept features a full suite of interior and exterior accessories, including OEM Z-Spec body treatments, an interior made by Fox Motocross from their board short material, and the familiar 1.4L Chevrolet turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to ensure that there’s some go to back up the “show” element.

The Sonic Super 4 Concept, despite the goofy name, is a full-blown race car that is intended to be a turnkey, SCCA-legal car with a proper rollcage, harnesses and a fire suppression system, the Sonic Super 4 is the perfect counterpart to the Ricky Carmichael Concept – it ain’t pretty, but it’s probably very good at its intended mission. The Super 4 uses the same 1.4L turbo 4-banger and 6-speed gearbox as the Ricky Carmichael Concept, but in this application, definitely gets put to much better usage.

Check out the rest of AutoGuide’s SEMA coverage here

Gallery: Chevrolet Sonic Ricky Carmichael Concept and Super 4 Concept

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 |  Sep 23 2011, 3:19 PM

Most people’s conception of tuner cars are brightly colored Honda Civics or other econoboxes with underbody neon lights, not to mention the requisite loud muffler.

But this heavily modified Toyota Camry has enough horsepower on hand to beat down nearly anything on four wheels, without giving away anything visually.

This mid-1990s Toyota Camry has a specially designed turbocharger setup mated to its 3.0L V6, with a giant T51 turbocharger helping to crank out the astronomical power figures. Check out the video below to see the Camry doing its thing on a dyno.

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 |  Feb 28 2011, 5:47 AM

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Famed Audi tuner MTM will be debuting their take on the Audi R8 supercar at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show on Tuesday, and you’d have to be blind to miss it, with its fully polished chrome bodywork that took some 700 hours to complete.

The MTM car isn’t all show either. With a 777 horsepower twin turbo engine good for 217 mph, you’ll be able to make a getaway before anyone can call you out on your corny taste.

Gallery: MTM Audi R8

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 |  Dec 16 2010, 4:13 PM

If you’ve ever taken an auto shop class, you’ll remember the shop cars as being anything but desirable. K-Cars, T-Body GM’s and Ford Panthers involved drug related homicides often littered the garage area, while a crusty old teacher instructed you on the finer points of rebuilding a 3-speed automatic transmission.

For some lucky kids in Orange County, California, their new shop car isn’t an old junker, but a Nissan Altima heavily renowned by Nissan legend Steve Millen. Millen sold the car to the school for $1, leading us to believe that it was in no way street legal and unable to be titled. While there might not be any joyriding in the new shop car, learning to work on a modified car must be a treat for the teenagers in the auto shop class.

[Source: Orange County Register]

 |  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 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, 1:42 PM
Honda CR-Z

Honda CR-Z

Although we brought you some of the first pics of the Honda CR-Z racer, we had to wait another 12 hours to see Honda‘s other two concepts, also based on the CR-Z.

The first, a CR-Z equipped with Mugen accessories, will actually be available as a series of dealer installed parts sold as one kit. Only 300 kits will be made available, with a front grille, rear wing spoiler, 17″ wheels, floor mats, a Mugen shift knob and a billet oil cap. Customers will also get an individually numbered plaque, which may or may not add a few pesos to the resale value of the car.

The CR-Z Hybrid R concept car was also unveiled, and was described as road-going version of the CR-Z Hybrid racer, although it’s decidedly biased towards the “tuner” side of the auto world. Using the same 200 horsepower turbocharged engine, limited-slip differential and suspension setup, the Hybrid R also features bright red paintwork, huge wheels and an obnoxiously large spoiler. If you like that sort of thing, it’s probably a good way to save gas and look cool. We’ll stick with the race car.

GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Hybrid R

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GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Mugen

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Hit the jump to view the official press release and video coverage of the press conference

[Source: Honda]

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]

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 |  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…

 |  Sep 23 2010, 3:38 PM

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Hyundai‘s Genesis 2.0T gets the lions share of attention from the tuning community, but the 3.8 V6, with a 300 horsepower V6, is potentially an even better building block for making big power.

Based on the 3.8 Genesis Coupe R-Spec, the ARK edition puts out an estimated 450-horsepower through a supercharger kit, a bolt-on exhaust and intake system (including headers, test pipes and a muffler system) and an upgraded 4-puck clutch. Volk TE37 wheels, a big brake kit and full coilovers wind out the chassis upgrades, while a Bride seat, Takata harness and a 6-point rollcage help keep you in place.

The car is set to debut at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, but we think that’s a crime. Better to let us loose on a road course so we can give our impressions right to Hyundai.

GALLERY: ARK Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec

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[Source: Hyundai]

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