Automotive

Kia road trips around the USA with its SEMA concepts

Kia road trips around the USA ...
Kia gets adventurous at SEMA 2015
Kia gets adventurous at SEMA 2015
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Kia designed the Ballast Point Sedona for last year's SEMA Show
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Kia designed the Ballast Point Sedona for last year's SEMA Show
The Ballast Point Sedona has a fold-up bar in place of its rear cabin
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The Ballast Point Sedona has a fold-up bar in place of its rear cabin
The roof flips up and the bar out for an impromptu outdoor bar
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The roof flips up and the bar out for an impromptu outdoor bar
The Ballast Point Sedona includes two taps designed to pour fresh Ballast Point beer
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The Ballast Point Sedona includes two taps designed to pour fresh Ballast Point beer
The nautical theme is borrowed from the San Diego-based brewery itself
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The nautical theme is borrowed from the San Diego-based brewery itself
The mahogany shell is supported by a boxed-steel frame
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The mahogany shell is supported by a boxed-steel frame
The Kia Ballast Point Sedona represents Southern California at this year's SEMA Show
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The Kia Ballast Point Sedona represents Southern California at this year's SEMA Show
Kia Ballast Point Sedona
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Kia Ballast Point Sedona
Kia revealed the Trail'ster earlier this year and uses it to represent the Rocky Mountain region
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Kia revealed the Trail'ster earlier this year and uses it to represent the Rocky Mountain region
The Kia Sorento gets ready for the mountains and forests of the Pacific Northwest
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The Kia Sorento gets ready for the mountains and forests of the Pacific Northwest
Kia's topless A1A Optima is ready to cruise the coast
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Kia's topless A1A Optima is ready to cruise the coast
The Forte Koup Mud Bogger gets dirty
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The Forte Koup Mud Bogger gets dirty
The Mud Bogger has raised suspension and off-road tires
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The Mud Bogger has raised suspension and off-road tires
The Forte Koup Mud Bogger sits four inches higher than the stock car
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The Forte Koup Mud Bogger sits four inches higher than the stock car
The Mud Bogger is reinforced with a roll cage
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The Mud Bogger is reinforced with a roll cage
Inside the Forte Koup Mud Bogger
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Inside the Forte Koup Mud Bogger
Kia A1A Optima
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Kia A1A Optima
The A1A Optima has suicide doors
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The A1A Optima has suicide doors
A slick, open look for the Optima
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A slick, open look for the Optima
The A1A Optima was designed by LUX Motorwerks
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The A1A Optima was designed by LUX Motorwerks
The A1A Optima celebrates the state of Florida and its beaches and oceanfronts
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The A1A Optima celebrates the state of Florida and its beaches and oceanfronts
Soft white and titanium leather await inside
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Soft white and titanium leather await inside
Inside the Kia A1A Optima
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Inside the Kia A1A Optima
Inside the Kia A1A Optima
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Inside the Kia A1A Optima
Kia A1A Optima
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Kia A1A Optima
The A1A rides on 20-in HRE S104 wheels
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The A1A rides on 20-in HRE S104 wheels
The Kia Sedona is now ready to take photos in the Northeast, or anywhere on the map
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The Kia Sedona is now ready to take photos in the Northeast, or anywhere on the map
The Photo Safari Sedona includes a specialized roof rack and LED lighting
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The Photo Safari Sedona includes a specialized roof rack and LED lighting
The Sedona's back is cut-off for a storage bed
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The Sedona's back is cut-off for a storage bed
The bed includes purpose-designed storage solutions
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The bed includes purpose-designed storage solutions
Inside, the rear passenger seat serves as part of the work station
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Inside, the rear passenger seat serves as part of the work station
The rear seat slides out on an Extendobed
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The rear seat slides out on an Extendobed
One of the most purpose-built interiors we've ever seen
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One of the most purpose-built interiors we've ever seen
The Photo Safari Sedona is optimized for traveling photo shoots
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The Photo Safari Sedona is optimized for traveling photo shoots
The iMac editing station
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The iMac editing station
Integrated storage cubbies
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Integrated storage cubbies
The roof rack is designed for mounting various cameras and equipment
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The roof rack is designed for mounting various cameras and equipment
The Photo Safari Sedona
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The Photo Safari Sedona
The Photo Safari Sedona
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The Photo Safari Sedona
The PacWest Adventure Sorento gets a rugged parts kit
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The PacWest Adventure Sorento gets a rugged parts kit
The PacWest Adventure Sorento has a 6-in lift
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The PacWest Adventure Sorento has a 6-in lift
The PacWest includes a WFJ snorkel
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The PacWest includes a WFJ snorkel
No engine tuning means the PacWest runs on the Sorento's standard 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft
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No engine tuning means the PacWest runs on the Sorento's standard 290 horsepower and 252 lb-ft
The PacWest includes a roof rack
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The PacWest includes a roof rack
The interior features tread-pattern seating
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The interior features tread-pattern seating
The bright green finish ties into the exterior look
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The bright green finish ties into the exterior look
Inside the PacWest Adventure Sorento
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Inside the PacWest Adventure Sorento
Ready for camping, hiking or your adventure of choice
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Ready for camping, hiking or your adventure of choice
The PacWest rides on Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires
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The PacWest rides on Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires
PacWest Adventure Sorento
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PacWest Adventure Sorento
PacWest Adventure Sorento
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PacWest Adventure Sorento
PacWest Adventure Sorento
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PacWest Adventure Sorento
PacWest Adventure Sorento
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PacWest Adventure Sorento
PacWest Adventure Sorento
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PacWest Adventure Sorento
Photo Safari Sedona
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Photo Safari Sedona
Kia gets adventurous at SEMA 2015
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Kia gets adventurous at SEMA 2015
The Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger represents the American South
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The Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger represents the American South
Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
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Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
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Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
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Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
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Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
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Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
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Kia Forte Koup Mud Bogger
View gallery - 63 images

Kia isn't known for rough, tough trucks or athletic sports cars, but it's showing its fun side at this year's SEMA show. It's revealed four heavily modified cars that celebrate the spirit of the American road trip. Its open-top A1A Optima helps drivers experience the open road, while the other three concepts veer off that road for dirt, rock, mud and views.

A1A Optima convertible

Kia's topless A1A Optima is ready to cruise the coast
Kia's topless A1A Optima is ready to cruise the coast

We'll start off with the one new Kia custom designed solely for asphalt, the A1A Optima. Developed in conjunction with LUX Motorwerks, the open Optima is named after Florida's A1A highway, a scenic stretch that drops down the state's Atlantic coast past white-sand beaches and deep-blue ocean.

The radically modified concept has its roof pulled clean off. To make up for the loss of B pillars involved in opening that cockpit up to the cascading rays of the Sunshine State, Kia's moved the rear door hinges to the back, creating a set of coach doors that further separate the A1A Optima convertible from the stock sedan. The car's structure has been reinforced with steel tubes and its windshield cut off to better match the convertible build.

The turquoise car matches the cloudless sky above and provides the perfect taxi for a couple's retreat to the A1A's terminus of Key West or even a family of four's road trip to Disney World. Those occupants will enjoy a modified interior with butter-soft cream and titanium leather bucket seats. The car rides on 20-in wheels secured to ride-height-lowering Ksport coilover suspension. The 245-hp turbo four spits emissions through a high-performance exhaust system.

Photo Safari Sedona pickup

The Kia Sedona may have a Southwest model name, but it gets a Northeast spin for SEMA. It's inspired by the colorful fall foliage famous in places like New England and Upstate New York. Kia consulted with professional photographers and worked with LGE-CTS Motorsports to turn the eight-seat Sedona into a two-seat photography studio on wheels.

The Sedona's back is cut-off for a storage bed
The Sedona's back is cut-off for a storage bed

he elephant in the room with this build is the short pickup bed that stands in for the rearmost section of the Sedona's cabin. That bed houses integrated storage, exterior electrical outlets, and a hidden compartment for low-angle photos. The burly tubular steel roof rack up above is purpose-built for mounting equipment like DSLR cameras, action cams, booms, or jigs and can also accommodate the photographer him/herself.

Actual vehicular equipment is also tuned for assisting with picture-perfect photo snapping. A 2,500-lb (1,134 kg) airbag suspension system provides auto leveling and ride height adjustment, and the KC HiLites LED lighting system instantly lights up a dark scene at the flip of the dashboard-integrated switch. Photogs don't have to limit themselves to asphalt-based photo taking thanks to the build's light off-roading capability. It rides on Nitto Dura Grappler 265/65R17 tires and 17-in Method “Rally” wheels.

The Safari Sedona's interior serves as command center and editing studio. The original eight seats have been trimmed down to a driver's seat and rear passenger/work seat, making room for storage in the front-passenger area and an editing studio in back. The editing area is set up around a 27-in iMac with 5K retina display wired to a military grade battery that charges when the Sedona is on the move. There's also a handcrafted walnut desk, keyboard tray and cabinets from Highline Cabinets, and RW wireless radio headsets for driver-photographer communications. The rear Beard Torque racing seat locks into the editing bay and can also slide 3 feet (914 cm) out the rear passenger-side door. The 30-in (76-cm) retractable rear window provides extended viewing outside.

PacWest Adventure Sorento

Kia offered only very basic details when it teased the PacWest Adventure Sorento last week, but it's provided all the big points of interest now. The concept should probably be called the PacNorthwest Adventure because it's inspired specifically by the forests and laid-back, outdoor-friendly culture surrounding Seattle and Portland.

The PacWest Adventure Sorento gets a rugged parts kit
The PacWest Adventure Sorento gets a rugged parts kit

Another collaboration with LGE-CTS Motorsports, the PacWest Adventure is ruggedized for off-road driving with a redesigned front underside, overhauled suspension with Fox Racing 2.0 coilover shocks and Eibach springs, LT285/70R17 Nitto Trail Grappler M/Ts beaded to BMF S.S.D. 17x8.5-in beadlock-style wheels, and fabricated front and rear bumpers with steel skid plates and side bars. The revised Sorento rides 6 in (15 cm) higher than stock.

More than just a splash of paint, the green exterior came to life through a custom, multi-layer painting process that used pearls and candy effects to deliver an ever-changing chameleon effect. Components like the roof rack, LED light bars, WFJ snorkel and Mile Marker winch add to the car's overall rough-and-ready presence.

The PacWest Sorento houses an equally wilderness-inspired interior complete with LED lighting rocker switches, floor mats, tire-tread themed seats, custom painted dash and door panels, and green leather. There's also an 8-in Alpine Mobile Media entertainment system with front camera.

Forte Koup Mud Bogger

The Mud Bogger has raised suspension and off-road tires
The Mud Bogger has raised suspension and off-road tires

As we originally reported, the fun-loving Forte Koup Mud Bogger represents the South and features a 4-in (10-cm) suspension lift, 28-in off-road tires, riveted fender flares and a roll cage. It also has white powder-coated Fuel Off-road 15x10-in Revolver wheels, a white powder-coated brush guard and a Rigid LED light bar. That deep blue paint that dominates the patriotic red, white and blue theme is a shade called Midnight Sapphire.

Inside, the car features Sparco Evo II red race seats with Sparco snap-in harnesses, a Sparco steering wheel, and a vinyl pushback top for the panoramic roof.

Trail'ster and Ballast Point Sedona

When Kia announced on Monday that it would be revealing four all-new custom cars at SEMA, we thought maybe it ran out of time to complete all the six SEMA concepts it promised last week, but it turns out that the other two are previous reveals. Given the four in-depth builds above, we can't really fault Kia for simply tagging a couple of relatively new concepts with different US regions and calling it a half-dozen.

We looked at the Soul-based Trail'ster hybrid AWD crossover during its 2015 Chicago debut. Kia ties it into the snow, skiing, camping, trails and off-roading of the Rocky Mountain region.

The roof flips up and the bar out for an impromptu outdoor bar
The roof flips up and the bar out for an impromptu outdoor bar

The other concept comes from last year's SEMA Show and fills out the remaining corner of the map by representing California and San Diego's Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. Its claim to fame is the mahogany-skinned flip-roof, fold-out bar in back. Not only did the mod job involve replacing the rear cabin with a bar-hosting bed, but the front passenger area was gutted to make room for four half-barrel kegs, a dual Micro Matic tap system and accompanying equipment.

Check out the full gallery of Kia SEMA cars and let us know which (if any) is your favorite.

Source: Kia

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