KIA took to the 2015 SEMA Show to unveil four new hand-built concepts meant to reflect certain regions throughout the United States.
Today also marked the first-time SEMA appearance of the Trail’ster electric hybrid AWD concept we saw early this year in Chicago, as well as the return of the Ballast Point Sedona, which was on display last year. KIA’s 2015 SEMA concepts indeed look ready to celebrate the spirit of the American Road Trip.
KIA US Marketing VP Tim Chaney said that “Over the course of our 21 years in the U.S. market, we’ve watched with pride as our vehicles have helped people travel and explore and enjoy all that this country has to offer. This year’s SEMA show gives us the opportunity to embrace that spirit of adventure found on the open road as we highlight the diversity of America and the many ways that people personalize their vehicles in pursuit of their passions and the expression of individuality.”
While a total of six custom vehicles were put on display, we’ll start by taking a look at the four all-new concepts first.
The A1A Optima was built with what KIA calls Florida’s “subtropical splendor” in mind. That’s where the name comes from by the way, as the A1A is also a 300-mile (482 km) long highway in the Sunshine State. The A1A Concept is certainly a breath of fresh air, so to speak, compared to the real all-new 2016 Optima – and since they have plenty of sunshine in California, just imagine what Blake Griffin could do with this thing.
On a more serious note, KIA really does want us to think of the A1A Concept as the perfect car for South Beach, which might turn out to be a rather tough sell.
Responsible for chopping off the roof and everything else, were artists from LUX Motorwerks. They even went as far as to use reinforced steel tubes (hidden within the body) for extra rigidity. The rear doors of the A1A swing open on rear-mounted hinges, giving off a clear impression of luxury. If only they would have done something about those interior door handles.
The exterior features a vibrant turquoise paint scheme and a set of 20″ HRE S104 wheels – which do indeed look like they belong in South Beach. As for the interior, there are deep bucket seats up front and custom double buckets in the back, separated by extended armrests and a unique center console.
Performance-wise, the A1A features a 245 HP 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, working together with a custom exhaust system. Also worth noticing is the lowered ride height, courtesy of the Ksport coilover sport suspension.
PacWest Adventure Sorento
Since PacWest stands for Pacific West, the Adventure Sorento is aimed at both Seattle and Portland (the Emerald City and the Rose City respectively) as well as the thousands of square miles of forest in between. People who call this region their home, are usually big fans of the outdoors and nature in general, which means that the PacWest Adventure Sorento would be a pretty adequate choice as a family companion.
The car was designed and hand-built by LGE-CTS Motorsports, who went with a custom multi-layer painting process utilizing pearls and candy effects – ultimately giving of a sort of chameleon effect. This uber-capable Sorento is packing twin LED low-profile light bars, an all new-front under carriage assembly, Fox Racing 2.0 coilover shocks, Eibach springs, new front & rear bumpers which all adds up to 6 extra inches of ride height.
Aside from the 290 HP at its disposal, the PacWest Adventure Sorento also comes with a WFJ snorkel intake system.
Photo Safari Sedona
The Photo Safari Sedona was custom-built by the same creative LGE-CTS Motorsports team, only this time for the Northeast region of the United States. The team actually consulted with professional photographers throughout the build process in order to fit this Sedona with a custom fabricated tubular steel roof rack, utilized for mounting DSLR cameras and a high definition WASPcam action sports camera system. The roof rack is also strong enough to support a photographer.
The Photo Safari Sedona is also equipped with a Street Scene Speed Grille and a Hellwig auto level 2,500 lb airbag suspension system which can automatically adjust the car’s ride height.
Inside, by removing the middle seats, KIA actually transformed this vehicle into a professional editing studio, even packing a 27″ iMac with a 5K retina display – which would make for a pretty spectacular $1,799 optional extra in any other MPV.
Forte Koup Mud Bogger
Last but not least of KIA’s all-new concepts for this year’s SEMA show is the Forte Koup Mud Bogger – ideal for going mud racing (or mud bogging). Lux Motorwerks were the ones behind this project, and they did a pretty cool job giving this one-of-a-kind Koup a more generous ground clearance, off-road tires, modified fenders and side skirts, panoramic roof, Sparco EVO II Red Race Seats and a Sparco L575 steering wheel.
In terms of appearance, this thing looks like it’s not afraid of any sort of terrain. One might even argue in favor of taking it over the PacWest Adventure Sorento when planning an offroad expedition.
As for the Ballast Point Sedona and Trail’ster concepts, well, the first one was one of KIA’s 2014 SEMA show cars, and the second made its debut in Chicago back in February. The two concepts are clearly very different, where one is nothing more than a mobile brewery of sorts, while the other is a customized Soul with an electric all-wheel drive system.