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Posts Tagged ‘2012 sema show’

Honda Shows Supercharged CR-Z

Will the not-so-hot hatch finally get the performance buyers have demanded?

by on Oct.31, 2012

Honda offers some hope to those who want real performance from the little CR-Z.

Honda fans attending this week’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas are in for a treat as the maker pulls the wraps of a series of concept vehicles that includes a supercharged version of the not-so-hot hatch CR-Z.

Though the Japanese maker insists the show car is simply an “exploration of the performance potential of the CR-Z Sport Hybrid,” Honda officials have sent broad signals that they’re looking for ways to punch up the performance of the much-maligned 3-door.  And the SEMA Show has become a test ground for numerous makers to measure whether concepts will click with performance-oriented buyers.

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Formally named the HPD Supercharged CR-Z Concept, it’s the work of the Honda Performance Division – which has a number of other show cars making their debut in Sin City this week, including the Accord Sedan X-Package and the Acura ILX Performance Racer.


Scion Unveils Three FR-S Concepts for SEMA

A hint of what's to come?

by on Oct.30, 2012

Daniel Song’s FR-S GT concept.

The hot new Scion FR-S will be putting in a turn at this week’s upcoming SEMA Show, Toyota’s youthful brand unveiling three tuner editions that just might hint of things to come.

Scion took a little different approach to prepare for the annual aftermarket show – which regularly draws an assortment of concepts and tuner models. The maker picked three custom car builders and gave each one an FR-S, $15,000 to spend and three months to come up with the coolest show car they could imagine.

The finished products will go on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week and the winner of the Eighth Annual Scion Tuner Challenge will get another $10,000 for pocket money.

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“This year’s SEMA show has extra energy from the recent launch of the 2013 FR-S sports car,” said Steve Hatanaka, Scion auto shows and events manager. “The buzz and enthusiasm from FR-S owners has been tremendous as they look for ways to take their cars to the next level with custom and performance accessories. This year’s Scion Tuner Challenge contestants did an amazing job showcasing how the FR-S can be personalized.”


Chevrolet Has Big Plans for its Small Cars at SEMA

Spark, Sonic and Cruze concepts get performance makeovers.

by on Oct.22, 2012

The Chevy Cruze Upscale is one of an assortment of small car concepts the maker will unveil at SEMA.

For the first time in years, Chevrolet’s small cars are getting some traction and General Motors’s largest brand hopes to gain even more attention with an assortment of new concept cars based on its Spark, Sonic and Cruze models that will make their debut at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas later this week.

“With Chevy’s new small cars attracting young buyers with a taste for customization, Spark, Sonic and Cruze are the perfect canvasses to express their personalities,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “The content, colors and performance of each concept is being evaluated for possible production as Chevrolet continues to seek new ways to give customers more choices.”

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The small-car concept vehicles demonstrate a range of performance-based styling expressions, including the first application of Chevrolet’s Z-Spec treatment for Spark with family traits, such as the mesh grille inserts and graphic accents. The Z-Spec concept demonstrates a cohesive design with a family of factory-engineered accessories and the best of the aftermarket under a single theme.


Ford Reveals Five Focus SEMA Concepts

Power to the pavement.

by on Oct.17, 2012

Ford's Bojix Fusion Concept for SEMA.

Ford is focused on SEMA.  Quite literally, the Detroit maker planning to reveal at least five specially tuned versions of its popular Focus five-door during the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association’s annual show in Las Vegas later this month.

The SEMA show has become a big deal for the auto industry, not just the typical tuners and performance parts makers but big manufacturers like Ford who have been using the event to test out new ideas, drum up some headlines – and perhaps form some new alliances with aftermarket suppliers who might add to the options available for a car like the Ford Focus.

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Ford has released renderings and images that suggest it’s trying to build up the performance bona fides of the compact hatchback, starting with one SEMA special that pairs Ford with its once-familiar ally Cosworth LLC. Together, they’ve bumped the pony count up to 330, a 30% bump in horsepower, as well as a 20% increase in torque. The Ford Racing-modified 2.0-liter EcoBoost was finished off by M&J Enterprises and features a Tangerine Scream finish and detailing designed to fit on the track.


Hyundai Transforms SEMA-tuned Veloster into Velocity Concept

Poseur no more.

by on Oct.16, 2012

What happens when you pump 400 hp out of a Hyundai Veloster? You get the Velocity Concept.

If there were any significant complaints when the quirky little Hyundai Veloster first hit the road it was a lack of performance – a polite way of saying the original version was slightly slower than a snail.  Hyundai clearly signaled its intent to resolve that problem with a sportier turbo concept it debuted at the annual SEMA aftermarket show last autumn.

For those who think the turbo version still leaves a little lacking, perhaps they might want to check out Hyundai’s newest Veloster-based show car which will make its appearance at the 2012 Specialty Equipment Marketers Assoc. gathering at the Las Vegas Convention Center later this month.

Poseur no more, the Hyundai Velocity Concept is designed to deliver everything possible from the edgy little hatchback – and to let us wonder just whether some of the tricks we’re seeing might eventually land in the showroom.

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The project is a joint venture teaming the Hyundai America Technical Center in Irvine, California – known as HATCI – and the race wizards at Cosworth who provided significant engine upgrades including modified pistons, rods, fuel management and a high-boost, intercooled turbo.  That’s enough to deliver a full 400 horsepower – just a whisker short of twice the stock Veloster Turbo’s 201 hp — and 350 pound-feet of torque from the compact 1.6-liter direct-injected inline-four.