Kia Mixes Beer and Ice Cream as it Rolls into SEMA

A way to spend a “Day at the Races.”

by on Nov.05, 2014

The Kia Optima race car will sport a new look when it gets back on the track early next year.

Beer and ice cream don’t necessarily mix together– but they’re proving a tasty combination at the Kia stand at this year’s SEMA Show, offering up the themes for two of the Korean carmaker’s lighthearted concept vehicles.

Kia has a history of finding unusual ways to tweak its production vehicles for the big aftermarket show, and this year proves no exception. The theme, this time around, is “A Day at the Races,” and the centerpiece is the maker’s very successful motorsports entry, a Kia Optima decked out in the new livery it will wear for the 2014 racing season.

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Kia has reason to boast. It announced its entry into motorsports just five years ago – not so coincidentally, at the 2009 SEMA Show. It has already won 11 races, about 15% of the events it has entered, nabbing 33 podium finishes overall.

But what’s a day at the races without some beer and snacks? And that’s where Kia gets creative.

Kia customized a Sedona into a rolling brewpub for San Diego's Ballast Point Brewery.

The first of the four SEMA concepts starts out as a conventional Kia Sedona minivan – then the back half of the roof is shaved off, replaced with a flip-open clamshell top made of solid mahogany. But it’s what you find inside that will likely most please race fan – and anyone else who likes a good brew.

(Hyundai amps it up with an assortment of performance-oriented SEMA concepts. Click Here to check them out.)

The package was designed specifically for San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewery, maker of the award-winning Sculpin IPA. And for those who prefer just a bit less hoppiness, the customized minivan also can serve up schooners of Ballast’s Pale Ale.

It's easy to get Smitten with this California confectionary's unique ice cream concoctions.

The design has an old-timey feel to it, completed by the custom-airbrushed logo and signs.

Sadly, because of federal safety restrictions, the roof-mod has made it illegal to drive the Kia beer hauler on the street, so Ballast will actually have to tow it to a track or other party destination.

(Ford’s legendary Mustang King Cobra makes its return – sort of. Click Here for a closer look.)

The Smitten Ice Cream Soul EV, however, is fully street-legal and ready to serve up some more joy thanks to the folks at the popular San Francisco shop that uses liquid nitrogen – at a frigid 320-below – to produce almost instant ice cream concoctions.

Kia's Sedona can be turned into a handy accessory for those who love go-karting.

The design is a bit complex and required a special barrier between the front seat occupants and the BRR ice cream machine. Additional hardware is hauled along on a trailer done up in matching pearl cherry red paint, with cherry wheels and moon hubs.

“It’s the coolest and greenest catering vehicle around,” suggests Kia’s sales chief Michael Sprague.

A third Kia concept provides a sweet opportunity for those who like go-karting. Developed in cooperation with Rider Magazine, the Ultimate Karting Sedona can carry along two CRG shifter karts, one on the van’s roof, the other in a matching trailer.

The van also provides plenty of interior space for racing suits, fuel tanks and other accessories.

(Live from Las Vegas! Click Here for our complete coverage of the 2014 SEMA Show.)

This customized K900 is perfect for a race team owner, suggests Kia's Michael Sprague.

For those who want a sweet and sporty ride when they head to the track, Kia wraps it up with another joint project with Rider Magazine, this one based on the maker’s full-size luxury sedan, the new K900.

It’s a ride befitting a team owner, suggests Sprague, and along with some tweaks to make it more visually striking, the High-Performance K900 also gets the sort of mods that live up to that name, starting with twin Garrett turbochargers – visible through a viewing port in the trunk. Yes, in the back, where they’re supposed to generate less heat for the engine compartment, though you probably wouldn’t to carry any Smitten ice cream or Ballast brew.

The customized K900 also gets big performance wheels and tires, a beefed up Eibach suspension, and 8-piston brakes.

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