Posts Tagged ‘2011 sema show’

Suzuki Makes Splash with Marine Concept

Grand Vitara show car can handle land and sea.

by on Nov.04, 2011

The Marine Concept brings together Suzuki's auto and boat operations.

Suzuki likes to claim there aren’t many obstacles that its Grand Vitara can’t overcome.  Not on land, anyway.  But its Marine Concept adds a new dimension to what the SUV can tackle.

The concept car, er amphibious vehicle, made its debut at the annual SEMA Show, in Las Vegas, this week, the project developed by students at Ohio Technical College.

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They started out with a conventional Suzuki Grand Vitara, opened up the roof, then added a Suzuki outboard motor and a nautical radar arch – as well as a “surfboard review mirror” and an ocean liner fog horn.  A nautical-themed paint job rounds out the package.

The goal was to combine Suzuki’s automotive and marine operations – though it is questionable whether the Marine Concept actually can float, never mind navigate open water.


Toyota Going Racing with B-Spec Yaris

SEMA show features an array of small racers.

by on Nov.03, 2011

Toyota will get into small car racing with this B-Spec Yaris, driven by X Games champ Jamie Bestwick.

The annual SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas has always put a premium on performance, but there’s a subtle shift to small cars, this year, as Toyota underscores with the Yaris B-Spec Club Racer it’s introducing amidst an array of customized pickups and SUVs.

The Japanese maker plans to start campaigning the hot hatch in the months ahead with Jamie Bestwick, a force to be reckoned with on the BMX circuit leading the charge.

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Toyota officials admit they need to inject a little “emotion” into the brand if it’s to recover from a series of recent setbacks, so that means not only bolder styles and better dynamics in production vehicles like the new Camry but also a more prominent presence in various race circuits.  In particular, Toyota seems to be targeting some of the more youthful  series, such as the Baja 1000 — where Andy Bell will be driving a customized Tacoma pickup also unveiled at the SEMA show – as well as the new B-Spec series.

An inside look at the B-Spec Yaris.

“It looks awesome,” Bestwick said of the Yaris.  “I’ve got 50 pics of it myself, which I keep tweeting.”

The track-ready hatchback was customized by SportsCar Magazine and features a stripped-to-the-bare-metal interior with custom racing seat and SCCA circuit-sanctioned roll cage, as well as a fire suppression system.

Cusco’s Zero-3 suspension should help enhance the Yaris’ grip, along with the 15-inch Enkei wheels and Hoosier racing tires.

SportsCar Magazine has given a boost to the base 1.5-liter engine with an updated management system, a cat-back exhaust and other tricks.

Seven-time X Games champion Bestwick aiming to compete in the 2012 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, held at the famed Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Unlike some of the other compact and subcompact race cars on display at SEMA – such as Ford’s new Focus ST-R, Toyota officials say they have no plans to offer customers a B-Spec Yaris.  But considering the growing interest in reasonably affordable, turnkey cars they just might re-think that strategy, especially if Bestwick scores another victory at Road America.

(Ford will offer affordable, turnkey racer, the Focus ST-R, to pros, amateurs and track day enthusiasts. Click Here for more.)

Ford Launches “New” ’65 Mustang

Maker offering factory bodies of original pony car.

by on Oct.31, 2011

Workers prep a new Ford Mustang body shell which can recreate anything from a '64-1/2 to a '66 model.

Everything old is new again – especially when it comes to the classic 1964-1/2, ’65 and ’66 Mustangs.

Like many makers, Ford has a catalogue full of parts for those original pony cars, everything from brakes to seats.  But now, it seems, you can even order all-new, factory-approved Mustang bodies rather than having to scrounge up rusted and dinged-up originals.

“The 1964-66 Mustang is the most restored vintage vehicle,” said Dennis Mondrach, Ford Restoration Parts licensing manager. “But the number of original 1964-66 vintage bodies is shrinking every year. Most of the original Mustangs left in scrapyards are rusted or wrecked beyond repair.”

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So, for those determined to have an “original” Mustang, Ford turned to Pennsylvania-based Dynacom International, which was given access to original technical drawings, blueprints and specifications for parts.  The supplier is producing precise duplicates of the original body – albeit with a few modifications that customers are likely to appreciate.

“The new body shell is made of virgin metal and uses modern welding techniques,” explained Mondrach. “It comes rustproofed, and after final adjustment and finish preparation of the body panels, it is ready for painting and final assembly.”


First Look: 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport

Luxury maker unleashing an assortment of production cars and concepts at SEMA Show.

by on Oct.26, 2011

With the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport Toyota's luxury marque hopes to add some adrenaline to the brand.

Lexus executives will have a busy couple days during the upcoming SEMA show as they unveil an assortment of concept and production vehicles that will include the next-generation GS F Sport.

The idea is to instill a little bit of attitude into what might best be described as a sedate, even boring brand better known for its reliability than adrenaline-inspiring designs and performance.  Along with the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport, the Toyota luxury division will reveal some show car offerings that could very well help redefine the brand.

Your SEMA Source!

“The all-new GS 350 with F SPORT package will offer our customers more agility and a sportier appearance,” suggested Mark Templin, Lexus general manager. “The racing-inspired F SPORT components were precision engineered for this vehicle, providing quality performance without compromise.”


Hyundai ARK Performance Veloster Coming to SEMA

Adding some extra muscle to the new 3-door.

by on Sep.30, 2011

ARK 's Veloster isn't your everyday entry-level coupe.

As regular readers of know, we recently gave a generally positive review to the new Hyundai Veloster, an affordable and distinctively styled coupe that replaces such past throw-away offerings as the Tiburon.  If one thing was missing, we noted, it was a bit more muscle.

(Click Here for the review.)

Well, if the Hyundai ARK Performance Veloster is any indication, perhaps the Korean carmaker has been listening.  The prototype, unveiled in these renderings prior to its official launch at the 2011 SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, puts the new 3-door on steroids.

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The one-off pumps up the basic 1.6-liter inline-four engine from a mere 138 horsepower to 210 with the addition of a twin-scroll supercharger.  Other changes ensure that anyone in your path is likely to get out of the way.  The real question is not whether the ARK-tuned Veloster is fast but how fast we might see Hyundai actually put some of its technology into production – rumors persisting despite some denials by the Korean maker that a turbo version of the new Veloster is on its way.


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