By Jake Lingeman
Somewhere in between the 1,000-hp customs and the carbon-fiber tuners at SEMA, a small company called Li-ion Motors has introduced the all-electric Inizio. The electric carmaker just won $2.5 million at the Progressive Automotive X-Prize in September.
The company claims this American-made, emission-free electric will have a range of between 200 and 250 miles on one charge and a top speed ranging from 150 mph to 200 mph, depending on battery choice and electric motor. The numbers sound too good to be true, but the company's president is confident.
By Greg Migliore
The awards were a nod to the increasing importance car companies place on SEMA and developing cars and trucks that capture the latest trends in the aftermarket. The awards were voted on by exhibitors, with the tallies coming in Monday night.
The Camaro beat out a field of stiff competition to win top honors in the car category, edging out the Dodge Challenger, Ford's Mustang and Fiesta, the Audi A4, the Honda CR-Z and several others. The car category was by far the largest, with 12 entries.
By Greg Migliore
The Mugen package includes a full body kit, unique grille, rear spoiler, 17-inch aluminum wheels and black aluminum shift knob. Pricing will be announced closer to launch. The kits come with a serial-numbered plaque.
The CR-Z is Honda's two-seat hybrid equipped with a six-speed manual that is aimed at enthusiasts.
By Jonathon Wong
Following a fairly successful inaugural season competing in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, Kia showed a Forte Koup Type R concept at the 2010 SEMA show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Kinetic Motorsports, which built and campaigned two Forte Koup race cars in the Continental Tire series, also developed the Type R concept.
Visually, the car receives wider front fenders and rear quarter panels, front lip, side sills with rear arch flares and is painted in a flat dark shadow gray metallic color. The car rolls on 18-inch forged BBS wheels wrapped with Continental Conti Sport DWS tires. Additional handling improvements come from Kinetic performance springs, a Kinetic custom limited-slip differential and a strut tower brace.
Minor drivetrain modifications include an upgraded clutch, lightweight flywheel and underdrive engine pulley system. A custom Kinetic exhaust and K&N air filter is also installed. To up stopping power, Alcon four-piston brake calipers are fitted at all four corners.
By Jonathon Wong
Customizing your Chevrolet at the dealership is about to get easier with the launch of a Z-Spec parts catalog. Consisting of Chevrolet-designed exterior and interior upgrades and performance parts developed with the likes of Brembo, Borla and K&N, Z-Spec will be available to customers on a piece-by-piece basis or grouped together to created limited-edition Chevy models.
To illustrate some possibilities, Chevy brought Cruze, Volt and Spark concepts to SEMA all outfitted with Z-Spec parts. The Cruze, covered in an eye-catching medium dark spectraflair orange metallic paint job, is fitted with custom Z-Spec graphics, gloss white and matte gray graphic stripes from Graphic Concepts, a ground-effects kit, specific grille, fog lamps and 19-inch BBS wheels. Inside, there's a leather-trimmed dashboard, door panels, Recaro race buckets and a leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel.
By Mark Vaughn
We'll take both.
The Swagger Wagon Supreme takes its inspiration from the humble Sienna featured in the TV commercial and viral videos with more than 7 million views. The comedian "father" from the vids even showed up to introduce the ride (the TV "mom" was absent, spurring rumors the "marriage" was on the rocks).
Hyundai takes on Mercedes, Lexus and other posh brands with the 2011 Equus. But can it compete?
I drove Hyundai’s Korean-built luxury flagship last week. And while I won’t totally dismiss the Equus without a longer test drive, I remain ambivalent. Priced at $58,900, or $65,400 for the Ultimate edition, the Equus costs roughly $15,000 to $30,000 less than its comparably equipped rivals -- a point that has been made ad nauseam since the car was revealed. Problem is, those rivals include the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Jaguar XJ, Audi A8 and Lexus LS -- a ruthless bunch that includes several splendid, recent redesigns.
First off, let's get one thing straight: The Equus looks generic and lacks design character. Hyundai’s new Genesis near-luxury sedan, at roughly 35 grand, is by far the better-looking car. Performance is adequate at best for this class, despite a solid 385-horsepower V8 engine. Steering and handling can’t touch the creamy smoothness and isolation of a Benz, nor the thrilling sportiness of the BMW, Jag or Audi.
The new Quadro line of 3- and 4-wheel bikes.
Explore New Cars
More on MSN Autos
Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5
About Exhaust Notes
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at email@example.com.