New 'Revive the Passion' campaign is marketing at its finest, but not much else.
That sense has invariably led Porsche to pastures previously not trodden with models like the massive Cayenne and similarly bloated Panamera. Despite initial grumblings by press and enthusiasts alike, Porsche’s recent moves have paid massive dividends, allowing the company to continue to produce some of the best-engineered sports cars on the planet.
That doesn’t mean Porsche is exactly following the blueprint created by its forebears, though.
By Evan Griffey
SEMA show cars are about form, function and flash. Few are practical -- in fact, a number of them don’t even roll under their own power -- and that’s OK. This show isn’t about practicality. It’s about the ultimate expression of passion, performance and style.
Tuner cars are a big part of the mix here in Las Vegas. While mostly associated with Asian brands, a tuner car is actually defined as any stock or factory-default automobile with, or suitable for, aftermarket modifications meant to enhance speed, power or style.
You’ll find them on every aisle in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Here are our choices for the top five tuners here in Sin City.
Honda CR-Z by Fortune
This clean and functional build doesn’t go overboard with the actual cosmetic modifications. A carbon-fiber hood and front lip, sportier mirrors and custom Track Spec ADV10 wheels are about all the exterior modifications you can see. Underneath the sheet metal, you’ll find Baer Racing brake upgrades and Air Lift suspension, adding to the CR-Z’s fun-to-drive factor. Inside, an Image Dynamics audio setup, custom gauges, Trent’s Trick Upholstery and Status Racing goods add ambience.
By Brad Constant
Chevrolet will debut two new Corvette concepts at this year's SEMA show. The 2011 Corvette Z06X Track Car and the 2011 Corvette Jake Edition concepts are designed to show how Corvettes can be customized.
2011 Corvette Z06X Track Car Concept
Chevrolet teamed up with Pratt & Miller, partners in Corvette Racing, to design the Corvette Z06X concept. Their goal was to showcase how enthusiasts can turn a production Corvette into a full-on track car.
“This concept car represents a midpoint between our GT race car and the production Z06,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer.
The powerplant is an LS7, 7.0-liter V8 engine that is upgraded with a low-restriction air-intake system, a high-capacity radiator and a racing-spec cooling system. Power is transferred to the rear tires through a Tremec six-speed manual transmission.
By Jake Lingeman
The hot-rodders and tuners at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show better pay attention on their way out of Las Vegas--the Stealth Ford Police Interceptor may be on their tail.
Ford designer Melvin Betancourt took the existing Taurus Police Interceptor and created a streamlined, unmarked version for some deep undercover work.
The Stealth Interceptor features a revamped grille and lighting. The exhaust was redone, as was the interior. Ford says it tried to get a sinister look blended with muscle and mystery--mission accomplished.
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.
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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
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