You can always trust Las Vegas to showboat the world’s weirder side, and SEMA, (the Speciality Equipment Market Association show), which takes place in Sin City this week, provides the automotive aftermarket and tuning industries with just such an opportunity each year.
First up at this year’s show is the Kia Optima convertible concept, the A1A, named, fittingly, after the Florida highway it should be cruising along. The rear doors have hinges at the back, ‘adding a touch of whimsy and fun while complementing the roadster style’ according to Kia.
In true boulevard style, the suspension has been drastically lowered and there are four individual buttercream leather bucket seats. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumping out 245bhp and a high-performance exhaust complete the look for the bonkers concept which, unfortunately for its fans, has been built only to showcase Kia’s aftermarket products.
Meanwhile, Mazda, fresh from the Tokyo motor show, has revealed Spyder and Speedster versions of its MX-5 roadster. The Spyder features a ‘bikini’ fabric roof, carbon-fibre aero kit and lightweight 17in Yokohama racing wheels, while the Speedster is a stripped-down roadster, with a deflector in place of a windscreen, ‘for an old school wind-in-the-hair sports car experience’. Both vehicles are intended to show how the aftermarket can ‘go wild’ on the MX-5.
Meanwhile, Ford is also represented at SEMA with some tuned-up and customised Mustangs. One ‘Stang has been boosted with 887bhp from its 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine while there are new body kits and front splitters all over the place.
Other cars to be heavily touched with the modification stick include the Fiat 500X plus the usual fare of Dodges and Chryslers.
Photography courtesy Kia and Mazda.