(Photos by Kia, Keith Griffin) Kia Motors American had a whole “Day at the Races” theme going on at its SEMA 2014 booth this year. Five years after it officially announced it would be entering a factory-backed racing program at the 2009 SEMA show, Kia racked up its second title-winning season at the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Manufacturer’s Championship. The display at Kia’s booth is a tip of the hat to the brand’s racing success.
“Competing – and winning – in the Pirelli World Challenge series allows Kia to provide tangible proof of the quality, durability, reliability and performance of the vehicles we build,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, sales & marketing, KMA. “This year’s SEMA show gives us the opportunity to celebrate our hard-fought championships while also embracing the fun and excitement of the fan experience in a way that only Kia could do.”
Ballast Point Sedona
Ballast Point makes handcrafted beers and spirits, and the Sedona on display at SEMA acted as a rolling dispensary for those premium libations.
The Ballast Point Sedona included a hand-formed solid mahogany shell with a flip-top roof and fold-down front bar. A custom boxed-steel frame supports heavy duty hinges and struts fro the wood clamshell top.
One of the Sedona’s power sliding doors was welded shut, but the second is fully functional for the bartender to get into the open air cabin.
Minivans are generally all about passengers, but this time, the passengers need to ride somewhere else. The Ballast Point Sedona dispenses with the seats for a set of Micro Matic taps, a jockey box with 120-feet of copper beer-cooling coils and up to four half-barrel kegs of Ballast Point’s finest. Front passengers? Nope. Extra kegs and supplies.
Built in partnership between Kia and Ballast Point, following the SEMA show, this Sedona will serve as a fully functioning marketing display vehicle for the San Diego-based craft brewery. When not on tour in 2015, it will be on display at Ballast Point’s flagship restaurant and tap room in San Diego, California.
Smitten Ice Cream Soul EV
Kia paired up with San Francisco-based Smitten Ice Cream, transforming the zero-emissions Kia Soul EV with Smitten’s patented Brrr™ ice cream machine.
Smitten was founded by a Stanford business school graduate, and churns ice cream to order, using all-natural, organic ingredients. Liquid Nitrogen freezes the ingredients at -321 Fahrenheit for the freshest, purest, creamiest ice cream on the planet.
Gallagher Designs put the Smitten Ice Cream truck and trailer together. Red and white leather upholstery and interior paneling complement the sleek exterior. Tailor-made red smoothie wheels with baby moon caps add a sporty/hotrod feel to this modern structure with classic lines. A custom hemlock cab divider separates the driver from the ice cream equipment. Side doors open to reveal a compartment specifically designed to store custom tanks filled with liquid nitrogen. Shaved door handles open with an electronic latch and LEDs have been installed to spotlight the patented Brrr™ ice cream machine and the table work space.
Three marine speakers built into custom aluminum “waffle” cones, pump out modern Ice Cream Man tunes. Custom school bus-type “Stop” signs with LED lights fold out from the rear panels of the vehicle as another small homage to old-school ice cream trucks.
The lightweight aluminum teardrop trailer adds nostalgia to the Smitten Soul EV while providing added storage and functionality.
Following the SEMA show, the street-legal Smitten Soul EV will operate as a catering/marketing display vehicle for the Smitten Ice Cream Company.
To get team owners and drivers to the track, what better vehicle than the ultra-luxe Kia K900? Kia Racing drivers, Mark Wilkins and Nic Jönsson consulted with LUX Motorwerks to build the High-Performance K900, taking the K900’s already impressive performance to new heights.
Outside, there’s a custom, one-off body kit with carbon fiber inserts, custom-blended gray paint, blacked-out chrome trim and massive 21-inch gloss-black HRE RS100 wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires.
There are interior mods, too, but as BestRide’s man Keith Griffin pointed out, the interesting engine mod is tucked under the rear bumper. The K900 already sports 420hp, but hidden under the bumper is a Garrett 2871R twin-turbo, boosting the engine to about 650hp. If you really want a look at it, you can see it through a viewing port in the trunk.
Ultimate Karting Sedona
The other custom Sedona is built to haul a kart. Karting has become the Little League of professional racing. Painted Kinetic Motorsports Red overlaid with vinyl graphics that pay tribute to the championship-winning Kia Racing Optimas, the Sedona sports matching 20-inch BBS CH-R white powder-coated wheels mounted with Pirelli P Zero rubber. A custom kart rack sits on top, with enough room for a CRG Bambino kart and a Fiamma F35 Pro Awning. A custom-built aluminum and diamond-late trailer — with matching wheels — hauls a second CRG Road Rebel shifter kart.
The Ultimate Karting Sedona’s floor is leveled and fitted with RaceDeck rubber flooring. Diamond-plate shelves fill the cargo area of the Sedona and provide storage for spare tires, a five-gallon gas tank and Sparco karting gear. Sparco also supplied Chrono Road seats to finish off the racy look of the interior.
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