Kia Motors America Unveils Six One-of-a-Kind Sports-Themed Rides at 2011 SEMA Show


Fastest Growing Car Company in the U.S. Partners with West Coast Customs, Antenna Magazine, and Kinetic Motorsports to Create Customized Vehicles Representing the Worlds of Basketball, Golf, Surfing, Ice Hockey and Auto Racing

  • Kia’s SEMA lineup includes an Optima Hybrid inspired by basketball all-star Blake Griffin, a 2012 Soul featuring original artwork from LPGA golfer Michelle Wie, Kia’s first-ever B-Spec racecar and more

  • SEMA attendees have the opportunity to stop by the Kia booth throughout the show for games and music
  • LAS VEGAS, October 31, 2011 – Kia Motors America (KMA) is the fastest growing car company in the U.S., and with a growing sports marketing portfolio that includes basketball, women’s golf, motorsports and more, Kia arrives in fabulous Las Vegas for the 2011 SEMA Show with a roster of six outrageous sports-themed vehicles, including two cars built by the world famous West Coast Customs (WCC). Additional vehicles were conceived and built in-partnership with the popular lifestyle magazine, Antenna, as well as and Kia’s racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports. Kia’s press conference will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 9:30 a.m. at the Kia booth located in North Hall (#10805). Visitors to the Kia display also will be able to revisit the classic video games of the 1980s on five iCade gaming stations utilizing iPads® and enjoy tunes being spun throughout the show by DJ Danny.

    “Kia is experiencing unprecedented growth and momentum and we’re bringing our most exciting range of show cars ever to this year’s SEMA Show, including several variations on the stylish all-new 2012 Rio 5-door and the fuel-efficient and technology-laden Optima Hybrid,” said Michael Sprague, vice president, marketing communications, KMA. “Our involvement in the world of sports has dramatically increased awareness and perception of the Kia brand, and together with some high-profile partners we have created a lineup of fun and eye-catching vehicles with unique backstories and plenty of personality.”

    “Slam Dunk” Blake Griffin Optima Hybrid
    The critically-acclaimed Kia Optima became a pop culture icon when Blake Griffin leaped over the popular midsize sedan to win the All-Star Slam Dunk competition earlier this year. Today, Griffin is an official spokesperson for the Kia brand with several new TV spots set to air over the next few months. Taking the Kia-Blake Griffin partnership to the next level, West Coast Customs has created a basketball-themed Optima Hybrid that adds some hardwood flair to Kia’s first-ever hybrid in the U.S., which delivers class-leading fuel economy of up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway1.

    The inspiration behind the WCC Optima Hybrid is immediately apparent with its basketball-like custom orange paint scheme, which is accentuated by 20-inch matte black wheels and Griffin’s personal logo on the hood. Inside, hoop fans will find basketball-court flooring in the front and rear seating areas, custom leather seats with Griffin’s autograph embroidered in the front headrests, leather and suede door panel inserts and headliner, and a booming audio system with custom enclosures built into the rear deck lid. Two flat-screen TVs mounted in the back of the front headrests connect to a Microsoft®2 X-Box video game console and a “Pop-A-Shot” basketball hoop is mounted in the trunk for hours of off-the-court entertainment.

    “Hole-In-One” Michelle Wie Soul
    Built by West Coast Customs, the golf-themed “Hole in One” Soul was inspired by Michelle Wie, Kia’s official golf ambassador and one of the most recognizable young athletes around the world. Wie drives a Soul in northern California while attending classes at Stanford University, and this funky Soul’s “So Blue” exterior paint scheme and five-spoke 20-inch wheels incorporate her original artwork, which can also be found on the custom-embroidered Nike® golf bags she uses for tournament play. Adding even more personal style and flair, Wie’s artwork and personal logo also are integrated into the Soul’s “Snow White” leather headrests, while a baby blue painted dash and pink headliner and seating accents complete the whimsical interior look.

    Driver and passengers will be instantly transported to the golf course by the artificial grass flooring throughout the Soul, and opening the rear hatch reveals a virtual driving range with a 26-inch LED TV monitor mounted into the rear hatch and a Microsoft® X-Box 360 video game console and Microsoft® Kinect system to play golf out of the back of the vehicle. Two of Wie’s tournament-used golf bags are mounted behind the TV and conceal eight-inch speakers and a subwoofer.

    “Retro Surf” Rio 5-Door
    When the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door went on sale earlier this month it continued Kia’s design-led transformation with its world-class styling and class-leading fuel economy at 30/40 miles per gallon (mpg) (city/highway)3. For the third consecutive year, Kia has partnered with Antenna to create specialty lifestyle vehicles such as the Retro Surf Rio 5-door, which is outfitted with everything the modern-day surfer needs for a perfect day and night at the beach, including an authentic Grain wood surfboard mounted on the roof. The Rio 5-door has been lowered with a modified suspension for more aggressive handling, and the aggressive exterior design is accentuated by eye-grabbing 17-inch three-piece gold wheels, a stunning sunset-metallic golden-brown paint scheme, a custom body kit with a front splitter made of wood to match the surfboard on the roof and a redesigned rear fascia with center-mount dual exhaust.

    The front and rear seats and door panels of the Rio 5-door are upholstered in brown and beige plaid boardshorts fabric, and the wood grain center console brings the classic surfboard theme inside. For even more fun in the sun, the rear center console has been modified as a shelf to hold sunblock and other beach and ocean accessories, and the dark brown suede headliner has a built-in towel rack. When night falls, surfers and their friends will gather around the Rio 5-door’s massive rear hatch area, which has been stocked with a juicing station, a retro iCade gaming console that plays 80s-style arcade games on an iPad®, a turntable to play vinyl records, and shelves for sandals and clothing. Surf’s up!

    “Hat Trick” Forte 5-Door
    Hockey players carry a lot of bulky gear to and from the rink, and the Antenna Hat Trick Forte 5-door can handle it all with a custom hockey stick holder that stretches from the trunk through the center of the vehicle into the cabin. The power play continues inside as the rear bench seat has been converted to two bucket seats with custom upholstery and there are custom-molded sports bottle drink holders in the center console. Rubberized flooring in the front and rear seating areas simulates the surface found outside the rink, and the action continues off the ice with a mini air hockey table mounted in the rear hatch area and TVs mounted in the front seat headrests wired to a Microsoft® X-Box video game console featuring EA Sports NHL12 video game.

    The Forte 5-door is finished with custom ice-metallic gray exterior paint, 19-inch blue alloy wheels, a custom body kit and Forte Koup front bumper with carbon fiber accents and LED “hockey stick” fog lights, a quad-tipped exhaust, carbon fiber roof material and a lowered suspension. The headliner features a built-in hockey coach’s play board and the locker room-like rear cargo area features built-in compartments that house four carbon fiber hockey sticks and two jerseys color matched to the exterior of the car, an ice skate rack and glove hooks to dry out sweaty game-used equipment, and custom accent lighting.

    Rio 5-Door B-Spec Racer
    Fresh off Kia’s first ever GRAND-AM Team and Driver road racing championships in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge’s Street Tuner class, the first expansion to Kia’s U.S. motorsports program will be entry into showroom stock (“B-Spec”) racing with the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door subcompact. The Rio 5-door B-Spec racecar will compete against models like the Mazda2, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta and others in a range of events organized by various motorsports sanctioning bodies, including World Challenge, GRAND-AM, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and National Auto Sport Association (NASA). B-Spec racing is a relatively affordable way for any auto enthusiast to get into competitive motorsports with a vehicle like the all-new 2012 Rio 5-door that offers class-leading horsepower4 and fuel economy5, a new six-speed manual transmission and outstanding driving dynamics.

    Once potential racers purchase their 2012 Rio 5-door LX, a B-Spec kit that costs approximately $14,000 is available for purchase from Kia’s racing partner, Kinetic Motorsports. The kit supplies everything needed to transform the Rio 5-door from street car to racecar. Parts included in the package are a roll cage kit, racing seat, quick-release steering wheel, racing harness, shocks, lightweight wheels, spec-series tires and oil sump pan expansion kit along with complete build instructions. If preferred, the racer can have the team at Kinetic Motorsports assemble the Rio at their shop in Buford, Georgia for an additional cost.

    USTCC Optima Hybrid Pace Car
    In addition to Kia’s championship winning Forte Koup motorsports program, the wildly popular Soul has been the official Safety Car of the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) since March 2010. Kia will return to the track with the USTCC in 2012 with the stylish and fuel-efficient Optima Hybrid replacing the Soul at the front of the pack. The USTCC Safety Car will lead the racing field during warm-up and caution flag laps to ensure a safe start and restarts of each race. With 206 combined horsepower from the gasoline and electric motor, the Optima Hybrid has plenty of power but the crew at has added a few performance enhancements, including a free-flow air intake system, Magnaflow® exhaust system, coil-over suspension kit to lower the ride height, front splitter and rear wing, lightweight wheels and performance tires that will better stick to the racing surface. The USTCC Optima Hybrid also features an eye-catching exterior with custom vinyl graphics, color scheme and array of lighting, including LED auxiliary lights and HID headlights, strobe lights and LED light bar on the roof to help direct traffic while on duty.

    Moving inside, a state-of-the-art audio and video system with navigation system was installed and the booming audio system uses Infinity®6 speakers and amplifiers to crank out more than 2,400 watts of sound. The rear passengers can enjoy a DVD video system with dual seven-inch monitors mounted in the front-seat headrests with wireless headphones. Passengers will also notice the Optima Hybrid’s custom leather seat upholstery with green accent stitching to match the exterior trim color when Kia’s USTCC Safety Car goes into action in March at the first race of the season.

    Design-Led Transformation and Product Line
    Kia Motors has undergone a dramatic, design-led transformation, which has been delivering dynamically styled vehicles in several important segments at exactly the right time, contributing to the brand’s continued gains in U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and brand growth through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technology. Kia’s commitment to the U.S. market is represented by its U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in West Point, Georgia KMMG which is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and added the critically-acclaimed Optima midsize sedan7 to its production line in September. Kia’s model year 2012 vehicle line includes the Sorento CUV, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, all-new Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.

    About Kia Motors America
    Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 745 dealers throughout the United States. In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.

    Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle lineup is available at its website For media information, including photography, visit

    1 EPA fuel economy estimates are 35/40 MPG (city/highway). Actual mileage may vary.
    2 Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
    3 Class-leading claim based on comparison of 2012 subcompacts as of October 2011. EPA fuel economy estimates are 30 mpg/city and 40 mpg/hwy with 1.6L GDI engine.
    4 Class-leading horsepower claims based on comparison of 2012 subcompacts as of October 2011.
    5 Class-leading claim based on comparison of 2012 subcompacts as of October 2011. EPA fuel economy estimates are 30 mpg/city and 40 mpg/hwy with 1.6L GDI engine.
    6 Infinity® is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Incorporated.
    7 Optima Hybrid will not be built at KMMG.

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