Kia Motors America (KMA) brought the sights and sounds of the race track to the opening day of the 2014 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. Just five years after the brand boldly announced its intention to enter professional motorsports in the U.S. at the 2009 SEMA Show, KMA marked its second title-winning season, celebrating the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge Manufacturers Championship. Kia's "A Day at the Races" 2014 SEMA display commemorates Kia's racing success and demonstrates the imprint motorsports has left on the brand's DNA, encompassing both the thrill of high-speed competition as well as the fun and excitement that fans experience trackside.
"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."
While two of the vehicles are inspired by the festive atmosphere fans of the Kia Racing team experience during a day at the track with family and friends, the others pay homage to the raw performance and unique style that has permeated Kia's five years of U.S. racing success. And at the center of it all is the championship-winning Optima race car, sporting a new look for the 2015 season.
Ballast Point Sedona
One of the most heavily modified SEMA vehicles Kia has ever produced, the Ballast Point Sedona takes infield fun during a day at the races very seriously. Serving the premium, handcrafted beers from Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, the steel roof of the Sedona has been completely redesigned to echo the nautical theme the specialty brewer is known for.
The Ballast Point Sedona features a hand-formed solid mahogany shell with a flip-top roof and fold-down front bar. Removing the roof required the installation of a custom boxed-steel frame that incorporates heavy-duty hinges and struts to allow for the wood clam-shell top to open a full 90 degrees. While one of the Sedona's power sliding doors has been welded shut, the other remains fully functional to allow access for a bartender into the open-air cabin. The rear shell is also removable, allowing patrons to enjoy a frosty beverage from the tailgate as well. The passenger compartment has been gutted to make room for two functioning 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. The front passenger seat has been removed to accommodate storage for extra kegs and supplies.
Hand-built and painted by the artists at LGE-CTS Motorsports, the shimmering rainbow of colors found on Ballast Point's labels are rendered perfectly along the aggressive contours of the Sedona's body panels. While not street legal, the Ballast Point Sedona is drivable and the suspension has been modified with custom airbags to compensate for the added weight of the kegs. The floor has been lined so that the interior can be hosed out and handmade custom cabinets allow for ample storage. Restaurant-grade stainless steel counters and a hidden tank to store meltwater from the jockey box make clean-up a breeze. Audio speakers have been integrated into the wood roof so that race fans can enjoy music through the Sedona's Bluetooth enabled Infinity audio system.
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
Ultimate Karting Sedona
Karting is how many of today's top professional race drivers got their start and this all-new 2015 Kia Sedona has been transformed into the ultimate kart hauler. 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. Atop the vehicle is a custom-built kart rack with space for a CRG Bambino kart and a Fiamma F35 Pro Awning, providing much-needed shade while racers turn wrenches or wait for the next round of open-wheel action on the track. A second kart, a CRG Road Rebel shifter, is carried by a custom-built aluminum and diamond-plate trailer on matching 18-inch BBS CH-R wheels.
Repairs and off-track tuning are all part of the fun of a day at the races, and the Sedona's interior has been transformed into a mobile garage to carry the necessary tools, spares and supplies. The floor has been leveled and covered in black-and-white RaceDeck rubber flooring, and the vehicle has been kitted out with a toolbox, featuring a built-in Infinity subwoofer and amp, and a tire bead breaker. Hand-built, 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.