Hyundai Brings the Noise to SEMA

Gurnade Veloster Concept

LAS VEGAS – If you’ve ever been to SEMA (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association), you know that it’s a sensory overload of such overwhelming proportions, that it’s probably a good idea to enter with a buddy, a tracking device, or at the very least, a trail of breadcrumbs left behind to find your way out.

With so many distractions pulling us in every direction, it’s a wonder we even made it to the Hyundai stage for their presentation. But for those who managed to pull themselves away from the one-off hot-rod builds, Swarovoski-crystal-covered big block engines and hyper chips promising 1,000 hp from your four-cylinder diesel, the Korean automaker had a few surprises up its sleeve.

VP of Product Planning, Mike O’Brien, took the stage to introduce a rather unexpected new twist on its upcoming Ioniq – soon to arrive in hybrid, plug-in and EV form.

Ioniq Land Speed Record Car

“This September, Hyundai set out to prove that hybrids are not only efficient, they can be fast too.

“Our team took a race-prepped Ioniq to the Bonneville Salt Flats, and shocked more than a few people. This prototype Ioniq set an FIA-approved production-based hybrid vehicle land speed record of 157.825 mph (254.0 km/h) with a peak exit speed of 160.7 (258.6 km/h). That’s fast for any car, let alone a hybrid.”

O’Brien claimed that very little was done to transform the hybrid into a land-speed record holder.

The powertrain was virtually unmodified, although transmission and hybrid ECUs were re-calibrated and governors removed.

Ioniq Land Speed Record Car

A direct-port nitrous injection and stand-alone fuel-management system was installed.

All non-essential engine bay and interior equipment was removed, and restriction intake and exhaust systems were installed – while still retaining the catalytic converter. Aerodynamic slipperiness was improved with new underbody cladding, a two-inch-lower stance and the air dam from the EV Ioniq. Finally – a parachute was installed to haul it back from its record-breaking run.

“Raw displacement was the old school way to create performance,” said O’Brien.

Bisimoto Santa-Fast Concept

But tuner Bisimoto used “advanced turbo-technology” to squeeze the most out of Hyundai’s 3.8L V6. They began with a humble Santa Fe crossover and ended up with the “Santa-Fast”, a 1,075 horsepower, rear-wheel-drive concept with a hand-built, twin-turbo engine that runs on flex fuel.

Bisimoto Santa-Fast Concept

To handle all that power, the chassis had to be reinforced with a four-point roll cage and custom rear sub-frame. Channelling that output to the rear wheels via an Equus differential is a six-speed manual transmission. The Santa-Fast rides on a 19-inch wheels with a KW coilover suspension and four-piston Buddy Club brakes.

The crossover seemed to be a favourite subject for performance makeovers, as it was the basis for another over-the-top concept, the Rockstar Santa Fe. This time, it was transformed into a rugged off-roader complete with roof racks.

Rockstar Santa Fe Concept

Boasting a modified 3.3L V6 with cold air intake and nitrous, Magnaflow exhaust system, six-piston callipers and a custom suspension with King coil overs, the Rockstar Santa-Fe rides on 17-inch wheels with 35-inch Mickey Thompson Baja tires. Oh – and did we mention that it’s four-wheel-drive and comes with a winch?

ARK Elantra Road Racer Concept

Hyundai has teamed up again this year with ARK Performance, this time transforming the everyday Elantra into a custom sport concept.

With the help of a wide body kit, custom turbo and exhaust system, full coilover suspension, eye-catching rims and a vinyl wrap, the ARK Road Racer Elantra Concept is a fairly convincing little tuner sedan.

Gurnade Veloster Concept

Gurnade Inc. is one of the industry leaders in automotive rendering and design. Like one of its illustrations brought to life, Gurnade’s Veloster Concept is a turbocharged, “race-ready” version of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo. Aside from its “Fast and Furious” tuner image, featuring red hot “Magic Magenta” paint, rear spoiler, fender flares, cargo hood and oversized gold Rotiform wheels, the Gurnade Veloster boasts a custom suspension and brake kit, racing seats and a roll cage. The performance is probably more mild than its wild exterior suggests, since the concept shares the same engine as the stock Veloster Turbo, other than a new intercooler, cold-air intake and some ECU tweaking.

Aside from the one-off custom performance vehicles, Hyundai also unveiled a new “Night” edition production package for its compact Tucson crossover.

As befitting its name, the Tucson Night edition projects a blacked-out theme with black trim, black 19-inch alloys, dark tinted sunroof, and black side mirror caps. Interior enhancements include perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and aluminum alloy pedals.

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Lesley Wimbush

Lesley Wimbush

In 5th grade, Lesley traded drawings of muscles cars for chocolate bars and things really haven't changed much since then. When not cursing the gremlins behind the insidious check engine light on her 400 hp modified Dodge Dakota, Lesley can be found lapping her Mazda MX3 KLZE at Mosport.