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Kia at the 2014 SEMA Show: 5 Things to Know

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/4/2014 Zach Gale
2015 Kia K900 High Performance© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Kia K900 High Performance

Kia's 2014 SEMA show cars all share a common "A Day at the Races" theme to mark five years of racing in the U.S., and it mostly works. Can't make the SEMA Show this year? Before you dive into the photo gallery, here are 5 things to know about Kia's display this year at the Las-Vegas-based auto show that celebrates excess.

1. The high-performance Kia K900's trunk is awesome. Perhaps not something we expected to say going into the press conference, but open up that power-operated trunk lid and you'll find the two remote turbochargers displayed below a glass panel because of limited space under the hood and, of course, because SEMA. Overall, the performance modifications raise power from 420 hp to about 650 hp. Considering how my Motor Trend K900 long-termer's mileage has proved a bit underwhelming, I really wouldn't mind a couple hundred extra horsepower to liven up my daily commute.

2. The Smitten Ice Cream Kia Soul EV's retro wheels really work. In person, they remind me of the Fiat 500 1957 Edition, and considering how many special-edition Souls Kia cranks out, I'd love to see one with similar wheels.

3. "It's a little early for a drink," Michael Sprague said at the press conference," but this is Vegas after all." Despite a 9:30 a.m. press conference, that didn't stop a healthy-sized line from forming at the Ballast Point Kia Sedona minivan...

4. ...which has a fantastic mural on the back side.

5. The outlandish Ballast Point Sedona and Smitten Ice Cream Soul EV are both drivable, though only the Soul EV is street-legal.

Also at Kia's 2014 SEMA show display was the Ultimate Karting Sedona, whose darkened taillights look good in person. The red and white paint job does as well. LED accent lighting inside is a nice detail near the small storage shelves.

As you'd expect, the centerpiece of Kia's display was the new Racing Optima, that weighs just under 3000 pounds and still uses the stock car's available turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, but with about 368 hp instead of 274 hp.

The Soul EV wins our very unofficial best-in-Kia show by a narrow margin over the customized K900. Now Kia, any chance we can update our 420-hp long-term K900 with a twin-turbocharger kit?

Source: Kia

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