SEMA Show: 400Hp Volkswagen R GTI

Wicked bad... That's the best description I can give to VW's new interpretation of the R Concept that was developed by Volkswagen Chief Designer Derek Jenkins and his crew at the firm's Design Center in California. Although the R GTI is a one-off with no plans to be put into production, I'm sure that many of the R GTI's elements will find their way in aftermarket shops.


Specs: The GTI R is equipped with a heavily revised 2.0 TFSI (among others the stock turbocharger was replaced with a larger Garrett ball-bearing unit). The result is a whopping 375Hp, on 93-octane pump gas. If 100-octane fuel is used, output rises to some 400Hp. Despite being rolled straight out of the design studio on to the track, according to VW, the R GTI pulled off an impressive 0 to 60-mph time of 4.8 sec.

Exterior: The stock GTI's front fenders, hood, side rockers, and hatch door where replaced with carbon-fiber panels developed by OSIR. Additional carbon-fiber components include the lower front spoiler, front grille surround, rear rooftop spoiler and restyled rearview mirrors. Other distinctive exterior design touches include blacked-out front headlamp housings, R32 tail lamps and central twin exhaust pipes. Running gear includes black 19" alloys in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup ultra-high-performance tires, sized 265/30.


Interior: The cabin is swathed in black leather complemented by red stitching. Just aft of the front bucket seats is a clever safety belt system that was developed in the design studio. It's comprised of a bar that anchors the front racing harnesses, which can swing up and out of the way to allow passengers easier access to the two rear seats. As part of the R GTI's weight-reduction program, the stock rear seats were removed and replaced by two racing buckets.

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SEMA Show: VW Thunder Bunny Concept

VW brings us a blast from the past with the Thunder Bunny Concept. For all of you who don't remember (me included), in the early '80s, before the GTI came to the US, a man named Bill Neumann founded the tuning firm Automotive Performance Systems (APS) which created the Thunder Bunny -based on the Golf / Rabbit. The new Thunder Bunny is an updated, thoroughly modern version of the original

Engine: The stock 2.5 liter engine gets a Garret turbocharger, which along with other revisions, boosts power to 225Hp -75 more than the stock 2.5 L. A performance clutch and Quaife differential were added to the powertrain while handling prowess comes from a suspension fitted with a Bilstein coil-over shock system and APS/Neuspeed sways bars, measuring 25mm front and rear.

Bodykit & Rims: The concept's body kit includes a larger central grille and a more muscular rear valance framing a twin R32-style exhaust. The 19" gold alloys are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 235/35 tires. The front brakes are 328mm two-piece floating cross-drilled discs from Brembo, gripped by bunny-bedecked Brembo four-piston brake calipers. At the rear, 310mm disc brakes are fitted.

Interior: In the interior the Thunder Bunny obtains a stock GTI steering wheel in alcantara to go along with the upgraded upholstery and trim, a Neuspeed short-shift kit and custom spherical aluminum shift knob. Finally, stock GTI seats were recovered in black and white checkered tweed that echoes styling trends from the early '80s.

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SEMA Show: Honda Sport Concept CR-V

I know all you Honda fans have gotten a tad excited from the previous post (the 500Hp Element-D) but you'd better keep your pants on as this one is all about aesthetics. The Sport Concept CR-V's highlights include redesigned front and rear bumpers along with a sports suspension package for a customized presence. Custom 19" wheels are shod with Bridgestone Potenza tires (245/45R19).


Interior modifications focus on the creation of a high-tech, performance-oriented driving environment with the addition of Civic Si synthetic suede fabric on the seating surfaces. Carbon fiber trim panels further accent the interior. Outside, the Sport Concept CR-V is painted in Agile Blue. Concluding I'd have to say that I like this bodykit a lot better than the one Mugen presented recently in Japan.

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SEMA Show: 500Hp Rear Wheel Drive Honda Element-D!

Now this is something every car purist would love to take for a spin in a literal sense. Built to compete in the 2007 Formula Drift Series, the Element-D ("D" for Drifting) throws out the stock model's 4cylinder/4WD drivetrain and becomes a thoroughbred through a 3.2 turbocharged V6 that sends 500Hp straight to the rear tires! Don't tell me that doesn't make you think about smoking red-hot rear tires and full opposite locks...


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SEMA Show: Honda Civic MUGEN Si Sedan - Sales start in Spring 2007

Based on the Civic Si, the Mugen Si looks nearly as sexy as the polar white Civic Sedan Type-R we saw a few weeks ago. Mugen packed this Si with a track-tuned suspension, aerodynamic body styling and a performance exhaust system. Planned for production in a limited quantity of 500 units a year, the Civic MUGEN Si sales will start in the US in spring 2007 with a retail price of less than 30,000 USD. More specifically:

The track tuned suspension lowers the vehicle by 0.6" (15mm) with highly aggressive spring and damper tuning for enhanced handling performance.

The full bodykit adds a front spoiler and sports grille, side spoilers, a rear diffuser and a rear wing. The lightweight MUGEN forged alloy wheels measure 18x7.5" and are shod with 215/40R18 summer tires.

The sports exhaust system reduces back pressure from the catalytic converter back resulting in an enhanced power curve.

Additional equipment includes front and rear MUGEN emblems along with a serial number placard on the instrument panel. A spherical aluminum shift knob replaces the standard knob.

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2006 SEMA SHOW: Caresto Speedster, Swedish hotrod powered by a 315Hp Volvo V8



Making its world premiere at the 2006 SEMA Show, the Caresto Speedster is the work of Swedish car specialist
Leif Tufvesson. Leif previously worked for the Volvo Concept Center, and for 6 years was responsible for the development department of the Swedish sports car manufacturer, Koenig. He has now started to construct and manufacture his own cars.


The Speedster is a mid-engined retro styled hotrod with a Volvo V8 unit which has an output of 340Hp when fueled with ethanol and 315Hp when using petrol. The car is completely constructed in aluminum and carbon fiber with an advanced sports car chassis fitted with Ohlin shock absorbers. According to Leif, the car tips of the scale at exactly 1.200 Kg.

The leather interior is also crafted with a nostalgic retrospective feel. The steering wheel, instruments and gear selector come from Volvo, as does the 6speed automatic transmission and the car's electrical system.

Interesting enough, Leif has plans to build at least 6 examples of this particular model, although there's no specific date on the table yet. But if you've got spare money laying in your bank account, Leif may be tempted to sell you this unique hotrod. Here's what he said: "An interested buyer would have to be prepared to pay around 2.5 million Swedish kronor (approximately $338,000)"

Sounds a lot, but on the other hand, you get the chance to buy a unique vehicle, at least till Leif decides to build the other 6 he was talking about.

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VW Shanghai Neeza SUV Concept to debut at the 2006 Auto China Show

So what have we here? Although we couldn't make much of the translated press release, from what was understandable to us, we know that VW Shanghai's SUV-Crossover concept will make its world debut at the upcoming Auto China Show 2006 that runs from the 21st to the 27th of November in Beijing.

The Chinese version of Motortrend Magazine gives us a better view of the Neeza which could be a rebadged Audi Q7 with suicide doors, but before we jump to any conclusions we'd better wait for the English press release.


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2006 SEMA Show: 600Hp 1967 Volvo Amazon Hotrod!

After the Buick 1964 Buick Electra 225 Convertible, here's another classic that will surely stir up some attention at the 2006 SEMA Show: a lusty, custom built 1967 Amazon Hotrod. Although the Swedes haven't released any info yet -apart from the fact that it was chosen from 600 or so customized Volvos on display at the Vallakra Meet, in "Sweden"s Hottest Volvo" contest last summer, we know that this custom built Amazon wears a 6cylinder engine producing 600Hp.


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2006 SEMA Show: Volvo C30 by Heico, Evolve & IPD

Volvo just unleashed its trio of spiffed up C30's for the 2006 SEMA Show. I know you all dig the camouflage paint job of the Heico Sportiv and the gull wing doors of the IPD, but I think you'll agree with me that the show star here is the yellow crazy 507Hp Evolve C30 that looks like it jumped straight out of a Group-B Rally of the 80's! (Click on the pics to enlarge)


Evolve C30: Horsepower is the name of the game here, with 507 stampeding ponies thundering through all four wheels. Race-inspired suspension, gigantic brakes and a screaming yellow high gloss paint scheme over wild body lines highlight the Evolve C30. Sequential twin turbos, exotic exhaust plumbing and an advanced heat exchanger promise eye-popping performance from this C30. Inside are highly bolstered seats, a safety structure and custom leather touches


Heico Sportiv/Burton Snowboard C30: A joint collaboration between German tuner Heico Sportiv and Burton Snowboard. Fully drivable with 300Hp and factory electronically controlled 4wheel drive, it features a height adjustable suspension, custom cut Toyo tires and an complex six layer camouflage paint job. Inside, there's a portable GPS system and gleaming 2008 Burton snowboards and boots.


IPD C30: Draped in the colours of the Swedish flag, the IPD pumps out 384Hp retaining its factory front-drive layout and puts its best foot forward by offering up plenty of electronic fun and a thoroughly custom fabricated interior, highlighted by a touch screen in the floating center stack and a heads-up instrument display. But the icing on the cake is the fully functioning gull-wing style doors.

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