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SEMA: Kia and DC Entertainment unveil superhero themed cars

October 30, 2012|By W.J. Hennigan
  • Kia Motors America and DC Entertainment opened the Specialty Equipment Market Assn. trade show in Las Vegas by unveiling five custom cars inspired by the superhero members of DC Comics' Justice League.
Kia Motors America and DC Entertainment opened the Specialty Equipment… (Kia Motors America )

LAS VEGAS –Batman has the Batmobile. Green Hornet has Black Beauty. But why did the other superheroes miss out on a flashy ride?

On Tuesday, Kia Motors America and DC Entertainment changed all that.

The two companies opened the Specialty Equipment Market Assn. trade show in Las Vegas by unveiling five custom cars inspired by the superhero members of DC Comics’ Justice League.

Photos: Highlights from the 2012 SEMA Show

Each Justice League character was assigned to a specific Kia vehicle based on personality and attributes to create the five cars. Built by West Coast Customs of Corona, Rides magazine and Super Street magazine, each of the vehicles features custom artwork by comic book artist Jim Lee.

“So much of what I do is done purely on paper,” Lee said. “These cars had to be subject to the rules of physics. But being a car guy, it was a lot of fun to be part of it.”  

The Flash Forte Koup -- Built by West Coast Customs, the car's exterior paint has an airbrushed red, orange and yellow paint scheme. The front end has a heat shield painted in a way that appears as if it’s bursting through the sound barrier. The door handles have also been removed to make it more streamlined.

A cutout in the hood enables onlookers to view the engine. The modifications continue with 20-inch Asanti color-matched wheels.

On the inside, the Forte Koup’s seats are reupholstered in black leather, red suede and yellow stitching with The Flash inspired artwork embroidered into the seats.

Aquaman Rio 5-door -- The Rio was also built by West Coast Customs and features a special gold and green exterior paint that resembles scales. The body also features Aquaman’s metal belt.

Inside, the seats are decked out with green leather featuring yellow and gold accents. The headliner has green suede while the Aquaman logo was stitched into the back. The rear window has comic scenes etched into the glass.

“We wanted to avoid making the cars look too cheesy,” said Ryan Friedlinghaus, chief executive of West Coast Customs. “I think we pulled it off. These cars look real cool.”

Green Lantern Soul --  The car, built by Super Street magazine, has a green and black two-tone exterior paint scheme complete with green mirror-chrome tint on the windows. The body was lowered and the wheel wells were widened with one-off 18-inch wheels. To streamline the body, the Soul’s back doors have been welded shut. The headlights were blacked out and a highlight projector glows green from behind.           

Cyborg Forte 5-door -- Built by Rides magazine, the car's silver paint job and widened fenders aim to match the polished steel of Cyborg’s armor. Other exterior elements include a vented air scoop on the hood and side ports with red LED lights. Also, red and silver trim highlight the Cyborg emblem featured within the interior design.

There is also a Batman Optima that was unveiled earlier in the year. Superman and Wonder Woman cars will be introduced in the coming months.

The cars were conceived to benefit the We Can Be Heroes campaign, dedicated to helping fight hunger in the Horn of Africa.

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