The hum­ble Cer­ato mus­cles up in GT guise


K ia mus­cled up at the Spe­cialty Equip­ment Mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion show in Las Ve­gas with a Cer­ato GT sedan that’s due in Aus­tralia in Jan­uary.

The Cer­ato GT — known as the Forte in the US and shown in lime green Fed­er­a­tion liv­ery — will be sold as a hatch or sedan with a 1.6-litre turbo (150kW/265Nm) pow­er­ing the front wheels through a six-speed man­ual or seven-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic.

The Cer­ato will be the sec­ond GT model in Aus­tralia after the Stinger GT. The 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 was also on show, dressed in the liv­ery of the Queens­land Po­lice.

Kia Aus­tralia spokesman Kevin Hep­worth says of­fi­cial in­ter­est in the Stinger con­tin­ues to de­velop, so ex­pect to see hun­dreds of the rear-wheel drive per­for­mance cars pack­ing blue and white or high­way pa­trol liv­ery in the near fu­ture.

Kia wasn’t the only maker to show its af­ter­mar­ket wares in Ne­vada. These are some of the shini­est and smartest cars on the stands.


The Blue Oval hauled out no less than seven Rangers at SEMA, sev­eral of which were de­vel­oped in-house. Lead­ing the fray was the Pre-Run­ner with Fox/BDS sus­pen­sion, elec­tronic lock­ing rear diff, re­vised ex­haust, “desert racer” front bumper with skid plate and rock slider side steps.

The Ranger Base Camp was de­signed for the fam­ily that wants to go to ex­tremes. The kit-out adds a Fox/BDS Sus­pen­sion three-inch lift kit and off-road shocks, along with skid plates and dif­fer­en­tial cover from Ford Per­for­mance.

There’s a winch in the front bumper from Warn As­cent plus a snorkel to help with river runs. The tub ac­com­mo­dates a Slim Shady awning and the Base Camp sits on 18-inch black wheels with sil­ver and or­ange high­lights.


The Project Club­sport 23 shows how own­ers of older 370Z cars can trans­form them into cus­tom ma­chines us­ing parts from the Nis­san Mo­tor­sports and af­ter­mar­ket cat­a­logues. The orig­i­nal 3.7-litre V6 is swapped out for a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo, with be­spoke steer­ing, sus­pen­sion and brakes. A cus­tomised body cov­ers the up­grades, along with a roll cage and “gloss burnt or­ange” wrap.

The car sit­ting along­side the 370Z was a Nis­san Kicks that goes a long way to break­ing the sound bar­rier.

The car uses Bose speak­ers mounted in and un­der the ve­hi­cle, in­clud­ing a pair in­side the driver’s head rest, three 1100W sub­woofers and a con­fig­urable amp. The cus­tom-built rear drawer opens to re­veal a pro­fes­sional DJ deck, with a Pi­o­neer mixer.


VW rolled out three ver­sions of its fea­tured Jetta. The Air De­sign USA Jetta SEL was in­spired by Jetta and Golf ac­ces­sories from the 1980s and ’90s and rides on 19-inch Hock­en­heim wheels sup­ported by Eibach pro­gres­sive rate low­er­ing springs. The body kit with rear lip spoiler is high­lighted by tri­colour graph­ics and a cus­tom cognac and black in­te­rior. A VW Ac­ces­sories bike rack is mounted on the roof. “Air De­sign’s first styling kits were de­vel­oped for the Jetta Mark 2 and Jetta Mark 3 and have been part of the Volk­swa­gen Euro-tun­ing cult, with a le­gion of ded­i­cated fans through­out the world,” says spokes­woman Mar­i­ana Lopez.

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