Customized 2012 Kia Optima hybrid, Soul, Rio 5 and Forte 5 displayed at 2011 SEMA

Kia made headlines in the sports world when basketball star Blake Griffin leaped over an Optima sedan en route to winning the slam dunk contest at the NBA All-Star Game earlier this year.

Now they are making headlines in the automotive sphere thanks to their six sports-themed vehicles, unveiled at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association -SEMA car show in Las Vegas. Displayed at Kia’s booth at the on-going 2011 SEMA are heavily customized 2012 Optima hybrid car, Soul crossover vehicle, Rio 5-door and Forte 5-door hatchbacks.

The one of a kind, custom cars were created in partnership with West Coast Customs, Antenna Magazine, GoGoGear.com and Kinetic Motorsports, and were designed with six specific sports in mind.

“Slam Dunk” Blake Griffin Optima Hybrid car

It’s no real surprise that the Optima would be one of the vehicles to get the custom treatment, and even less of a surprise that it was done with Griffin in mind. The Griffin Hybrid came in a basketball orange color and was accentuated by 20 inch matte black wheels, and Blake’s logo on the hood.

The interior features leather seats with Blake’s signature stitched into the headrests, not to mention basketball flooring in the front and rear. The interior was finished off with a mind-blowing sound system, complete with TV’s and an Xbox. The final kicker for hoops fans had to be the basketball hoop mounted in the trunk.

Gallery: Kia @ 2011 SEMA:


“Hole-In-One” Michelle Wie Soul

Michelle Wie is a professional golf champion and has been Kia Motors’ official golf ambassador for the past couple of years. She drives a funky Kia Soul crossover vehicle when she attends classes at Stanford, so it only made sense that the custom Soul should be geared after her tastes. The exterior paint scheme of the “Hole-In-One” Wie Soul is “Soul Blue” and also incorporates some of Wie’s artwork.

The art is carried onto the headrest of the Snow White colored seats, which also have a bright pink accent. Artificial grass flooring runs front to back, and the Souls also boasts a virtual driving range in the rear, powered by an Xbox Kinect system.

“Retro Surf” Kia Rio 5-Door

The custom Rio has everything the avid surfer will need in order to hit the waves, and then chill afterwards. The color scheme is a stunning sunset-metallic golden-brown with a wood front splitter that exactly matches the board mounted on the roof.

The seats are upholstered with brown and beige plaid boardshorts fabric, and the rear center console has been modified to hold all the tools of the surfer trade, from towels to sunblock. It also includes an iPad loaded up with 80’s style arcade games to ramp up the fun factor.

“Hat Trick” Forte 5-Door

Kia shoots and scores with the hockey themed Forte, which is finished with custom ice-metallic gray exterior paint, and 18-inch blue alloy wheels.

The interior has a custom hockey stick holder, and the rear bench has been transformed into two bucket seats with dual bottle holders, and with a rubberized floor that is reminiscent of the surface outside the rink, back seat riders may think they have been consigned to the penalty box.

There are a ton of hockey themed additions, but the coolest may be the mini air hockey table mounted in the hatch.

The final two custom vehicles were more business than fun, but the Rio 5-Door B-Spec Racer and the USTCC Optima Hybrid Pace Car still had enough cool touches to wow the crowd at SEMA.

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