DAILY - UPDATED
David talks about his supecharged Kia Sportage
Let me start off by just saying thank you for your kind remarks regarding my 2nd generation Sportage! My name is David Pepiton I’m the 20 year old owner of a truly unique sportage.
My ownership of this Sportage started in December of 2005 when I started looking for my first car.
I started by looking on the Internet searching different manufacturers and models. I found myself on January 4th torn between the 2005 motor trend sports utility of the year the Nissan Xterra and a Kia Sportage the biggest factor being price.
The deciding moment is when I was sitting at the dealership with my grandpa and we stated we would buy a sportage within a week.
The sales person came back with a smile on his face and showed us a paper with the asking price one thousand less then we had asked for.
Needless to say on January 6th 2006 I drove off the lot with a Kia sportage EX with many options could not get on the xterra such as leather and a sun roof for the amount of money I had paid.
Soon after I found myself away from home training for the United States Military Police Corp when I returned home I found myself with a few dollars in my pocket. Soon after I started looking for websites in which I could gain knowledge. I found myself at the front doorstep of kia-forums.com and streetkiaz.com. Seeking knowledge I started reading soon after I started buying what I thought would be good upgrades the tornado and a so called computer chip named the tri-phase.
I soon learned they were doing nothing for my performance and my car died on the highway at seventy miles per hour. That’s when things got serious. First off was a custom intake I made myself using spectre performance tubing followed by a custom cat-back exhaust which I still have today. During my research I found out that my engine was the same as the Hyundai Tiburon, this was great news as I quickly found performance parts available for it.
I found a company called Alpine developments that made a supercharger for the 2.7L engine shortly after in February of 2007 I found out I was being deployed to Iraq. During my 13 month deployment I continued doing research. That’s when the mod bug really bit me. I sourced Tiburon headers and had them modified to fit my sportage and found another company named Next generation Motorsports out of Florida who also made a supercharger kit for the 2.7L engine but this one was different it could be powder coated any color of my choice.
I didn’t want to just jump in to forced induction so I took the time and read up on NGMs forum Hyundaihouseofpower.com. I soon found myself spending greenbacks and starting an early Christmas. Finding many Hyundai tuners in Arizona with plenty of knowledge I found myself more confident in taking that step in forced induction. Tiburon enthusiasts Tim Conni, Steve Chubb, Chris Waldez and Aaron Wiley helped me to understand more about what all is done and what parts to buy my parts list grew and so did my need to get organized.
My family constantly got email from me but not to say how I was doing or what was going on my emails where to find out what parts where getting to my house so I could mark them off my list. My adventure hasn’t been without it’s little bumps my sportage got hit by a Ford Mustang sitting at a light he was going maybe 80 or so there was nearly $2000 in damage done and my sportage was almost flipped which would have ruined my tuning aspirations.
Well now that I’ve written a novel let me answer your questions.
1. How long have you owned your Sportage and what cars did you own prior to that?
I have owned my sportage since January 6th 2006 before that I co-owned a 2005 dodge Durango with my twin brother and I still have a Ford F-350 7.3L turbo diesel.
2. Honestly, what was your intention when you bought Sportage?
I was just looking for something to get around with no initial intentions to do performance mods.
3. In a few words, describe the style of your Sportage?
Well a sports car in a SUVs body kind of sums it up.
4. What do you like the most about the Sportage?
I can’t lie I love hearing supercharger whine in the morning.
5. What is it that makes your Sportage look unique?
Most of all I would have to say in general all the exterior mods I have done since that’s the first thing you notice when you look at it.
6. What accessories have you installed so far?
Hahaha what haven’t I installed? Well I’ve got a Jensen HD/ DVD head unit, two 7 inch headrest TVs, some suede wrapped interior panels oh and a police siren (mostly to tell people there taillights are out). Complete mod list at bottom.
7. What’s next?
There’s always something in the works. For now I’m looking at custom wood floor mats, some type of coilover SMA or Ksport, lower profile tires same rims, re-wrap my seats in red ultra suede and a richer black leather, a inalfa swing sun roof, reworked exhaust, built transmission from level ten and more boost of course.
8. Who helped modify your Sportage?
Well I’ve had a lot of help from different people but ill touch on the main ones. Tim Conni, Steve Chubb, Chris, Aaron, Russell Smith, Elliot Posey, Chris Shields, Bill Hurlin and my cat Mitchell who protects my car at night.
9. Products of which tuning company did you use?
Most of my products I got from NGM but I used many other companies to get where I am Magnaflow, Flowmaster, NGK, Nology, Innovative Motorsports, Hankook tire, KFXperformance.com, Seoulful Racing, Brakeplanet.com, Eibach, 31Performance(my custom intake company), wheelsnext.com, sharkracing.com, koreanautoimports.com, L&E Mobil Auto Repair and odyssey battery.
10. How would you rate your car; on a scale from 1 to 10?
In all honesty an 8 I’m just not finished yet.
11. How would you pimp your ride if you had no limits?
Let’s just say 2JZ swap, 4WD and 600whp.
12. What do people say about your Sportage?(get any comments?)
Of course I do! Most car shows I take my toy to I get mixed emotions some can’t believe it and some think it was a waste of money. I always tell them it’s the price you pay to be in a smaller crowd.
13. What would you advise to Kia owners who might be looking to customize their cars in future?
Have a plan from the beginning it will save you money in the long run and try and do things yourself remember you don’t have to spent a million dollars to make you car unique. I’ve also heard that Kia is the orphan child of the tuning scene and its true many people don’t see the potential of the Hyundai/ Kia brands but if you look at the world market there growing fast and making a name.
Complete mod list as follows:
Have ordered= *
Have not ordered= **
-Performance/ under the hood:
NGM sniper supercharger 3psi now (7psi soon)
NGM Custom billet motor mount
NGM billet fuel block
NGM 290cc injectors
NGM/ Innovative stage II Mafterburner
Custom headers w/ Magnaflow high flow cat
Custom cat-back exhaust
Custom cold air intake
Custom liquid to air intercooler and icebox
Nology hot wires
NGK6 spark plugs
Innovative LC-1 AFR with digital gauge
Auto meter boost gauge
Odyssey 680 race battery
Tiburon throttle cable
J&S safe guard*
Level 10 custom transmission**
15X 7inch BFG drag radials (track only usage)
Precision billet grill
tinted taillights (just been lazy)**
Inalfa swing sunroof**
two tone paint job black and silver**
OEM F/R mud guards
Eibach Pro kit
18″ MSR 5 spoke wheels
Hankook K104 sport tires
Drilled and slotted brakes
Jensen 7inch DVD/ HD radio
Pioneer 6.5 three ways
Gryphon 7inch headrest TVs
Painted dash and trim
Fatmat sound deadener
Red ultra suede headliner and seats**
Red ultra suede pillars
Galls emergency siren w/ 100w speaker
Custom stained bamboo floor mats/*