Kia Motors @ SEMA 2015

Kia's booth has been a consistent source of joy during my eight years covering the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. I can always count on the Korean automaker to bring some of the craziest customs; the 2015 show is no exception.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Forte Koup Mud Bogger

Near the booth's entrance is the insane Kia Forte Koupe Mud Bogger -- making the most striking first impressions of all the OEM customs at the show.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Forte Koup Mud Bogger

Kia starts with the standard Forte Koup's unibody and layers on customizations starting with midnight sapphire paint and white accents that are probably a bit too nice for this car's intended purpose.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Forte Koup Mud Bogger

The Mud Boggers starts to get weird below the beltline. The Forte Koup's body and suspension have been raised to add 4 additional inches of ground clearance.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Forte Koup Mud Bogger

Kia gives us no info about the powertrain, so I'm assuming that the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and front-wheel-drive transmission survive transformation unmolested. At the very least, it's got a freer flowing exhaust.

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Forte Koup Mud Bogger

The Koup has been upgraded with a dark fabric ragtop and a roll cage finished in contrasting white.

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Forte Koup Mud Bogger

The interior's carpet is stripped and replaced with Line-X spray-on protective coating.

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Forte Koup Mud Bogger

The steering wheel and shifter are replaced with race inspired hardware. Gauges replace the UVO entertainment system's touchscreen. Interestingly, the USB ports at the base of the dash are intact.

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Forte Koup Mud Bogger

Sparco seats with multipoint harnesses keep the driver and one passenger in place when off-roading and muddin'.

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Forte Koup Mud Bogger

A powder-coated brush guard and an LED light bar lead the way.

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Forte Koup Mud Bogger

Fuel Off-road 15-inch Revolver wheels with knobby 28-inch tires fill the wells beneath the extended fender flares.

With only 200 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Mud Bogger probably isn't fast, but it sure looks fun.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Pacwest Adventure Sorento

The Pacwest Adventure Sorento is also built for off-roading, but is a bit less extreme. For starters, it's based on an SUV, not a small low-powered coupe.

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Pacwest Adventure Sorento

The 3.3-liter engine is augmented with a snorkel intake, which should allow it to ford rivers.

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Pacwest Adventure Sorento

The front bumper is removed and replaced with a brush guard and skid plate. In theory, this should grant the Sorento steeper approach and departure angles.

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Pacwest Adventure Sorento

However, in practice, the rear bumper is left intact and augmented with a tubular bumper. This sort of mitigates any approach and departure angle gains. Hey, at least the CUV looks cool.

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Pacwest Adventure Sorento

Inside, the Sorento is upholstered with rugged fabric seats and accented with green paint that matches the exterior.

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Pacwest Adventure Sorento

17-inch wheels wrapped in Nitto Trail Grappler tires are designed for driving in the dirt.

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Photo Safari Sedona

The Photo Safari Sedona started its life as a minivan. It has a mildly "off-road" inspired style, but boasts some interesting function to go with its new form.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Photo Safari Sedona

The front bumper and roof rack are augmented with auxiliary lighting.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Photo Safari Sedona

The roof rack also features mounting points for DLSR and action cameras.

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Photo Safari Sedona

Underpinning the Sedona is an auto-leveling air suspension rated for a vehicle weighing up to 2,500 pounds.

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Photo Safari Sedona

The eight-passenger van has been modified into a two-passenger photo safari truck. The rear storage area is now open to the air with metal lockers.

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Photo Safari Sedona

The middle seats have been removed and replaced with an Extend0-Bed platform that holds a swiveling seat that serves as a photographer's platform.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Photo Safari Sedona

The seat can be retracted to bring the photographer into a small digital photo processing lab with an iMac.

Up front is a single driver's seat. I'd love one of these for shooting rolling CNET Car Tech footage.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Trail'ster

The Trail'ster is the off-road mirror to Kia's Track'ster concept. Both are based on the Soul compact urban crossover. The Trail'ster was orginally unveiled at this year's Chicago Auto show.

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Trail'ster

The exterior features contrasting polar pearl snowdrift and terra bronze metallic paints. LED accent lighting looks showcar cool, but probably doesn't do much for forward visibility.

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Trail'ster

Custom 19-inch wheels are shod with Pirelli Carving Edge winter tires.

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Trail'ster

A rolltop fabric roof slides beneath an integrated roof rack. Drivers can mount a snowboard or mountain bikes up there.

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Trail'ster

The interior has been reupholstered with baseball glove leather, which looks fantastic with its contrasting stitching.

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Trail'ster

All six of Kia's customs feature a badge that indicates a different region of Kia's nationwide celebration of the American roadtrip. The Trail'ster, example, is inspired by the Rocky Mountain region. The Mud Bogger is inspired by the South.

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A1A Optima

The A1A Optima was designed for relaxing in the sun of South Florida and inspired by the culture of Miami's South Beach and Key West.

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A1A Optima

The sedan's roof has been totally removed and the body has been coated in custom turquoise paint.

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A1A Optima

The custom was built by LUX Motorwerks and, according to Kia, "this isn't any average chop job." The attention to detail comes through in, well, the details of this custom. Just check out this Tiarra Luxury chrome grille.

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A1A Optima

The windshield has also been chopped and shortened to give the A1A Optima a low, lean look and expose passengers to the ocean breeze.

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A1A Optima

The interior is upholstered with white leather, which not only looks good but will stay cool when exposed to the sun. Whether it'll stay bright under the passengers' buns depends on how diligently it's cleaned.

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A1A Optima

The back doors are rear hinged, suicide-style, and a double-hump tonneau smooths the transition to the trunk lid.

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A1A Optima

The Optima is suspended over chrome 20-inch HRE S104 wheels. Kia feels that 245 horsepower is enough to cruise with, so the sedan's front-wheel-drive turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain is unmodified.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

A1A Optima

The body has been reinforced with hidden steel tubing to deal with the removal of the structural roof.

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Ballast Point Sedona

Representing California in Kia's booth is a beer truck. Nice!

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Ballast Point Sedona

This is the Ballast Point Sedona's second appearance at SEMA. The van has been totally rebuilt from the B-pillars back as a working bar that serves beer to showgoers over the age of 21.

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Photo by: Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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