To be honest, I expected more sibling rivalry between sister companies Hyundai and Kia, but it looks like the two Korean automakers are going with very different themes for their 2012 SEMA Show showings.
Hyundai tends to focus on performance for its SEMA show cars, so it's no surprise to see the Genesis Coupe 3.8 -- the most high-performance Hyundai yet -- among the models to go under the knife. However, it is surprising to see the name of a world-class engine builder attached to this project car: the Cosworth Genesis Racing Series (CGRS) concept.
Cosworth may inspire immediate gearhead awe, but some of you are likely scratching your head at the name Bisimoto. Bisi is responsible for the 500+ horsepower Honda CR-Z from the 2010 SEMA Show, the 1,000+ horsepower Civic Si from the 2011 show, and his fingerprints are all over this 600-horsepower example of Hyundai's new Elantra GT hatchback.
The funky-looking Veloster Turbo gets even funkier thanks to a visual upgrade from Hyundai's own internal design and technical center. It also gets even faster thanks to a bit of Cosworth engine massaging that boosts its output to 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, it's still front-wheel drive.
If the ARK Genesis Coupe R-Spec looks anything like this rendering, it's going to be an impressive-looking machine. ARK goes for a track tuned setup with power upgrades that boost the output of the 3.8-liter engine to 395-horsepower. This engine is all motor; no turbo or supercharging is necessary to reach that number.
The ARK Genesis also gets its share of styling and aerodynamic upgrades. I don't even begin to count the number of wings, winglets, diffusers, and canards in this rendering. A wide body kit and meaty, wide tires finish up the look. Hopefully, there's a function that goes with the purposeful form.
Kia likes to pick a theme and stick to it for its wacky SEMA Show cars. Last year, it was vehicles customized by a cavalcade of young athletes. This year, it's a series of five rides inspired by DC Comics superheroes to benefit the We Can Be Heroes giving campaign.
Kia will be showcasing its Batman-inspired Optima SX, which debuted recently in New York, alongside a new Green Lantern-themed Soul, a Forte for the Flash, and two more yet-unnamed Justice League-inspired customs. Leave your guesses for Kia's other hero and car combos in the comments below.