The Kia HabaNiro Electric Crossover Concept car is interesting for what will attract your attention. It won’t be the fact that the HabaNiro is what Kia is calling an ECEV—a combination of a “commuter, crossover, sport-utility, state-of-the-art technology workroom, and adventure vehicle.” Nor will it be the larger body. The HabaNiro comes in at 171 inches in length, and is a couple of inches taller and wider than the regular Niro.
The wheelbase is also 5.2 inches longer and it comes with 20-inch wheels. Overall, that added size equates to a more aggressive stance, or what Tom Kearns, the VP of Kia’s US Design Center, describes as exuding “coiled muscularity and capability.”
It won’t be the tech that will garner your attention, though there is plenty that should. The HabaNiro uses Kia’s Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving system. This artificial intelligence uses “biosignal recognition” to monitor the driver’s emotional state, and will change the conditions in the cabin to give the driver a more pleasurable experience, and ultimately a safer one.
Instead of a rearview mirror, the READ system detects when the driver is looking up for the rearview mirror and projects an image from the rearview camera.
And it’s not the powertrain that will get your attention, even though it comes in with an electric motor at each wheel and a range of 300 miles on a single charge.
Nope, it’s the butterfly wings that will capture your attention first. You’ll want to check those out for sure.
Land Serwis Land Rover Defender Series I SUV
When official production of the Land Rover Defender ended in January 16, 2016, fans had to resort to finding a used version if they wanted one of the classic SUVs. Fortunately, Poland-based Land Serwis is offering the Defender just as it was meant to be originally.
As one of the companies that can build an original Series-model Defender from scratch, Land Serwis is perfectly positioned to give fans what they are clamouring for. Land Serwis has in-house plans and tooling to create the Defenders, and because it is all in-house, they can build to a customer’s preferences.
Everything from changes in the chassis construction to reinforcements, handles, and more is on the table. Want a different engine? Land Serwis can customise the engine mounts onto the frame before they are laser cut. You can even explore more add-ons like additional tanks, a stronger suspension, or a mechanical winch.
Land Serwis can work with 90, 110, and 130 wheelbases, and the company can even recreate a Defender if you have the original identification and Defender license plates.
Land Serwis based their model on the original chassis, but updated it with a few modern parts, such as a stainless steel exhaust, a 2-inch lift kit, and custom brakes. Many other parts stayed true to the original, or were totally refurbished, such as the engine, fuel system, drive shafts, and axles.
There’s no need to despair if you weren’t able to pick up a Defender before production ended. Land Serwis has you covered.
Hinchliff’s 1973 Ford Mustang Trans Am Coupe is Ready for a Comeback
The golden age of Trans-Am racing ran from 1968 to 1972. During that time Penske’s Camaros, Mark Donhue’s AMC Javelin, and Parnelli Jones’ Boss 302 Mustang duked it out on tracks that ranged from street and airport circuits to temporary road courses and permanent race tracks. Things changed in 1973, and the cars became more modified. In 1980, another change hit, and the cars became what has become known as “silhouette series”—nothing more than tube-frame cars that somewhat resembled the originals.
When Kar Kraft was shut down, Ford ended its support for factory racing. Anything remaining was sold off. At that same time, two “body-in-white” cars were delivered to Ford. Warren Tope of Tope racing quickly assembled one and put it out on the track. The other took a bit more time, but Ed Hinchliff of Hinchliff Racing put the car together using factory parts and Kar Kraft blueprints. Chassis engineers Lee Dykstra and Mitch Marchi helped Hinchliff in the car’s construction.
The team outfitted the car with Girling four-piston aluminium brakes with large rotors, a factory Kar Kraft full floater rear axle with locker, a Ram Air intake system with a Holly intake manifold, and a Jones tachometer. The car was registered with the SCCA throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s.
With a little TLC, this Trans Am Mustang could make use of its wide track, stiff chassis, and upgraded powertrain to compete in vintage racing today.
SVE Revives GMC’s Legendary 455HP Syclone Performance Pickup Truck
Back in 1991 GMC showed the world what the future of performance trucks could be by cramming a turbocharged six-cylinder into a two-door Sonoma. They added a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system and marketed the concoction as the Syclone. Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) is reviving the Syclone, and given that SVE is best known for building 1,000 horsepower Yenko Camaros and Corvettes, this truck promises to be just as revolutionary.
Technically, the truck’s not a Syclone, though GMC did give it’s blessing for SVE to use the name. The new Syclone starts out as a 2019 GMC Canyon extended cab. SVE adds in a 3.6-litre V6 that comes with either rear- or all-wheel drive. The supercharged version of the engine pumps up the output from the original 308 horsepower to 455 horsepower, with 425 lb-ft of torque.
You’re going to need better brakes with that much additional power, so SVE geared up the truck with upgraded brakes, along with a sport suspension that leaves the Syclone sitting two inches lower in the front and 5 in the back. SVE also added in a rear anti-roll bar and a dual cat-back sports exhaust.
A build like this doesn’t come cheap. In addition to the USD$35,000 sticker price for the Canyon, you’ll have to put down an additional USD$39,995 with a required USD$5,000 deposit.
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