Lexus joins Forces with Artists to create SEMA Lexus IS designs

Lexus decided to join forces with artists to create a line of Lexus IS designs that would really stand out from the crowd for this year's SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show.  The opened up a design challenge to deviantART, the largest online social community for artists, to come up with a slick interpretation of the the Lexus IS sedan.  There were hundreds of crazy, wacky, and fun ideas that were submitted but the best ones are being displayed at SEMA in Las Vegas which starts today.

One cool example includes Philip Chase with a Lexus IS 340.  He took the powerful and brutal six-cylinder turbo engine, a unit that produces more than 700bhp, from the 1990s Supra and dropped it into the Lexus IS 340. The engine’s sound can be heard through a custom four-inch exhaust system, and its power is expressed in the car’s styling, with a front lip kit by Modellista and carbon fiber hood vents.

Lexus’s limited edition carbon fiber bicycle takes price of place on the roof of Gordon Ting’s Lexus IS AWD, that comes with customer exhaust and air intakes by TEIN USA, Street Flex dampers and Brembo high-performance brakes.

Paul Tolson and Gabriel Escobedo may have created the widest, lowest Lexus IS 250 F Sport.  The F Sport is close to the ground with an Air Runner Systems air ride, something usually only seen on Lowriders. The paintwork is equally fun since it comes in shades named Orange Mercury and Root Beer.

Seibon Carbon has worked its magic on the Lexus IS 350 F Sport.  It built a series of specialty body panels and aerodynamic parts made of carbon fiber, including the hood, hoodlid, spoilers and skirts. A set of Volk Racing 20-inch wheels, A’PEXi SPL suspension and exhaust and a custom intake further ramp up the sports performance.  There will be no missing Vossen Wheels’ Lexus IS 350 F Sport, finished in LFA Pearl Yellow paint, rolling on 20-inch CVT Directional rims and sitting ultra-low thanks to RS-R Black-I Series coilover shocks.

It’s not just the current Lexus IS that’s in the spotlight at SEMA though.  Lexus is also turning back the clock to show two new interpretations of the first and second generation models. Maricar Cortez has produced a cool version of the 2004 Lexus IS 300, adorned with three-piece HRE 19-inch wheels and Rod Millen Motorsport side skirts. Under the hood the six-cylinder engine gains a ProLex supercharger. Enthusiast Andrew Atigehchi contributes his work on a 2007 Lexus IS 250, fettled with 20-inch rims and performance exhaust, suspension and brakes.

Hot New Cars at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show

2014 Corvette
2014 Corvette and the classic Corvette Stingray

January is an exciting time for car enthusiasts with the the famous Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., (Jan. 13-20) and the Detroit Auto Show which takes place from Jan. 14-27 in the Motor City.  The Detroit Auto Show (the official name is North American International Auto Show) features the latest and greatest models from some of the world largest automakers.

This year the Detroit Auto Show is showcasing an impressive array of new models and it's clear the competition from automakers is getting more intense. Ones I am keeping my eyes out for include the new Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra full-size pickup, the restyled 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Cadillac ELR, the BMW 4-series, Infiniti Q50, Toyota Furia and a new Ford F-150 concept.

Also at the top of my “can't wait to check it out” list is the redesigned Lexus IS, the 2014 C7 Corvette and the redesigned Acura MDX. Here's a look at why these vehicles are generating so much buzz in the Motor City.

Redesigned Lexus IS 250

Scheduled for release on Wed., Jan. 16, the redesigned 2014 Lexus IS sport sedan has been fully redesigned. According to Edmunds, its main areas of improvement are a re-tuned suspension, improved seats and additional interior room, and will be available in two F Sport and a hybrid upgrade.

The new IS features LED day running lights under the headlights and the wheelbase has been enlarged, making more room available in the car's interior. According to Autoweek.com, “Powertrain options will be mostly carryover units, probably with a bit more efficiency. We know from our quick drive last month of prototypes that the sedan will use a knob to switch from eco to sport-plus mode, which changes throttle and steering response, as well as transmission shift points.”

Redesigned Acura MDX

The MDX was Acura's first midsize crossover. According to Autoweek.com, it comprises 32 percent of total U.S. Acura sales in 2012. While the original model follows the same midsize platform as the Honda Accord and Odyssey, the industry expects the third generation to be more aerodynamic and have the same 3.5 liter, 280 horsepower engine as the Acura TL.

2014 C7 Corvette

Arguably, the event's most anticipated release the new Corvette. According to Forbes.com, the new model will include five major changes. The first is a V8 engine that “will be powered by the first version of an entirely new generation of V8 engines codenamed LT1.”

The next big change comes from the superior aerodynamics of the front engine and rear-wheel drive. “For example, the front grill and radiator flow paths reduce lift, improving vehicle stability at high speeds by keeping the car pressed to the pavement,” Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer, said in a press release.

The next defining feature of the 2014 model is that it embodies a lighter and stiffer structure. Alex McDonald, a Chevy performance integration engineer, said in a video that the Corvette will have “more high-tech chassis aids than ever before,” adding, “This car is a new level of electronic integration.”

Two other major changes in the 2014 C7 include an improved interior, which is something everyone has complained about with the Corvette, and affordable price for its class.  The 2014 Corvette will also bring back the famous Stingray design and nameplate to the Corvette

A series of teaser videos was produced by Chevy for the 2014 Corvette. Here's the fourth one:

If you are not too far from Detroit and are interested in attending the 2013 Detroit Auto Show you can visit the website for more information: http://www.naias.com/

If you attend the show please leave a comment and let me know what you liked most about the Detroit Auto Show and what cars got you most excited.

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