There were a lot of crazy, over-the-top and outrageous vehicles at SEMA again this year. Some of those vehicles were boosted, blinged, airbrushed and lifted to within an inch of their lives. Crazy lift kits, fat tires, superchargers and turbos, horsepower levels of 400, 650, 750 and even well above 1,000 were splashed across their banners for all to see. And this was just in the show's "Making Green Cool Zone." It was filled with cars, trucks, motorcycles and products aimed at proving green can be fun.
The cars in particular were a great example of that theory. We saw the "Mean Green" '68 Camaro built by OPM Customs that is set to challenge a land speed record powered by E98. The car is made of recycled and recyclable materials wherever possible and should be able to crack 225 mph. Right next to it was the LK Motorsports "Green Rod," a '33 Ford hot rod powered by a GEOD assisted Ford Racing 4.6L DOHC crate motor. The Green Energy On Demand system comes from Assisted Energy and consists of a small, self-contained hydrogen-on-demand unit. Even producing 400+ HP, the car can return better than 30 mpg.
On the other side of the trucks we spotted an old favorite, the HP2g Mustang, a Progressive Automotive X Prize contender that produces 400 HP as well, but can return up to 110 MPGe. If you happen to be more of a Bow-Tie fan, there was the "Bio Rocket," a biodiesel '65 Impala built by Galpin Auto Sports and unveiled by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on a special Earth Day episode of "Pimp My Ride." Corvette fans had their choice of a 750-hp C6 Corvette with the innovative rear-mounted STS Turbo setup, or the soon-to-be-defunct ALMS GT1-winning C6.R Vette that races on cellulosic E85.
There were also a trio of Priuses, including a wild "Zimbra" custom by Batmobile and Batsmart creator George Barris. Like the Barris Prius, the VIP Auto Salon one on display was more about improving the looks and performance of the Prius than about increasing economy, per se, but the M.i.O +81 prECiOus wheel upgrades promised lighter weight and improved handling and efficiency over the OEM units. The last Prius was the Hymotion model that promised optimized performance and 100+ MPGe thanks to its A123 Systems L5 Nanophosphate Lithium Ion plug-in conversion hybrid powerpack.