You wouldn’t think the likes of Aquaman or The Flash would need a car, but Kia came to their rescue anyway with new rides decked out especially for the Justice League.
As part of this week’s SEMA trade show in Las Vegas, Kia worked with artist Jim Lee, West Coast Customs, RIDES and Super Street to design and build machines inspired by the members of the Justice League. The heroic cars include The Flash Forte Koup, Aquaman Rio 5-Door, Cyborg Forte 5-Door, Green Lantern Soul and the Batman Optima.
Each of the vehicles feature custom artwork by DC Entertainment co-publisher Lee assigned to a its specific Kia based on personality and key attributes of the superhero in question.
The intent was to create five iconic works of comic art on wheels, but this is no vain exercise in mere self-promotion by Kia and DC. Each car is intended to raise awareness for DC Entertainment’s We Can Be Heroes giving campaign to help fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.
As for the cars, each has a gimmick or two to match up with its superhero namesake. For example, since he’s known for his speed, drive and “commitment to fighting crime,” The Flash’s Forte Koup has a racing pedigree from the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Built by West Coast Customs, the Koup wears red, orange and yellow airbrushed exterior paint that matches the Scarlet Speedster’s trademark costume. A cutout in the hood incorporates The Flash logo and allows viewers to see the Forte Koup engine packs. The Forte sports 20-inch Asanti color-matched wheels with Continental Extreme Contact tires. A custom coil-over suspension lowers the Forte Koup for better handling.
On the inside, the Forte Koup’s seats are reupholstered in black Nappa leather contrasted with red suede featuring yellow stitching and character artwork embroidered into the seats. West Coast Customs installed two, ten-inch sub woofers and two sets of coaxial component speakers with a Quart four-channel amp and a pair of Rosen Entertainment seven-inch monitors.
The Green Lantern-inspired Soul from Super Street has a green and black two-tone exterior paint scheme complete with green mirror-chrome tint on the windows. Super Street’s build team lowered the Soul to improve its stance and applied widened wheel wells with one-off 18 x 10.5 inch deep-dish wheels.
Usually a four-door vehicle, the Soul’s back doors are welded shut to streamline its appearance. Blacked out headlights feature projector beams that glow green. Customized Green Lantern-logo fog lights in the widened front fascia and green LED lighting enhance the overall appearance of the Lantern’s Soul.
Built by RIDES magazine and based on Cyborg, half human/half machine superhero for the modern age, the Kia Forte 5-door offers “communications prowess, power and endurance.” It features coil-over suspension for more maneuverability and widened custom metal fenders that recall Cyborg’s ability to mechanically morph. (No, the car doesn’t change shape depending on traffic.) This car sits on 18-inch Rotiform TMB wheels with chrome lip and red anodized bolts. Other exterior elements include a vented air scoop on the hood and side ports with red LED lights. An Aztec silver paint job matches the polished steel of Cyborg’s armor.
The Batman Optima SX Limited was previously unveiled at New York’s Time Warner Center. RIDES transformed the exterior with a matte-and piano-black paint scheme, a lowered coil-over suspension and muscular ground effects kit, Ksport performance brakes for stopping power, custom-designed 20-inch black wheels with Batman-logo center caps and a performance exhaust system.
Other exterior modifications include a custom front grille shaped like a batwing that took over 40 hours to create, yellow LED lighting accents throughout the vehicle and the bat signal etched into the SXL’s HID headlights.
That leaves us with the Aquaman-inspired Rio 5-door. His costume is trimmed in green and he spends a lot of time in the oceans, so his Kia Rio is 85% recyclable material. The car received the West Coast Customs treatment with special gold, green and orange exterior paint and a body kit featuring custom-fabricated fins. Visual elements also include Oracle LED wheel rings and body lighting across the exterior, as well as 20-inch color-matched Asanti wheels wrapped in Continental rubber.
To continue their promotion of the We Can Be Heroes campaign, DC and Kia will introduce three more crime-fighting Kias at future auto shows and comic conventions over the next 10 months.
Anonymous reports say Aquaman was especially happy to see his specially dedicated car. With every Justice League member getting a movie lately – and after the constant jokes about him only being able to talk to fish – the King of Atlantis had just about had it.