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SEMA show: Hyundai’s crazy Santa Fe concepts

Bold-school: The Rockstar Santa Fe concept readies Hyundai’s family hauler for extreme school-run conditions.

Beefed-up Hyundai Santa Fe off-roader follows up 775kW ‘Santa Fast’ in SEMA preview

7 Oct 2016

HYUNDAI’S rollout of extreme concepts for next month’s SEMA show in Las Vegas is well underway, with the latest being a beefed-up Santa Fe SUV with off-road modifications and a nitrous-boosted V6 engine.

The tough-looking concept developed by Rockstar Performance Garage follows up the wild 774kW rear-drive ‘Santa Fast’ revealed in late September developed by tuning house Bisimoto.

More hardcore Hyundai-based concepts are expected during the run-up to the world’s largest automotive aftermarket and customisation expo, with the South Korean brand having formed a reputation as one of SEMA’s most prolific show-car commissioners.

Ford will also have a heavy presence at the show, with four pimped-up F-150 pick-ups showcasing the model’s customisation potential.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) public relations general manager Bill Thomas told GoAuto that participating in the SEMA show with conspicuous concepts is “a fantastic brand-building exercise”.

He explained that Hyundai runs a competition for car modification specialists to propose their most outlandish designs and commissions those that are likely to gain the most attention.

The butch Rockstar Performance Garage Santa Fe concept features heavy-duty raised suspension for serious off-road work, featuring new tie-rods, control arms and springs and shocks sourced from King.

A Warn winch is fitted for when the going gets tough, as are rock sliders and bumpers along with a custom roof rack and a smattering of LED lighting upgrades from Bulldog.

Behind the 17-inch KMC Turbine bead-lock wheels with 35-inch Mickey Thompson mud-terrain tyres are R1 brakes with six-piston callipers up front and four-pot units at the back.

The 3.3-litre V6 engine is tweaked with an AEM cold-air intake, nitrous oxide injection and Mishimoto cooling plus a Magnaflow custom exhaust and sends power to all four wheels through a transmission upgraded with Nitro Gear internals.

To help drown out the din of those knobbly tyres and sports exhaust is a Kicker audio system drawing power from Odyssey batteries through Nology high-performance wiring.

Finishing off the design is a custom leather interior by Roadwire.

At the opposite end of the purpose spectrum is the Bisimoto-transformed ‘Santa Fast’ that uses a larger 3.8-litre Hyundai V6 with custom twin-turbo and intercooler kit along with a raft of engine management, intake, exhaust and internal strengthening upgrades to develop a staggering 774kW (1040 horsepower) and the ability to run on petrol/ethanol mixtures.

It is all sent to the rear wheels, with a differential taken from the Hyundai Equus luxury sedan and a six-speed manual gearbox taken from the Genesis R-Spec coupe controlled via a custom console-mounted shifter and Spec stage-5 clutch.

The Fifteen52 19-inch Tarmac R40 wheels wear 265-section Toyo R888 tyres and hide Buddy Club four-piston brake callipers.

Inside are Momo Daytona Evo seats with racing harnesses and a four-point chrome-moly roll cage.

Last year Hyundai rolled out five SEMA concepts, including off-road and high-performance versions of the Tucson mid-side SUV, a sinister-looking 500 horsepower Veloster and a pair of hotted-up Genesis Coupes.

Mr Thomas said it is likely that more Hyundai concepts will be unveiled in the lead-up to the SEMA show’s November 1 opening.

The expo runs until November 4 and will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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