Comic book-inspired Kias feature aftermarket brands

Dec 6, 2012

Kia Motors America (KMA) and DC Entertainment will show two of their restyled Justice League-inspired machines this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs through Dec. 9. The Batman-inspired Optima SX Limited and the Aquaman-inspired Rio five-door are customized accessories from SXL, Oracle, Asanti and Rosen Entertainment.

Both vehicles feature custom artwork from DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee, who also provided creative direction for the design of all the cars involved in this partnership. The overall goal of the program is to raise awareness for DC Entertainment’s “We Can be Heroes” campaign to help fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, according to a Kia Motors press release.

Built by RIDES magazine, the Batman-inspired Optima was previously unveiled at New York’s Time Warner Center. The exterior has a matte and piano-black paint scheme, lowered coil-over suspension and a muscular ground-effects kit, Ksport performance brakes, custom 20″ black wheels with one-of-a-kind Batman logo center and a performance exhaust system.

A custom front grille shaped like a batwing that took 40 hours to create adorns the front. Yellow LED lighting accents can be seen throughout the vehicle, and the iconic bat signal etched into the SXL’s HID headlights complete the look of the exterior. The interior features custom black leather and suede with bold yellow accent stitching.

The Aquaman-inspired Rio five-door, which debuted at the 2012 SEMA Show, received the West Coast Customs treatment with special gold, green and orange exterior paint and custom metal fins. Other visual elements include Oracle LED wheel rings and body lighting across the exterior and 20″ color-matched Asanti wheels wrapped in Continental rubber.

The vehicle’s interior was reupholstered with green leather featuring yellow and gold accents. Inside the truck, the customized enclosure inspired by Aquaman comics features a unique polycast cutout that creates an underwater scene that is lit with Oracle LED lighting. Two 7″ Rosen Entertainment monitors play the “We Can Be Heroes” video to support the campaign’s cause.

The “We Can Be Heroes” campaign encourages everyday people to fight the hunger crisis in Africa by getting involved and donating to bring help and hope to those affected. The Kia-DC Entertainment partnership will include a total of seven vehicles inspired by the individual characters of the Justice League and will culminate with a fully drivable, eighth custom car that encompasses all seven super heroes. So far, five vehicles have been shown and three more are to be unveiled over the next several months.