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10-22-2007: General Motors Flexes Muscle With A Message At The 2007 SEMA Show

Performance With an Environmental Twist Shines in the GM Display with Jay Leno's E85 Capable Corvette Z06 and FlexFuel Chevy Hot Rod

LAS VEGAS – A diverse array of customized and high-performance cars, trucks and SUVs again dominates the General Motors display at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, but this time there is an underlying message: Green goes with mean.

Many of the 28 vehicles GM will bring to the annual convention of the automotive aftermarket performance and appearance industry either run on alternative fuels, such as E85 ethanol, or feature fuel-efficient performance without compromise. The lineup is headlined by an E85 capable Corvette Z06 owned by Jay Leno. The “Tonight Show” host’s new supercar boasts a custom, 500-cubic-inch engine that generates approximately 600 horsepower and is fueled solely by E85.

Another mean, green Chevy at SEMA is FlexFuel Chevy Hot Rod, built by GM Performance Division – a re-creation of the hot rods that competed at early drag strips and land-speed venues of the late 1940s and 1950s. With bodywork inspired by a 1934 Chevy and period styling touches, FlexFuel Chevy Hot Rod mixes vintage style with contemporary technology; it’s powered by a 500-horse FlexFuel version of the turbocharged Ecotec engine. It runs on E85, gasoline or any combination of the two.

In addition to the alternative-fueled performers in the display, GM will also use the SEMA platform to introduce some influential concepts and production models, including the Pontiac Solstice SD-290 concept, which showcases a unique passenger compartment closeout evoking the spirit of vintage racecars, and a tuner-inspired version of the upcoming 2008 Saturn Astra. Chevy will make a couple of sport compact production announcements on Monday, Oct. 29, that will surely please the tuner crowd.

Celebrity endorsements will be in full force all over the SEMA show floor as three urban-inspired Enclaves customized by a trio of the industry’s most influential designers, including Rick Bottom, former NBA star Jerome Williams’ Automotive Street Style, and Mitek will be on display, along with a new Pontiac G8 GT built by rapper 50 Cent and Unique Autosports.

Additional concept and specialty vehicles in the display include:

Cadillac –Factory customized CTS Sport and Escalade Sport concepts show how sporty these new models can look with a few, carefully crafted styling and stance enhancements.

Chevrolet –In addition to the E85 ethanol-powered machines described above, Chevy is featuring a bevy of tricked-out trucks and custom cars, including:
  • Silverado HD Crew Cab Z71 “Big Red” concept, influenced by last year’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. Big Red concept
  • Silverado HD Country Music concept with fold-out, portable stage
  • Silverado Major League Baseball show vehicle
  • Silverado/GM Performance Parts LSX-powered regular cab truck with 640 horsepower
  • Suburban HD Z71 diesel, with a new 4.5L diesel engine
  • Camaro Convertible concept
  • Impala SS “Car of Tomorrow” NASCAR racecar show vehicle
GMC –The Yukon All-Terrain show vehicle follows in the tracks of last year’s Sierra All-Terrain concept and is designed to complement active lifestyles; and the Sierra HD Denali is a “what if” look at applying GMC’s most premium aesthetic to the Sierra 2500HD.

HUMMER –A pair of serious off-roaders is on hand, including the racing-inspired H3R and the adventure-seeking H2 Safari.

Pontiac –Along with the Solstice SD-290, Pontiac will feature two new G8 performance sedans, including a slightly enhanced version of the G8 GT production model and a completely customized G8 GT from 50 Cent and Unique Autosports (viewed in the Pirelli Tires display).

A collaboration between Pontiac, 50 Cent and Unique Autosports – the New York-based custom shop featured on the show “Unique Whips” – 50 Cent’s red-and-black performance sedan is equipped with a GM Performance Parts LSX 427 engine, custom paint, 22-inch chrome wheels and a custom-tailored interior boasting an 800-watt audio system.

Saturn –Marking the introduction of the all-new Astra sport-compact, Saturn shows off a tuner-inspired example that uses subtle exterior and chassis mods, as well as unique wheels, to give the car a street-wise stance.

GM Accessories and GM Performance Parts

In addition to the concept vehicles at the GM display, General Motors introduces products and initiatives that will surely influence enthusiast projects of the near future, including a collaboration with TIS Industries - the creators of DUB magazine - to develop a variety of appearance and performance components.

GM Performance Parts (GMPP) teamed up with GM Performance Division to give the most famous 1957 Chevy magazine car of all time – Popular Hot Rodding’s Project X – its ultimate “restification.”

GMPP also introduces a bevy of high-performance engines and engine support components, led by the Anniversary 427 crate engine – a limited-edition, all-aluminum big-block based on the legendary ZL-1 engine. It is completed by the ZZ427, a regular-production crate engine that features most of the same high-performance attributes of the Anniversary 427, but with an iron cylinder block.

Also new from GMPP is an LS3 crate engine, tall-deck LSX cylinder block and a trio of “LS” engine controller kits that make engine integration easy.