SEMA 2014: Optima has a Battery for Everyone, and a Great Idea


When we visited with Cam Douglas of Optima Batteries this year at the SEMA Show, he had some very interesting things to tell us about. There was the usual chat about the company’s battery products and their various appropriate applications, but an interesting new concept cropped up during our talk.

IMG_0272xThere’s the Optima Red Top, referred to as “the ultimate starting battery,” with units in the lineup that can offer as much as 1,000 cranking amps. And it also has a good reserve capacity of up to 100 amps in certain sizes. The Yellow Top from Optima is touted by the company as being the “ultimate dual-purpose battery,” kicking out up to 1,125 cranking amps and a 155-amp reserve capacity, depending upon the size of the battery. Add to this electrifying trio the Optima Blue Top battery with a cranking capacity of up to 1,125 amps and a reserve capacity as high as 155 amps, and you have a triumvirate of automotive batteries.

Douglas offered a bit of advice on choosing one of these three for off-road vehicle applications, telling us that “first you have to decide just what your needs and uses really are. All AGM-type batteries are ideal for off-road vehicle use due to their inherent stability when compared to standard batteries. If you are engaged in ‘normal’ off-road activity such as weekend recreational use and a week filled with highway driving, the Red Top is likely a good option. If you’re off-road activity leans a little more toward the ‘hardcore,’ and your vehicle is supplied with a full compliment of electrical accessories such as a winch, auxiliary lights, and an on-board compressor, the Yellow Top might be a better choice.”

However, what Douglas said next was especially interesting and a pleasant surprise to us. Optima’s very successful Ultimate Street Car Challenge has brought together some of the nation’s hottest sports cars and musclecars to compete in a road race course atmosphere. He has been thinking of ways to re-create the popular street car event for off-road vehicles. Of course, the hitch is finding the right course that would be safe, manageable, and fun for all. How does that sound to you? We think it would be a blast and offered some location suggestions that hopefully spurred Douglas’ thinking on getting an Ultimate Off-Road Vehicle Challenge up and running soon.

If you’re looking for more information on Optima Batteries, head on over to the company’s website or give them a call at (800) 867-8462). When you talk to them, let them know that you are interested in an Ultimate Off-Road Vehicle Challenge, too.



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About the author

Stuart Bourdon

Growing up with a passion for cars, trucks and motorsports made it natural to seek a career in that direction. An education in photojournalism, a love of the outdoors and years of exploring the waters, deserts and mountains of Southern California led to working on boating, outdoor, RV and off-road vehicle enthusiast magazines. Off Road Xtreme is the newest adventure in his life-long love affair with vehicles of all types.
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