Late yesterday GM announced the debut of the 2008 Chevy Equinox Sport. While spy shots of the vehicle had us heralding the addition of a second SS-branded utility vehicle in the Bowtie lineup (the first being the Trailblazer SS), it appears this Equinox will be one S short of being a Super Sport. Regardless, it still brings some serious game in the form of GM's high tech 3.6L V6 producing 263 hp and 250 ft-lbs. of torque. Mated to the company's new six-speed auto, the 3.6L should be able to drag, push and pull the Equinox Sport to 60 mph in the sub seven second range.

Check out more info, pics and the official press release after the jump...

Thanks for the tip, Galvin!

[Source: GM]


Chevy made sure to bring the rest of the Equinox up to speed with the engine by adding lowering the ride height a full inch on a perfromance-tuned suspension, adding larger stabilizer bars and stiffer bushings all the way around. The Equinox Sport can be had with front- or all-wheel drive, which will be torqueing a set of flangeless, five-spoke wheels.

The dowdy and utilitarian Equinox is further spiffed up with body colored trim and fascias (no more chrome mustache!) and the deletion of the roof rack. This slightly sizzlin' SUV also gets the trapezoidal treatment seen on the Trailblazer SS with like shaped air inlets up front and exhaust tips out back.

No vehicle badged a Sport model would be worthy of the name if it didn't have heavily bolstered seats, which this Equinox does. A new set of gauges was also needed to display the supposed 140 mph top speed of which this SUV is capable. Finally, a unique shifter gate is used on the Sport model so the driver can manually control the shifts of the 6-speed auto.

Chevy neglected to reveal any info on price but did say you can get your own Equinox Sport in Q3 of 2007.


PHOTO GALLERY:



PRESS RELEASE:

Chevrolet Equinox Sport Brings Excitement To The SUV Segment

DETROIT – Chevrolet announced the new 2008 Equinox Sport, a performance-oriented variant of the popular compact SUV.

It has an aggressive stance and a sporting nature, thanks to a lowered suspension, bold 18-inch wheels, a powerful, 263-horsepower (196 kW) DOHC engine – backed up with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual tap up/tap down control – a tuned exhaust and unique exterior appointments. Details such as body color fascias and the elimination of the roof rack contribute to the sleek design, making the Equinox Sport an uncompromising performance vehicle.

"The Equinox Sport embodies all of the value-driven performance ingredients that have made Chevrolet the brand for performance enthusiasts of all walks of life," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. "Better still, customers don't have to sacrifice the versatility they expect from the Equinox – they simply get an SUV that hauls their friends and cargo with head-turning style."

The 2008 Equinox Sport is scheduled to arrive at Chevrolet dealerships in the third quarter of 2007. Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models are available.

Design details

Using Chevrolet's popular Equinox SUV as the foundation, the Equinox Sport delivers a performance-inspired appearance, with body colored front and rear fascias and a body color grille cross bar. The front and rear fascias have trapezoidal design cues; the front fascia uses silver-painted trapezoidal air inlets, while the rear fascia features dual chrome trapezoidal-shaped exhaust outlets.

The Equinox Sport's performance-oriented look is enhanced by eliminating the roof rack, although it is offered as an option. Also, 18-inch flangeless, high-polished forged aluminum five-spoke wheels, mounted on P235/50R18 tires, complement an aggressive stance.

Inside, the Equinox Sport has standard all-Ebony trim and appointments all its own. New seats with bolsters that enhance lateral support during quick cornering maneuvers are standard, with perforated leather-covered versions available. It also has a leather-wrapped, four-spoke steering wheel and specific instruments, including a 140-mph speedometer. The shifter also is unique to the Equinox Sport, as it is a J-gate design that enables precise control of the six-speed transmission's fully automatic or manual tap-up/tap-down features.

Standard features also include those for which the Equinox is already known and appreciated: five-passenger seating with a Multi-Flex, split-folding rear seat, flat-folding front passenger seat , power door locks with remote keyless entry, power windows, air conditioning, tilt steering, rear liftgate with defogger and washer/wiper, and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with six-speaker audio system. XM Satellite Radio and remote vehicle starting also are standard. Available options include a power sunroof, Pioneer seven-speaker audio system and OnStar with Turn-by-Turn Navigation.

Performance

GM's high-feature 3.6L V-6 powers the Equinox Sport. It is a DOHC engine with variable valve timing that delivers 263 horsepower (196 kW)* and 250 lb.-ft of torque (342 Nm)* – a 42-percent power increase over the Equinox LT. The 3.6L engine is paired with a new Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic that provides an excellent balance between performance and fuel economy. This powertrain combination delivers performance that would be the envy of many sports cars, with an estimated 0-60 mph time of less than seven seconds.

The Equinox Sport's underhood acumen is complemented with a performance-tuned suspension. A long, 112.5-inch (2,857 mm) wheelbase and wide, 61.8-inch (1,569 mm) track give the Equinox a stable, confident road feel, while the Sport's lowered ride height, specific shock tuning, control arms and larger, solid stabilizer bars add to its more responsive, sporting driving experience. The overall ride height is reduced by about 1 inch (25 mm).

The front suspension has a MacPherson strut design with new control arms and stiffer, hydraulic bushings and slightly stiffer springs. The rear suspension features a four-link independent layout with stiffer bushings.

GM's innovative StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, front and rear disc brakes with four-channel ABS and tire pressure monitoring system all are standard on the Equinox Sport – as they are on all Equinox models for 2007. On AWD models, the automatic all-wheel drive system has no buttons to push. It engages automatically when wheel slip is detected.