SEMA: Suzuki shows off XL7 BaseCamp, 300HP SX4 "Zuk" concepts

UPDATE: Live shots from SEMA show added

At SEMA, Suzuki has unveiled their latest "Suzuki LIVE Series" concept vehicles. In the past, the series has treated us to goodness like a 357 horsepower turbocharged Grand Vitara "Blizzard," as well as other accessorized and/or modified cars such as the Forenza "Sea."

This week in Vegas, the focus is squarely on the new XL7 and SX4, two cars Suzuki is banking heavily on to dramatically increase its US sales. The XL7 is transformed into the BaseCamp concept, a metallic-finished crossover with features like a passenger-side gullwing door that provides access to a spacious, wi-fi-enabled passenger cabin. Outside, the metallic paint is augmented by titanium body cladding that flips down to create scaffolding which allows easy access to the roof, where a carrier hauls a pair of mountain bikes. Another highlight is a carbon-fiber-framed canopy that attaches to the roof to provide some protection from the elements at your campsite.

The SX4 gets a very serious injection of muscle in the form of the Zuk, a motorcycle-inspired version of Suzuki's new hatchback with 300 turbocharged, intercooled horsepower lurking underhood. Its paint scheme is borrowed from the company's line of sportbikes, and cutouts in the bodywork expose the car's inner workings, just as you'd see on a two-wheeler. Inside, the minimalist cockpit carries forward the cycle theme with a gauge cluster that recalls the GSX-R and exposed spaceframe and rollcage.

Those two are joined by another trick SX4, the race-prepped, US Touring Car Championship-compliant Thunderhill SX4 GodZUKI. This car is being developed to run in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill Endurance race. Naturally a couple of Suzukis outfitted with factory accessories are on hand as well, to generate interest in the additional baubles you can order right from your local dealership.

(More photos, press release after the jump)

[Source: American Suzuki]

Suzuki XL-7 BaseCamp Concept

Suzuki XL7 BaseCamp concept

Suzuki SX4 "Zuk" Concept

Suzuki SX4 Zuk concept
Click to enlarge

Suzuki ups ante with "Suzuki LIVE Series" concepts, Thunderhill SX4 racecar, Suzuki Works Techno™
and Genuine Suzuki Accessories

LAS VEGAS - (Oct. 30, 2006) /PRNewswire/ -- To demonstrate its commitment to automotive enthusiasts and the massive aftermarket industry, American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) arrives in the entertainment capital of the world for the 2006 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show with five vehicles on display, including an assortment of concept, modified production and highly accessorized vehicles.

Suzuki is enjoying record sales success in the U.S. led by its next-generation products such as the Grand Vitara, which was totally redesigned and restyled last year, the all-new 2007 Suzuki XL7 midsize SUV and the all-new 2007 Suzuki SX4 with standard all-wheel drive. Suzuki's participation at SEMA reflects the company's commitment to build exciting, fun-to-drive, high-styled vehicles.

In concert with its "Way of Life" brand mantra, which promises products for consumers' active lifestyles, Suzuki debuts BaseCamp and Zuk, two of the company's "Suzuki LIVE Series" (LIFE VEHICLES) concept vehicles based on the all-new XL7 midsize crossover SUV and SX4 compact sport X-over (crossover), respectively. To appeal to enthusiast culture, Suzuki also reveals the race-prepped SX4 GodZUKI that is being developed to run in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, and no visit to SEMA would be complete without showcasing ASMC's popular line of Suzuki Works Techno (SWT) and Genuine Suzuki Accessories featured on the five-door SX4 and versatile Grand Vitara.

"The exciting concepts and accessories we are showing at SEMA illustrate our emerging identity in the aftermarket community," said Gene Brown, vice president of marketing and PR, ASMC. "Suzuki is increasingly interested in designing visually appealing products and accessories that resonate with enthusiasts, especially because of the role that head-turning vehicles play in their active lifestyles."
"Suzuki LIVE Series" Vehicles

Last year, ASMC launched the "Suzuki LIVE Series" – a sequence of brand-dedicated concept vehicles specially designed for life enthusiasts, adventurers and thrill-seekers. Consistent with Suzuki's "Way of Life" brand philosophy, and to support the launch of the all-new XL7 and SX4, ASMC will introduce four all-new "Suzuki LIVE Series" vehicles in model year 2007, illustrating how its cars and SUVs play an integral part of consumers' lifestyles.

Built by the Carlab of Orange, Calif., and based on the 2007 XL7, the BaseCamp concept offers cutting-edge design and technology to fulfill the needs of outdoor enthusiasts. The BaseCamp's exterior is blanketed with liquid metal body paint and finished with titanium cladding around the perimeter of the vehicle, which also is easily converted to a catwalk for unprecedented upper vehicle access and storage.

The concept features a unique gullwing passenger side door that when opened, reveals a warm, inviting, modern interior room and attachable peninsula bar work station with full media connectivity, including Wi-Fi Internet access, Bluetooth integration and iPod®1/MP3 capabilities. The BaseCamp also features a custom roof rack system with an integrated dual slot bike rack and Santa Cruz mountain bikes, eight high-intensity LED light clusters, including a unique "down" lighting system, an enclosed cargo/luggage area and forward-mounted miniature camera. After arriving at a campsite, a modern canopy with carbon fiber frame can be attached to the roof rack, keeping adventurers dry in inclement weather or protecting against the sun, and creating a welcoming ambiance for visitors.

The BaseCamp's interior reflects a similar high-tech design and feel with mica-hued light-toned seating and titanium accents throughout the inside of the vehicle. In the rear cargo area, the vehicle features a utility storage pack and access system. Additionally, the XL7 concept is equipped with in-dash CD/DVD and GPS/Navigation system with real-time traffic.

Inspired by Suzuki's world-renowned, championship-winning sportbikes, and derived from the new SX4 sport X-over, the Zuk concept offers solid functionality both on the road and the track. Built by Road Race Motorsports of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., the sporty Zuk is powered by a 300-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled engine with alcohol injection system, matched to a five-speed manual transmission.

Designed for ultimate street performance, the stunning SX4 concept features a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, excellent stability and crisp handling characteristics. The Zuk features Suzuki Hayabusa and GSX-R-inspired bodywork, ground effects, mirrors, spoiler and exhaust, all wrapped in blue metallic paint and carbon fiber. Framing accent lights highlight the Zuk's motorcycle-themed structure and cage, while strategically placed openings reveal the vehicle's powertrain, wheels, tires and chassis details. The fully drivable and track-tested Zuk is equipped with a fully tuned performance suspension system, 19-inch alloy wheels and high-performance tires.

The motorcycle-inspired design continues inside the Zuk, revealing a functional, modern sportbike-styled space frame and roll cage. Cove lighting further accentuates the superbike-inspired structural frame and draws attention to the GSX-R-inspired instrument cluster. Minimalist racing seats with charcoal and carbon fiber interior trim and touch points provide interior comfort and complement the Zuk's optimal driving experience. Other race-inspired interior appointments include center switches and gauge set – evocative of Suzuki racing heritage – and machined aluminum driver and navigator foot platforms cantilevered for an exciting motorcycle feel.

Thunderhill SX4 GodZUKI
Suzuki also displays an SX4 that is being developed to run in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the world's longest endurance race. Built by Marshall Pruett Motorsports Engineering (MPME) of San Jose, Calif., the turbocharged version of the sporty five-door has been nicknamed GodZUKI, based on the vehicle's aggressive bodywork and Azure Grey paint color, which has a greenish tint similar to Godzilla's scales when out in the sun.

MPME relied upon a number of premier aftermarket partners to develop GodZUKI. APR Performance of Walnut, Calif., created the SX4's racing bodywork, a combination of fiberglass and carbon fiber made from scratch. Salt Lake City-based automotive engineering company COBB Tuning transformed the SX4's stock, 143-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine into a robust, more powerful intercooled and turbocharged racing motor that will prove reliable over the long 25-hour race. Additionally, COBB's AccessPort ECU tuning technology was used to map the engine's computer characteristics to the newly configured engine.

The SX4's braking system was developed and engineered by Performance Friction Corporation (PFC), who worked in conjunction with Impact Engineering to perform major chassis and brake component fabrication on the car build as outlined by MPME. Recaro Profi racing seats grace the interior of the car, and the suspension has been upgraded with Ground Control shocks. GodZUKI also features custom-fitted ROTA Wheels and Yokohama tires, a must for maximum performance throughout the long race.

Built to conform to United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) rules, GodZUKI will weigh close to 2400 lbs. and produce nearly 200 horsepower when it hits the track at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill on Dec. 1. The driving lineup, a list of "who's who" of national and international racing experts, provides the perfect complement to get the most performance from the sport-tuned SX4. Gary Sheehan, SPEED World Challenge driver and noted AWD racing expert, Indy Racing League star Roger Yasukawa, Japanese Super GT star Akira Iida and Sam Mitani of Road & Track are tasked with steering the SX4 to success.
Suzuki Works Techno and Genuine Suzuki Accessories

To complement Suzuki's versatile, stylish product line, the company offers an array of accessories from Suzuki Works Techno (SWT) and Genuine Suzuki Accessories – a line of style-enhancing trim packages and accessories designed to personalize Suzuki cars and SUVs sold in the United States. SWT and Genuine Suzuki Accessories currently are available for the all-new XL7, SX4, Grand Vitara, Reno, Forenza, Forenza Wagon and Aerio and can be purchased through local Suzuki dealers.
SX4 Accessories

Inspired by the popular aftermarket styling packages for other Suzuki models, ASMC rolls out a full-line of accessories for the 2007 SX4, offering more than 50 popular SWT and Genuine Suzuki Accessories. Accessories shown on the 2007 Suzuki SX4 include:

* SWT Rear Spoiler – Rally-inspired SWT rear spoilers are molded in sturdy, lightweight polyurethane and are available color-matched to the SX4 or unpainted.
* SWT Wing Lip – Aggressively styled rear hatch "wing lip" feature for the SWT rear spoiler.
* SWT Alloy Wheels – Custom-designed 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels for the SX4, finished with gunmetal spokes and a polished lip. They also include chrome lug nuts and SWT center cap. Wheels also are available in triple chrome-plated finish.
* Carbon Fiber Shift Knob – Features either a carbon fiber or the SX4 shift pattern insert. Leather shift boots also are available to complete the racy look.
* Roof Rack Cross Bars – Durable roof rack system can hold up to 110 lbs. Removable bars quickly attach to roof rails with lockable clamps. Various kinds of roof rack storage and modules are available, including a roof cargo tray and lockable roof box and bike, ski or surfboard/kayak modules.
* iPod® Interface – Provides a seamless connection from your SX4 to iPod. When connected, iPod® functions can be controlled from the SX4 radio and steering wheel controls. Artist, album and song title information are displayed on the SX4 radio. Up to six playlists are available with no software upgrades required, operates with current iTunes®2 software and charges an iPod® while connected.
* Auto Dimming Mirror – With a built-in compass, the auto-dimming mirror replaces the standard rearview mirror. Mirror detects headlight glare, automatically dimming the mirror for all light conditions.
* Body Side Moldings – Durable polyurethane side molding helps protect paint. Molding is available in wide or narrow widths.
* Rear Bumper Protector – Rear bumper protector is available in brushed metal style or black grain texture.
* Silver Finish Front Grille – Matches the lower bumper trim on the SX4.
* Stainless Steel Exhaust Tip – Polished stainless steel exhaust tip with laser-etched SWT logo.
* Center Armrest – Padded adjustable center armrest. Armrest lid releases for additional storage space.
* Cargo Mat – Rubberized vinyl all-weather mats help keep dirt and other debris away from the SX4's interior. These lightweight mats are easily cleaned with mild soap and water.

Grand Vitara Accessories
The 2007 Grand Vitara offers three distinctive packages, including the Touring Package, which includes a trailer hitch, custom trailer wiring harness and roof rack cross bars; Sport Package, which offers a stylish SWT rear spoiler, rear cargo net and SWT exhaust tip; and Protection Package, which features a durable SWT bumper protector, rear cargo net and wheel lock set.

Consumers also can purchase exterior and interior accessories for the Grand Vitara on an individual basis. To enhance the exterior styling of the new Grand Vitara, Suzuki offers brushed metallic finish B-pillar trim, silver finish grille, durable vinyl SWT quarter window graphics, steel exhaust tip with laser-etched SWT logo and a racing-inspired, SWT-engineered rear spoiler. For a sporty look, Suzuki offers a custom fit side step bar set and aluminum running boards.

Additional exterior features include durable acrylic sunroof and window visors, rugged off-road fender flares and carbon fiber look vinyl hood and nose masks to help protect the Grand Vitara's paint finish. For added protection to prevent minor nicks and scrapes, Suzuki offers heavy duty, molded polyurethane bumper guards, body side and bumper molding sets and a rear bumper protector, available in both black and brushed metal-style trim. Suzuki also offers a variety of easy-to-install chrome accents for the exterior rearview mirrors, antenna mount, hood vents, windshield washer accents and door sills.

As a vehicle geared toward adventure seekers, the Grand Vitara offers numerous removable roof rack systems and storage capabilities, including removable roof rack cross bars, lockable bike module, composite material surfboard/kayak holder, adjustable ski/snowboard holder, specially designed aluminum roof cargo tray and aerodynamic roof cargo box.

To complement the Grand Vitara's already-impressive interior, consumers can purchase a custom Burlwood trim kit with UV protective polyurethane coat and a rich finish that conforms to the dash and console. Custom engineered SWT aluminum alloy wheels for the Grand Vitara are available in two sizes, 16-inch and 17-inch, and two finishes, machined/paint and chrome. For enhanced looks and security, Suzuki offers SWT smoked chrome wheel lug and lock sets.

In addition to the SX4 and Grand Vitara, ASMC offers an assortment of Genuine Suzuki Accessories for the all-new 2007 XL7, including roof rack cross bars and modules, a trailer hitch, hood protector and other comfort and convenience items.

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