RR of the Day: 2002 Suzuki Aerio SX

We'll admit that the Suzuki Aerio SX is not on the short list of cars that leap to mind when we think of autocrossing, so you can imagine our surprise when we saw Flickr member SuziesLover's Aerio 5-door uploaded for RRotD consideration this week. The story goes like this: the Aerio was purchased in '02 with the intent of turning it into a show car. As such, SuziesLover began hooking it up with all the expected mods. A carbon fiber hood, boomin' 500-watt audio system, and other assorted gadgetry such as in-car computers were installed in the little hatchback. Unfortunately, forays to Hot Import Nights and other tuner events proved to be disappointing, as the Suzuki was regularly overlooked in favor of sexier fare.

Instead of sulking over the car's frustrating turn as a show pony, the decision was made to go in another direction entirely.The excess stuff -- computers, stereo, etc. -- was removed. The Aerio, you see, was goin' racin'. The initial setup the car ran with included 17" wheels wearing 40-series rubber, a lowered suspension, upgraded rear swaybar, AEI cold air intake, a custom high-flow exhaust with a Sprewell muffler, and an assortment of other bolt-ons.

For the 2005 season, the car's interior was stripped, the brakes upgraded to 12" rotors, and a pair of Sparco racing seats was installed. In addition to all that, a short shifter and racing battery were fitted to the Suzuki, which was now set up to compete in the street mod category. The effort paid off, as SuziesLover and the Aerio won their class twice that year.

That brings up up to the present day. This year, the car's suspension was upgraded with Drummond Motor Sports 40mm street coilovers. In addition to the trick customized suspension, baby got a new set of shoes in the form of lightweight Flik wheels shod with Falkin Azenis 615 tires. Some final tweaks to the car's electronics ensured that it was putting out every last drop of power it had. While the car's dynamics are said to be a revelation now, it hasn't eeked out a win yet. The Suzuki's up against faster competition and SuziesLover is still adjusting. That's OK. This kind of dedication will ultimately pay off. It's brought the Suzuki up from the ashes of being an afterthought as a show car to a place where it's a legitimate autocross weapon. And for that, it's our Reader Ride of the Day.

Check out two more photos of it after the jump!

NEXT WEEK'S THEME: Cars of the '80s!
Break out the leg warmers and your old Atari 2600, because we're going back to the '80s for our next RR of the Day theme. All next week we want to feature glorious cars from the decade that brought us the rise of Kevin Bacon as an actor and synthesized music as an art form. If you have a vehicle that originates from the 1980s, submit it to our Autoblog Flickr Pool to be considered for a RR of the Day feature. Man, it's gonna be a rad week.

RR of the Day: Suzuki Aerio SX

How to submit to RR of the Day:
Create a
Flickr account if you don't already have one. Search for and join the group called 'Autoblog RR of the Day'. Upload up to three photos of your ride to your own account at a size no larger than 450 pixels wide if possible and include as much information about it and yourself as possible. Even if your ride is sweet, it will not be chosen if there's not a lot of info accompanying it. Click on each photo and just above the picture it will say "Send to group". Click that and select the Autoblog group. You're done, that's it!

More Information