2008 SEMA Show: Subaru Forester Mountain Rescue

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2008

Today, Subaru of America unveiled the Mountain Rescue Forester Vehicle, manufactured specifically for the National Ski Patrol . It will be launched at the 2008 Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show that runs at the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 4 to 7 this year.

Cooperating with Subaru of America, Detroit-based Specialized Vehicles created the Mountain Rescue Forester Concept as the final first responder vehicle, intensifying its trail-driving capability and furnishing it with vital Ski Patrol rescue gear.

Patterned after the 2009 MOTOR TREND SUV of the Year Subaru Forester 2.5XT turbo small SUV utility vehicle, the Forester Mountain Rescue Vehicle is designed to aid Ski Patrol crews perform rescues in harsh environments and weather conditions.

The men and women of Ski Patrol put their lives in harm's way in the mountains, facing avalanches, performing brave rescues and keeping careless skiers and snowboarders from endangering others and themselves on the slopes.

Subaru and skiing have been together since 1974, when skiers first discovered the all-weather traction capability of Subaru versions with all-wheel drive. In stock form, the 2009 Forester 2.5XT merges Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with 8.9 inches of ground clearance, more than other small two-box configuration SUVs, which are characteristically in the 6.5-7 inch series.

The Forester Mountain Rescue Concept offers more than 14 inches of ground clearance through an Air Lift custom adjustable ride height air suspension system. Additional off-road and snow traction is supplied by Yokohama Geolandar MTS 30 x 9.5-inch tires on exceptional 15-inch Subaru custom-reversed near-zero offset steel wheels.

For added protection on the trails, the Forester Mountain Rescue Concept is outfitted with custom front and rear skid plates by DeeZee and custom Trail Armor by Bushwacker, with fender flares, lower door cladding, a rear gate guard and tail light guards. Skiers won't have difficulty seeing the Forester Mountain Rescue Vehicle coming: an emergency light package, amplified by Subaru Genuine Accessory Baja Sport Activity Lights, guarantees high visibility from long distances and in all types of weather conditions.

To light up a rescue location, the vehicle is outfitted with roof mounted Visi Light LED spotlights - five in front and two in the rear - by Hamsar Diversco. Finishing off the concept vehicle's distinctive styling, a DeeZee custom grille guard helps shield the Sport Mesh Grille from Subaru Genuine Accessories. When on the rescue site, the Ski Patrol crew can utilize an Ultimate Performance 9.5i Thermometric 9,500-lb. winch by WARN.

Remote rear door openers and external quick-access utility compartments play an important role when the race for time is of particular importance. Extra wide round crossbars help secure the Subaru Yakima ski carriers, which on this vehicle hold Nordica snow skis.

A rescue sledge from Cascade completes the rescue equipment. Subaru is the official vehicle of the NSP, a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Lakewood, Colorado and committed to serving the public and the ski business by offering education on emergency care and safety. Subaru has been the Official Vehicle of the NSP for scores of years and for good cause - Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, tough construction and long-lasting make any Subaru perfectly fitted to rough winter conditions.

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