Suzuki Grand Vitara Marine Concept unveiled at the 2011 SEMA Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 1, 2011

The Suzuki Grand Vitara Marine Concept, which is currently on display at the SEMA Show, was developed by the students at the Ohio Technical College (OTC). The goal of this project was to merge Suzuki’s automotive and outboard maritime motors divisions.

The roof of this Grand Vitara was chopped off and it now has boat-like side windows, excellent off-road tires, a boat-style radar arch, a nautical paint job as well as an outboard engine attached to its rear end. Tom King, director of enrollment management, OTC, said that this car is “an all-show project.”

He added that this project was started with Suzuki after its success with the customized Hot Wheels inspired 1957 Chevy Bel Air for industry veteran Vic Edelbrock.

King added that with this project, the OTC students in its Restoration, Automotive and its Custom Paint and Graphics Programs got a “unique learning opportunity” in modifying vehicles.

"The Grand Vitara Marine Concept exemplifies the unique combination of passion and innovation, and we couldn't be more pleased with the finished product," said Jeff Holland, director of public relations and social media, American Suzuki. "It was a pleasure working with the students at Ohio Technical College, and we hope this motivates other groups to creatively express themselves and the passion they have for Suzuki and the automotive industry."

Suzuki Grand Vitara has undergone a major reinvention and the new range is scheduled to start selling in the UK in December 2012. The entire vehicle has been restyled and its equipment upgraded in order to spark its revival within the competitive mid-sized SUV segment.

The new Grand Vitara’s front end sees a more polygonal grille and fender, while the fog lamps have likewise been modified. Also, the headlamps of the 5-door SZ5 models now feature inner black accents, and its 17” or 18” alloy wheels feature new style patterns.

Suzuki complied with customer requests, and they now standardly include a temporary use 16 inch spare wheel with 225/70 tyre, obviating the necessity for a puncture repair system. Mounted on the rear door, it adds 200mm and 170mm to the 5-door and 3-door Grand Vitara models, respectively.

Inside, the Grand Vitara SZ3 (3 door) and SZ4 (3 door and 5 door) models feature new seat trim designs, while the SZ5 5 door models now have a 6.1 inch touchscreen Colour Navigation System. This is a Garmin-powered system with thorough European mapping, as well as downloadable updates and content.

The navigation system is actually incorporated into the infotainment centre, which is able to play audio from an array of sources including CDs, radio, SD cards and media players such as the iPod and iPhone. Connection is through a USB port, Bluetooth music streaming or phone connectivity.

In terms of engine technology, the 1.9 DDiS models’ emission control systems were improved, thereby reducing CO2 emissions from 179 g/km to 174 g/km. Thus, the engine’s VED band is now reduced to H, a one band difference. Another new advantage is the improved fuel economy, as it now achieves 42.8mpg, compared to the previous 41.5mpg.

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