Suzuki Unveils Trucks & Car Influenced By Bikes

2009 Equator Design Impacted By Suzuki Powersports

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Feb. 12, 2008
American Suzuki unveiled a new midsize pickup truck with design influences impacted by the company's recreational and powersports products at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show. In the accompanying photo of the RMZ-4 model of the Suzuki Equator we can see clearly that the RM and RM-Z line of Suzuki motocross machines are the truck's inspiration.

Though Suzuki has made four wheel machines for a number of years, this is the company's first foray into the truck segment. Suzuki teamed with Japanese auto giant Nissan for the project. Known for its successful Frontier line of midsize pickups we can also see Nissan's influence with styling that echoes that of the Frontier.

Here you can see the obvious influence of Suzuki motorcycles had on the RMZ-4.
Oh, heavens! This is the cockpit of the SXForce!
The Equator is powered by either a 2.5-liter DOHC inline four with a claimed 152 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque or an optional  4.0-liter V6 DOHC engine producing a claimed 261 hp with 281 lb.-ft. of torque. Available extras that moto fans may appreciate include a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system with six-disc in-dash CD audio system, optional satellite radio and MP3 capability and MP3 player aux-in jack.

A model variation of Suzuki's SX4 Sport sedan called the SXForce should appeal to all you sportbike fans out there. The SXForce pays homage to the venerable GSX-R1000 with "a striking blend of carbon fiber, Flash Pearl White and Orange Metallic paint," and "a number of performance-based automotive parts and stunning motorcycle accents, including sportbike-style side rearview mirrors and dual exhaust, also found on the championship-winning GSX-R1000."

Hmm... With so many bike influences in these new four-wheel mahcines perhaps Motorcycle.com needs to sample one or two?

The Equator pickup truck is scheduled to go on sale in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2008.  Pricing has not yet been announced.

2009 Suzuki Equator
Performance and Functionality:

Built at Nissans manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn., the 2009 Equator features a fuel efficient 2.5-liter DOHC inline four with 152 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque or an optional  4.0-liter, V6 DOHC engine producing a class-leading 261 hp with 281 lb.-ft. of torque.  Designed for outstanding performance and durability, the Equators V6 engine incorporates an aluminum block with cast iron cylinder liners, forged steel crankshaft, microfinished crankshaft and camshafts, Teflon®-coated pistons, variable valve timing and a silent two-stage timing chain.

The Equator is matched to either a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission (I4 and V6) or five-speed manual transmission (I4), and offers an available shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system with an electronically controlled part-time two-speed transfer case.  For enhanced off-road capability, the rugged Equator offers a comprehensive off-road traction system, including four-wheel limited slip, electronic locking rear differential, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), hill descent control and hill start assist. 

The Equators strong, fully boxed frame anchors a long 125.9-inch wheelbase (Extended Cab or Crew Cab/regular bed), enhancing driver and passenger comfort and stability, while its overall length of 205.5 inches (Extended Cab or Crew Cab/regular bed) provides the perfect balance of utility, maneuverability and composure for a midsize pickup truck.  The 2009 Equator features an all-steel double-wishbone front suspension and solid axle rear suspension with overslung leaf springs and a long suspension stroke for optimized off-road dynamics.  Maximum towing capacity is rated at 6,500 pounds.  EPA fuel economy estimates are still preliminary.

Suzuki Equator QuadOther Equator powertrain components include engine-speed-sensitive power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering for responsiveness and good on-center feel and standard four-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD).  Equator also features a variety of available wheel and tire packages, including 16-inch off-road style wheels with rugged 265/75R16 tires and 17-inch wheels with 265/65R17 tires.

Styling and Utility:
 
The all-new Equator features a contemporary exterior design with a number of unique Suzuki elements, including hood, front fenders, grille, bumpers, front fascia and tailgate.  Both Equator Extended Cab and Crew Cab models offer an available high-utility bed that includes a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and an extensive tie-down system with adjustable tracks, providing ultimate cargo hauling flexibility through the use of five special "C" cross-section rails mounted in the bed (two channels in the bed floor and one each on the bed side rails and the bed header panel).  Removable utility cleats slide into the channels, providing a wide range of attachment points for securing cargo including Suzuki motorcycles or ATVs.  Suzuki also will offer specialized bed accessories that make loading, securing and transporting a motorcycle or ATV easier than in many competitive trucks.  To further satisfy the needs of active lifestyles, Suzuki will offer its customers a full range of more traditional accessories for use with the channel system, including bed dividers, sliding cargo trays and modular storage units.  Crew Cab models will offer an available roof rack.

Interior:

The Suzuki Equator offers the driver and up to four passengers a functional interior that combines versatility, cargo utility, comfort and convenience.  Both Extended Cab and Crew Cab body styles feature flip-up rear seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat and removable storage boxes tucked beneath the rear seats to provide additional cargo capacity.  The Equator offers additional convenience features such as a dual glove box with lock, damper and lamp, center console storage and one-liter bottle storage integrated into the front doors.  A host of cupholders and power points are standard throughout the truck.  Equator Crew Cab also will offer available leather-appointed seats, including a power-adjustable drivers seat, heated seats, heated mirrors and a factory-installed moonroof.  Additional available interior amenities include a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, Rockford Fosgate-powered audio system with six-disc in-dash CD audio system, optional satellite radio and MP3 capability and MP3 player aux-in jack.

Safety and Packages:

The all-new Equator includes a comprehensive list of standard safety equipment, including zone body construction with front and rear crumple zones, dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and a front occupant classification sensor, three-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and Tire Pressure Monitoring System.  To make the safety story even stronger, the Equator comes equipped with supplemental front seat side-impact air bags and supplemental curtain air bags for side impact and rollover protection for front and rear outboard passengers. Additionally, Extended Cab and Crew Cab models provide three-point seat belts for all rear seat occupants, including the center position for the Crew Cab.  The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor system is provided in the rear seat of the Crew Cab model.

Equator RMZ-4, Quay and Quad Concept Vehicles
 
Designed to match Suzukis performance-oriented motocross motorcycles, the RMZ-4 concept offers rugged off-road performance in a Crew Cab.  This Equator-based concept, built by the Carlab of Orange, Calif., features a number of exterior modifications, including a bed extender provided by Amp Research, an eye-catching graphic treatment, 18-inch black chrome wheels and specialty Luzlab headlights.  The trucks striking exterior is matched by an equally stunning sound system that includes an Alpine HD-Radio unit connected to Rockford Fosgate amp and speaker components. 

Suzuki Equator QuayAnother Carlab creation to debut in Chicago, the Quay concept is built to suit recreational boating and watersports lifestyles, with a customized paint job that reflects the look of Suzukis line of marine engines.  With an Extended Cab, long bed and hefty towing capabilities, the truck also is equipped with a state-of-the-art Visteon nav-control head unit that provides satellite radio, MP3 and navigation capabilities, in addition to Rockford Fosgate amp and speaker components.  The Quay also sports special 20-inch wheels and a matching locking hard tonneau cover.

Built to resemble the Suzuki QuadRunner ATV, and to accommodate a recreational outdoor lifestyle, the Quad concept was developed by Torrance, Calif.-based Andry Specialty Vehicles and comes outfitted with a Crew Cab and military look and feel.  In addition to a custom paint job and a two-and-a-half inch front end lift, the exterior of the truck has been modified with a set of 500 series fog lamps, a safari-style front bumper, front skid plate and tubular rocker guards.  To enhance the vehicles overall appearance and performance, the Quad is equipped with Yokohama Geolander tires that ride on 17-inch custom aluminum wheels and features Rockford Fosgate amp and speaker components. 

Suzuki SXForce

The SXForce is one of the latest additions to Suzukis media-acclaimed Suzuki LIVE Series (LIFESTYLE VEHICLES) a line of brand-dedicated concept vehicles specially designed for life enthusiasts, adventurers and thrill-seekers.

Reinforcing the link between the companys rich motorcycle heritage and versatile line of fun-to-drive automobiles, the SXForce is a sportbike-inspired concept based on all-new 2008 SX4 Sport.  Designed and built by Road Race Motorsports of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., the SXForce boasts a powerful 250-horsepower, 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine matched to a five-speed manual transmission. 

The exterior shell of the SX4 Sport has been modified to be eye-catching to both four-wheel and two-wheel enthusiasts.  It features a striking blend of carbon fiber, Flash Pearl White and Orange Metallic paint and showcases a number of performance-based automotive parts and stunning motorcycle accents, including sportbike-style side rearview mirrors and dual exhaust, also found on the championship-winning GSX-R1000.

Is it a car? Is it a bike? We'd love to find out!While the SXForce is sure to be a showstopper on display, it was designed to look even better on the road.  This fully drivable, track-tested SX4 Sport concept receives several performance enhancements, including a fully tuned performance suspension system, F1-style outlet gills to help underhood air flow, tailored rear bodywork with carbon fiber diffuser, Carbontrix rear wing, Tein coilover suspension height and damper setup, and reinforced structure to further enhance rigidity for optimal handling.  The SXForce is outfitted with 18-inch Enkei racing wheels and a staggered high-performance Toyo T1-R tire package 225/45-18 in the front and 235/40-18 in the rear.  It also is equipped with Rotora six-piston calipers with two-piece 355mm rotors for sportbike stopping power.

The motorcycle theme continues inside the SXForce, beginning with suede and leather seats and interior appointments, mimicking sportbike leathers.  Other interior enhancements include motorcycle instrument cluster and controls, roof air intake for optimal breathing and a revised track-themed interior featuring carbon fiber components and accents.  Engine vitals are monitored via a Zeitronix ZT-2 wideband data logger and all vital engine parameters are logged on a laptop and viewed on the ZT-2 gauge mounted on the Hayabusa handlebars.  The SXForce is equipped with an integrated Garmin navigation system, and its rear seats have been removed and replaced by a high-output Rockford Fosgate audio system.