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2009 Chicago Auto Show: Suzuki Equator Goes Three Ways At Once


2009 Chicago auto show

2009 Chicago auto show

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A year after introducing the Suzuki Equator (a lightly disguised Nissan Frontier) pickup at the '08 Chicago Auto Show, Suzuki rolls out three customized Equators designed and built by enthusiast publications. All three magazines were given a blank slate Equator to start with, both stylistically and mechanically. All three will be revealed during Suzuki's 2009 Chicago Auto Show press conference.

4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, who named the Equator its 4X4 of the year, decided upon an Equator with "extreme capability," adding suspension lift, aggressive off-road tires, and body armor for their fortified Equator. Aluminum beadlock wheels with Hankook Dynapro MT tires, a Shrockworks custom front bumper, and Master Craft RS Camelback seats are included in their modified Equator.

2009 Chicago auto show

2009 Chicago auto show

Enlarge Photo

Off-Road magazine built an Equator designed to show off the mid-size truck's stout, overbuilt frame and maneuverable midsize footprint. Dubbed "Project Two Face," their modded Equator shows combines both a stout 6,500 towing capacity and rugged 4WD off roading with high-speed 2WD street performance. A low-profile custom front bumper keeps parking duties stress-free, KC HiLiTES Carbon Fiber HID lights illuminate the way forward with ease, and RMZ-4 wheels with BFGoodrich ATKO tires give excellent response both on- and off-road.

2009 Chicago auto show

2009 Chicago auto show

Enlarge Photo

Truckin' magazine's project Equator has a decidedly different bent. They choose the street as the domain for their extended cab Equator, building a lower, lighter truck "as tied to the pavement as a center stripe." Truckin's "Street Shark" Equator concept uses a stock 2.5-liter four (yikes - hope it's a lot lighter) with a MagnaFlow performance exhaust, improved breathing in and out of the four, and Stillen performance brake rotors with powder-coated calipers. The whole thing is wrapped in paint that mimicks Suzuki's GSX-R sportbike. Classic Soft Trim swathed the interior in leather, Polk Audio makes it bump with three 12-inchers, and an AIM Industries lowering kit helps the Nitto 265/35 R22s hug the tarmac even tighter.

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