The History Of Suzuki Grand Vitara
The Suzuki Grand Vitara is a compact SUV, namely a long-wheelbase version of the Vitara, produced by the Japanese automaker Suzuki since 1999. It was facelifted in 2002 and 2004, and redesigned in 2006. A rebadged version was sold in North America by General Motors as the Chevrolet Tracker. The Tracker is sold in Latin America, but Mexico, as Chevrolet Grand Vitara. In Mexico, Grand Vitara and Tracker are different vehicles, sold by Suzuki and Chevrolet respectively. In Chile, 5-door Grand Vitara is known as Grand Nomade.
As of 2003, the smaller Suzuki Vitara has been withdrawn from the North American market. Sales were slow, with just 4,860 sold in 2004 for the United States. In Canada, sales were strong. All North American Vitaras were built at CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario, while the North American Grand Vitaras were built in Japan, where it is the Suzuki Escudo. The 2006 model has had a structural redesign with a new ladder-boxed chassis integrated into a unibody construction. In India, it is sold as a Maruti.
The 2001 model Suzuki Grand Vitara comes standard as a 2.0 Liter 4WD vehicle in New Zealand. The 2005 and onwards Grand Vitara is sold in Ecuador by Chevrolet, yet it still retains it's Suzuki badges.
The vehicle is also mass produced in Iran by Iran Khodro Manufacturing Co.
The Grand Vitara was replaced in the fall of 2005 by a new vehicle using some components of the GM Theta platform, and is built in Japan. The 2006 Grand Vitara was developed independently by many of the same Suzuki engineers who developed the Theta. Although it uses some Theta componentry, especially in the suspension, it is quite different and should not be considered a Theta vehicle. Notably, it uses a longitudinally-mounted engine and is rear-wheel drive with a 103.9in (2639mm) wheelbase, while all other Theta vehicles are transverse engined with front-wheel drive as the default. All can also be ordered with all-wheel drive as well, however. The contemporary generation Suzuki XL7 (starting in model year 2007) is a true Theta vehicle, and is built alongside the Chevrolet Equinox and Pontiac Torrent at CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.
The standard chassis is a 5 door version, but in many countries there is also available a 3 door version called "Vitara" (in some countries, as Chile, 5-door version is named "Grand Nomade"). The standard gasoline engine for the 5 door version is an updated J20A (4 cyl. 2.0L 140hp); and a more powerful option is the Suzuki H engine H27A (V6 2.7l 181hp). Pre 2001 turbo diesel models were fitted with Mazda's type RF engine, with later models fitted with a turbo diesel engine (4 cyl. 1.9L 129hp (96kW) manufactured by Renault). The only engine for the 3 door version is an M16A (4 cyl. 1.6L 105hp).
In the second half of 2008, the Suzuki Grand Vitara was given a face-lift and two new engines. A 2.4L in-line four is offered producing 122kW of power and 225Nm of torque. The new V6 is only offered in the flagship prestige model which produces 165kW of power and 284Nm of torque. Fuel economy has also been improved with the addition of VVT to both engines and the 1.9L Turbo-Diesel has also received some mechanic work improving its economy. Safety has also been improved with more air-bags and traction control standard on all models. The four mode four-wheel drive system is also available on all models.
A heavily modified Grand Vitara participated in the 1996 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. This racing model was equipped with two mid-mounted twin-turbo V6 engines which together delivered a total of 985 hp. It also sported a massive wing to keep the tires on the ground.
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