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On March 1, 2005 the city on the Rhone river will witness the world premiere of the “Chopster,” a very special type of SUV. The Chopster is a joint project of the exclusive Swiss automotive tuning powerhouse Rinspeed AG and EDAG Engineering + Design AG – an international innovative development partner for the automobile industry.

“The Chopster is a luxury-class life-style SUV that was designed specifically for automobile enthusiasts who appreciate a sporty and highly extroverted appearance in the SUV segment,” say Rinspeed chairman Frank M. Rinderknecht and EDAG board spokesman Matthias Topp about their joint project. Given that goal the designers of both companies came up with a vehicle whose ambitious exterior immediately commands respect. To emphasize its sporty character the EDAG design team chopped the roof of the original vehicle by a whopping 70 mm and added muscular fender flares. “Our inspiration for the design of the Chopster was the image of an American football player whose outfit and athleticism stands for enormous strength and assertiveness,” explains Johannes Barckmann, director of the EDAG-design studio. The wide muscular flares above the wheel arches in combination with the lowered roofline of the Chopster are consciously designed to evoke the image of a football player ready to pounce. The massive wedge-shaped side skirts visually reemphasize the SUV’s urge to storm forward. The newly designed front of the vehicle is similarly impressive: The beefy front bumper features large air inlets for the intercoolers, an unmistakable sign for the enormous demands for air made by the 600-bhp turbocharged engine that was developed by BSO 2001 Software & CAD Engineering.

The parallel horizontal lines of the vehicle’s rear further bolster the overall muscular appearance of the Chopster. Befitting its character the Chopster runs on enormous 23-inch wheels, which were custom-cast by ‘CW Fahrzeugtechnik Vertriebs GmbH.’ Low-profile Continental SportContact UHP tires in size 315/25 provide the necessary grip.

The luxurious yet sporty look continues in the design of the interior. Each of the four occupants has his own separate sport seat – either by Cobra Seats or by Recaro. A futuristic center console spans the length of the interior from the shift gate to the rear seats. The bow-shaped console houses cup holders and switches as well as the on-board infotainment system with Blaupunkt monitors, DVD player and Sony PS2 game console.

The materials used in the interior are of the highest quality: The Chopster on the Rinspeed exhibit at the show is painted matte silver. The interior features a combination of black leather and dark grey Alcantara. Silver carbon inserts from steering wheel to door handles, all handcrafted by MP Design with loving attention to detail, add to the sporty character of the Chopster. Illuminated sill plates from ‘INT autotechnik’ round out the interior.

EDAG Engineering + Design AG exhibits yet another equipment version of the Chopster on their show display: In fine contrast to the orange-metallic exterior the interior is dominated by natural-white leather. Various applications in body color round out the sporty yet elegant overall appearance.

“Customers can individualize the interior of their Chopster to suit their personal preferences,” explains Frank Rinderknecht. The 600-bhp Chopster will be built in an exclusive small-series production run starting in April of 2005. It can be ordered from Rinspeed AG starting at about 325,000 euros. Small-series production is handled by EDAG.

The highly experienced prototype builders from EDAG Engineering + Design AG ensure that the act of chopping is done with perfect craftsmanship while retaining the high safety standards of the original vehicle. Installation of add-on parts as well as the implementation of customer-specific requests in the interior is done in the model-building shop at EDAG headquarters in Fulda.

The model-building specialists of EDAG are normally tasked with the creation of perfect design models for the international automobile industry. They guarantee that the production of the Chopster involves only the highest level of craftsmanship.

The Chopster represents an exclusive, extroverted and trendy crossover addition to the SUV segment.

-RSportsCars.Com
 

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It's what the original Cayenne should have looked like
 

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damn.. that bitch is fucking clean yo.. whats the specs and retail price on that hoe?.. i like the rim's and the interior :tu :tu yup 2 thumbs up from me. :D
 

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i love the interior but don't feel the exterior...it looks a bit wacky...
 

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I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.


Yeah, the judges are nodding to me on that one, that's an affirmative on the throwup.
 

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RINSPEED CHOPSTER
ON SALE: Now, in Europe
BASE PRICE: $460,000
POWERTRAIN: 4.5-liter, 592-hp, 590-lb-ft twin-turbocharged V8; 4wd, six-speed sequential automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 5470 lbs
0 TO 62 MPH: 4.4 seconds (mfr.)

We first saw the wild Rinspeed Chopster, based on an already impressive 444-hp Porsche Cayenne Turbo, on the Internet in 2004, and it was orange then. We saw it at this year’s Geneva show in matte silver, and it was time to take a drive. Swiss Porsche tuner Rinspeed partnered with Edag in Germany—among a long list of others—to create a 592-hp version of the 4.5-liter Porsche V8.

The Edag chop job on the completely redone bodywork, which the company says is inspired by linebackers’ physiques in American football, is daunting in person. A whopping 2.75 inches of height is lopped off the passenger cabin. Sitting in the stunning leather and Alcantara interior feels like sitting in a mobile bunker. You can actually tell the Chopster is scowling at the outside world from the way pedestrians in crosswalks react. Swiss school kids are decidedly not neutral in their reactions.


The vehicle has the mass to match. Whereas the standard Cayenne Turbo hits the scales at 5192 pounds, the Chopster breaks the scale at 5470 pounds. In testing, we found the rear gate had to be propped up by hand as the added weight exceeds the limit of the hydraulic dampers meant to hold it up. A more robust unit is to be added prior to the Chopster’s delivery to a Russian client.

BSO 2001 in Germany performed a complete engine overhaul—new low back-pressure race exhaust with 100-cell metallic catalytic converters, two large water-cooled intercoolers, higher-pressure turbochargers and a new electronic control unit—and beefed up the six-speed gearbox to withstand the 590 lb-ft of torque vs. the Cayenne Turbo’s 457 lb-ft. That’s a lot of torque, but the gearbox is said to be able to withstand a Bugatti Veyron-like 738 lb-ft. Literally, this is a tank built for Siberia.


Driving this hulk is every bit as cool as you’d expect. The sheer power at the touch of the throttle lives up to the image of the exterior. You can accelerate to 62 mph in a bit more than four seconds and top speed hits 180 mph against the Turbo’s 165. To stop this moving mountain, the Chopster has larger cross-drilled floating brake discs originally designed for racing GTs, again by BSO 2001.

Inside is a specially crafted carbon composite floating center console with full multimedia displays for front and rear occupants. The comfort of the four individual Recaro racing seats adds another unique element to an already unique machine.


Fore and aft fender panels in carbon composite are inflated considerably, giving the Chopster a width of 80.2 inches vs. the standard Cayenne Turbo’s 75.9. The proportions are right on the money, and we like the Chopster’s attitude.

The body-lift air sus*pension is kept from the standard Cayenne Turbo, and the Chopster looks best when hunkered right down to the hilt. Aiding this overall uncompromised posture are 11x23-inch alloy wheels custom-cast by CW Fahrzeugtechnik and supreme Continental 315/25 SportContact UHP treads. This is the future of Swiss bling.

Got $460,000 for starters? Save it; NHTSA and the EPA aren’t high on the Chopster’s conquest list. There are a handful of orders on the books back in Switzerland though, so it looks like Rinspeed may have finally chopped its way through to the big time.

autoweek
 
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