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-hp 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-hp 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.