February 19, 2005 Last November Gizmag released the first information about the Porsche Cayenne-based Rinspeed Chopster and at the time we commented that the beautiful Cayenne was a most unlikely vehicle to mess with. The new 600 horsepower Chopster SUV will debut at the Geneva Motor Show and interestingly, it somehow got a lot better looking in the last three months. A collaboration between two of the most innovative automotive companies in the world, the Chopster offers 800nM of torque and costs around 325,000 Euro.
Maybe it's just the change of colour from orange to silver - something's working.
The Chopster is a joint project of the exclusive Swiss automotive tuning powerhouse Rinspeed and EDAG, an international innovative development partner for the automobile industry. Both companies have a history of producing remarkable concept vehicles, with EDAG's genX concept car getting universal press at last year's Geneva show, while Rinspeed just continues to make remarkably innovative autos of almost any ilk. "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 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 centre 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 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. The Rinspeed Chopster has a maximum speed of 290 km/h (181 mph and a 0-100 km/h time of 4.4 seconds. This staggering performance was enabled by increasing the Porsche motor's output from a standard 450hp to approximately 610hp in the modified version. Because of this significant increase in engine horsepower, the torque of the engine increased significantly as well. The torque increase is up from a stock 620Nm of engine torque to an astonishing 800Nm of torque. Subsequently parts of the transmission had to be reengineered in order to withstand the increased performance of the vehicle. To cope with race-type speeds, the Chopster has race style two piece floating disc brakes. This type of setup guaranties a significant weight savings compare to the factory set-up. It also guarantees alignment of the brake disc to the brake calliper.
Even when applied under extreme driving conditions, this set-up guarantees a 100% brake performance. Further, the front discs are cross drilled for better heat dissipation and cooling and are also significantly larger in size then the factory discs. The so called brake hat is manufactured out of specially forged aircraft aluminium and also hard anodised. The mounting of the brake disc to the brake hat is done with a special titanium bolt set-up.
This setup will provide a maximum amount of strength and a minimum amount of heat transfer from the brake disc. The actual brake calliper is a high performance 8-piston brake calliper, which was originally designed for the use on race cars. The brake lines are special stainless steel breaded brake lines, which are extremely heat resisted. The rear brake disc's are upgraded as well and are also cross drilled, in order to provide a better heat dissipation and to match the visual appearance of the front discs.
Rinspeed fitted the Chopster with ContiCrossContact UHP tyres - beefy size 315/25 R 23 Y XL front and back, on five-spoke 11x23 alloy rims. - approved for speeds of up to 300 km/h (187 mph), this high-performance tyre offers extremely short braking distances, high cornering stability and safe driving characteristics, even on wet roads.
The Borbet-Group developed the 11 x 23" alloy wheel for the new Chopster in collaboration with Rinspeed. This wheel will soon be available through Rinspeed for the Porsche Cayenne and the VW Touareg.