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Auto Show:  2011 Sema Auto Show

Suzuki Grand Vitara Marine Concept - SEMA Auto Show

author photo by Jeffrey Archer November 2011

If you think you've seen just about every automotive idea put into practice, you haven't been to the SEMA show in Las Vegas. At the annual event, aftermarket tuners display heavily modified, over-the-top cars designed to outdo one another and grab headlines. But perhaps the wackiest car being exhibited at this year's SEMA show is the Suzuki Grand Vitara Marine Concept, which features a host of modifications designed to make the small SUV resemble a boat.

Created by the Ohio Technical College in a joint effort with American Suzuki, the Grand Vitara Marine Concept doesn't actually float. But it does feature an apparently purposeless rear-mounted outboard motor, nautical body side graphics, and even a set of fishing poles, which are mounted on a crossbar over the SUV's rear half that's designed to resemble a speedboat.

While we admit the bizarre nautical theme will certainly turn heads, we're more interested in what's underneath. In addition to its notoriously tough Grand Vitara chassis, the Marine Concept features a lift kit, off-road tires, tubular side steps, shaved door handles and a Bull front bar bumper and winch, which give the SUV unique off-road appeal. The topless Grand Vitara also features pillarless windows and side glass, which was cut to resemble a speedboat's wraparound windshield.

"The Grand Vitara Marine Concept exemplifies the unique combination of passion and innovation, and we couldn't be more pleased with the finished product," said Jeff Holland, American Suzuki's director of public relations and social media. "It was a pleasure working with the students at Ohio Technical College, and we hope this motivates other groups to creatively express themselves and the passion they have for Suzuki and the automotive industry."

Although the Grand Vitara Marine Concept won't see production, Suzuki still intends to show it off, noting that the unique SUV will be featured in its booth at upcoming auto shows and other events throughout 2012.

See more coverage of the 2011 SEMA Auto Show.

JEFFREY ARCHER is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on
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Suzuki Grand Vitara Marine Concept - SEMA Auto Show - Autotrader