Rendered: Chevy Equinox SS
A while back, when camouflaged prototypes for the refreshed Equinox were driving around, there was speculation that there were some SS models being tested in the mix. While those turned out to be RS models, which now feature a fairly aggressive rear fascia treatment and quad exhaust tips, the idea of an Equinox SS is still one we find interesting. With increasing crossover sales, we’re seeing a broad range of new SUVs, from what are essentially lifted hatchbacks to monstrously powerful super SUVs.
Despite their performance heritage, Chevrolet (or any other GM brand, for that matter) still does not offer a performance-focused crossover. There were rumors that GM would expand the Corvette name into a sub-brand that would include a performance SUV. That hasn’t materialized and may never do so, so we decided to play around with adding a performance flair to one of GM’s existing SUVs: the Equinox.
Our hypothetical Equinox SS rendering includes a more aggressive front fascia and body-colored trim pieces instead of the faux-rugged black plastic that accents the current Equinox. Design is only one part of the equation, though, and unfortunately GM doesn’t have many engines that could be fitting for an Equinox SS. Perhaps the best option is the 2.7L 4-cylinder turbo that is found in the Cadillac CT4-V and Silverado 1500. In the CT4-V application, it makes 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. These would be great numbers in a compact crossover like the Equinox, but it remains to be seen if the engine could be transversely-mounted as would be required to power such a vehicle. As the Equinox is FWD-based, the only acceptable choice is to give the SS an AWD system and the twin-clutch AWD setup found in other GM products would be an easy off-the-shelf choice.
Despite some doubts about the ability of the 2.7L to be fitted into an Equinox, would like to imagine that an Equinox SS is possible, because the idea of a performance-focused Chevrolet SUV remains exciting, especially given the underwhelming sales of the Camaro. Chevrolet needs to release something new to maintain their performance heritage and we think an Equinox SS could help do the trick.
James Brown was born in Seattle, Washington and has a passion for the automotive industry. Particularly interested in off-road capable trucks and SUVs, James spends much of his free time navigating off-road trails and enjoying other outdoor activities.