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Suzuki SX4, Nissan X-Trail, Mitsubishi Outlander, Peugeot 4007, CitroŽn C-Crosser and VW Touareg
Cobra tuning shows how it likes crossovers

CitroŽn C-Crosser with Cobra styling accessories, front view (1).

CitroŽn C-Crosser with Cobra styling accessories, front view. (2).

CitroŽn C-Crosser with Cobra styling accessories, back view.

CitroŽn C-Crosser with Cobra styling accessories.

26 November 2007.

As we all know, and sometimes admit it, going for a crossover SUV is not just a matter of 4x4 capabilities. Tough driving conditions and rational considerations are not always the top priority that sends us straight to our nearest car dealer to chose our new SUV.

The fact is that, compared to the traditional SUVs with their highly tough and capable body-on-frame structures, modern crossovers brought a decisive qualitative difference with their unitary body structures, or unibody: they combine all-wheel-drive capabilities with passenger cars comfort.

That's what makes crossovers so attractive, especially with their higher driving position that some like to rightly describe as "commanding".

It remains to be seen, depending on people of course, what is the most attracted by this "commanding" feature, the body or the ego. For egos and bodies come in different shapes, sizes and volumes.

Anyway, unlike body-on-frame SUVs, unibody crossovers come much closer to what we expect from a saloon / sedan in terms of handling, comfort, and even with some sporty dynamics, depending on models and versions.

While you cannot expect the much tougher off-road capabilities of a classical body-on-frame SUV or pickup, the lighter unibody crossovers compensate you normally with a more reasonable fuel budget, better agility, less body roll and lower sills to get in or out of the cabin.

Mitsubishi Outlander with the Cobra front bar.

Mitsubishi Outlander with the Cobra Cityguard element, made from high-polished stainless steel fixed on the lower side of the standard bumpers

Mitsubishi Outlander Cobra styling accessories.

Now that we may agree that our choice for this crossover or that one, is more based on taste and / or cost considerations than on any exceptional off-road capabilities that we seldom need to think of in our cocooned 21st century life - at least in peaceful countries -, let's concede that the crossover is first of all a desire of change, a statement of difference and / or an expression of individuality.

But here is another problem: most of us are seeking that same difference and individuality. Modern technologies, media and globalisation managed to make individuality one of the most sought after needs of our mass production societies.

Mass individuality? In a sense, it is industrially unavoidable. Go and ask Ford or any other carmaker to make a different crossover for each individual aspiration! They will offer you to "chose any individual crossover that you want, as long as it's coming out of the assembly line".

That's certainly a great leap forward since the days of the "chose any colour as long as it's black".

Peugeot 4007 with Cobra front bar and tubular side steps.

Peugeot 4007 with the Cobra Cityguard element, made from high-polished stainless steel and fixed on the lower side of the standard bumpers.

Peugeot 4007 with Cobra styling accessories.

But if you still want more individuality and you do insist, there is a direct, cost effective and distinctive way of turning your crossover into something even more different than the same one sold two weeks later to your best friend or envious neighbour.

That solution is simply called... tuning.

As you probably know, tuning is not necessarily about "overclocking" your engine breathing pressure or turning speed, or about converting your suspension settings into something really different from what automakers can understandably offer to the general public, even in the sporty versions of their models.

Tuning can be simply a design change, with more or less clearly differentiating touches at the front, sides and back, and there you go. Your Mitsubishi Outlander, Suzuki SX4 or Nissan X-Trail becomes something really different, leaving the masses of those same metallic "creatures" which happen to bear the same badge.

But far from amateurish DIY, tuning is a serious business where reputation counts a lot in terms of safety and reliability. Change is good and nice as long as quality is proven, tested and guaranteed.

Nissan X-Trail with Cobra styling accessories, including front bar.

Nissan X-Trail with Cobra wheels, side steps and bumper.

Nissan X-Trail with Cobra styling accessories, back view.

Nissan X-Trail with Cobra styling accessories.

One of those reputed companies is Cobra, or more officially, Cobra Technology & Lifestyle. This German tuner selected a group of stylish crossovers and decided to make them, in its own way, even more stylish. And to certify its quality, all Cobra components are documented with a 2 years warranty without mileage limit.

To illustrate what you can make to differentiate your crossover, we took the Cobra design accessories for a selection of new or new-generation crossovers: the Nissan X-Trail, Opel Antara, Mitsubishi Outlander and its two technical brothers, the Peugeot 4007 and CitroŽn C-Crosser (based on the Outlander).

Should you look for smaller, Cobra's selection also includes the Suzuki SX4. You want bigger than all of them? No problem. What about the VW Touareg then?

While the Cobra offer targets specific features in the front, sides, back and roofs of these different models, they are tailored for each model shape and design identity. The following lines cover the common elements for all these models, with their obviously different dimensions depending on each application. Then, photos display the different look for each one.

Styling individuality starts logically from the front, and the most evident change for a crossover statement is to make it look more prominent, if not bolder.

Suzuki SX4 with Cobra front bar.

Suzuki SX4 with Cobra styling.

Suzuki SX4 with Cobra styling accessories.

To that end, the off-road specialists from Cobra Technology & Lifestyle offer for the Outlander / 4007 / C-Crosser for instance, a high-polished stainless steel front bar with 60 millimetres in tube diameter. It meets all current EC guidelines for pedestrian protection, and comes complete with a European type approval, eliminating the need for individual technical inspections and other bureaucratic measures.

In addition, the front guard allows the fitting of additional high beams which are available, for each of these models, as a ready-to-install kit.

Alternatively the front section can be upgraded visually and functionally with the Cobra Technology & Lifestyle Cityguard element, made from high-polished stainless steel which is fixed on the lower side of the standard bumpers.

The face of the new crossover models can be further refined with custom-made stainless steel grille mouldings for their standard front bumpers.

Opel Antara with Cobra styling accessories, with front bar.

Opel Antara with Cobra styling accessories, without front bar.

Opel Antara with Cobra styling accessories, back view.

Opel Antara with Cobra styling accessories.

Another practical and attractive feature comes with the Cobra sill tubes which make entering and exiting the car easier.

Self-adhesive Cobra rub strips can be added to protect the four doors against damage from shopping carts or other opening doors.

The new crossovers looks are rounded out with chrome moulding for the tailgate, and right above, the roof rails can be upgraded to a roof carrier system with lockable Cobra cross rails.

Furthermore Cobra updates include attractive light alloy wheels for each of these models, in 16- or 17-inch diameter. The most exclusive version is the two-piece Cobra Grenada II 8Jx17 wheel with tires of the dimension 245/55 R 17.

Sporty engine sound and striking looks with one large oval chrome tailpipe are the main features of the Cobra stainless steel sport exhaust system which is offered in custom-made versions for the alternatively available gasoline and Diesel engines.

In the case of the new Nissan X-Trail, an engine protection plate made from aluminium is designed for heavy-duty off-road driving, and the Cobra N+ program also offers a selection of custom-tailored tire/wheel combinations with 16-, 17-, 18-, 19- and 20-inch diameters. The largest possible version is the Cobra Sahara multi-spoke wheel in size 8.5Jx20 with tires in size 245/35 R 18.

VW Touareg with Cobra styling accessories, 1.

VW Touareg with Cobra styling accessories, 2.

VW Touareg with Cobra styling accessories.

The Cobra N+ sport stainless-steel rear muffler is available for all gasoline and Diesel versions of the Nissan X-Trail. The performance-optimizing accessory offers a more powerful engine sound plus refined looks with its two chrome tailpipes. To separate the trunk from the passenger compartment there is the option of a solid Cobra N+ partition grille. 

The Opel Antara can be upgraded also with a smaller stainless-steel Cobra Cityguard front guard. Its high-gloss tube with a diameter of 48 millimetres is attached to the underside of the front apron. The side tube guards are also made from high-gloss stainless steel with a tube diameter of 80 millimetres. They are sold in a ready-to-install set of two. Alternatively the Korean built (by Daewoo) Antara can be upgraded with Cobra Technology & Lifestyle running boards.

For the Suzuki SX4, 60 millimetre Cobra stainless-steel tubular sill guards round out the off-road look, with an integrated step to facilitate entering and exiting the vehicle.

The Cobra tire/wheel combinations of the Suzuki SX4 come in three different wheel designs and sizes ranging from 7.5Jx16 to 8Jx17. The most exclusive wheel is the multi-piece Cobra Grenada five-spoke wheel in size 8Jx17 with 225/45 R 17 tires.

For the VW Touareg, Cobra provides easy-to-install chrome-design mirror housings, in addition to custom-tailored light-alloy wheels with diameters of 20 and 22 inches for all versions. The largest version features Cobra Sahara 10Jx22 multi-spoke wheels mounted with tires in size 295/30 R 22 front and back. 

Market-specific prices, shipping costs and other information - or inquiries - about the Cobra tuning range can be obtained directly from the Cobra Technology and Lifestyle website.

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