This weekend, Acura brought a very special SLX to Radwood. It might have looked like the old Isuzu Troper rebadge it is on the outside, but underneath it was all modern RDX. It was a publicity stunt, yes, but it was a good one. And it gave me an idea.
Some people were less than impressed with the project. “It’s not a real Acura,” they said, “No one cares about their rebadges.” I supposed they’re entitled to their opinion, but I can’t help but think that that crowd is a little closed-minded. The SLX might be adopted, but it’s still family.
I mean, what’s really wrong with a rebadge? Rebadging the at least one generation of the Trooper helped Acura (and Holden and Opel and Subaru and Chevrolet and Ssang Yong) all compete in a new segment when they sensed a market opportunity. Cars like these allowed all these brands to develop more of the “purer models” you all really care about (okay, maybe not Ssang Yong, but most of them). That’s how the brand legacies you all go crazy about stay afloat, and so I think it’s more than appropriate to build these resto-mods to celebrate their marques.
Anyways, the idea is pretty simple. I will never get bored of seeing these projects so what we need to do is convince every brand that has built a variant of the Isuzu trooper to stuff the drivetrain of one of their newer vehicles inside. It’s a fantastic idea, I promise. Just think of the possibilities...
Obviously the Holden one needs the LS3 out of the last V8 commodore. It can be rear-wheel-drive too because I think we all need that burnout in our lives.
Yeah, Subaru sold one of these too. Take one and shove the AWD system and boxer four out of the Subaru WRX STI S209 and put it inside. Boom. Done.
Ssang Yong buddied up with Mercedes after they were done with Isuzu. The fruit of that relationship was the Chairman W, which featured the M113 V8 out of an S-Class. You know that that means? We can drop it into the ol’
First-gen Isuzu Trooper Korando Familiar and bring it down to Radwood Seoul, whenever that might be.
We couldn’t pay tribute to all of the Trooper variants and forget the big man Joe Isuzu. These days, Isuzu doesn’t build much in the way of performance vehicles these days so we had to get a little bit more creative. The choice is pretty clear, though. The NPR cab-over truck has a six-liter LS V8 from GM inside. Take that out and put it in a Trooper, Isuzu. Trust me.
So come on, everyone. Fire up the angle grinders and the plasma torches. It’s time get to work. It might not be easy, but it’ll be worth it.