The Karmann SUC was introduced by Karmann at the 2005
Frankfurt Motor Show. Karmann - an engineering company
who specialize in automobile manufacturing and specialist
roof systems - teamed up with the chassis and transmission
experts at ZF to develop the SUC concept.
The SUC's name stands for 'Sport Utility Cabrio' to highlight
both the fully retractable soft-top roof and the SUV layout.
Amazingly despite the fact the SUC has four full-size
doors and the aforementioned convertible roof, the designers
managed to make the vehicle look better than most SUV's
(top up or down) on the market.
The SUC was developed through a collaboration
between Karmann and ZF.
Crisp, sharp lines down the sides are combined with gently
sloping curves at the front to provide a stylish and interesting
shape. Up front the usual large central grille has been
replaced with twin vents integrated underneath the headlight
Powering the 2634 kg (5807 lb) Karmann SUC was a 4.4 litre
V8 which produced 315 horsepower. Power was sent to all
four wheels after passing through a 6-speed ZF transmission.
While there was never any real intention to put the SUC
into production, it did act as a great way of underlining
Karmann's skills and ingenuity in developing unique roof
systems. It also helped ZF develop and showcase a state-of-the-art
electronic chassis control system.