Full Throttle Suspension's '03 Chevy Tahoe shares much with its waterborne companion, an '01 Malibu Boats Sunscape 25 LSV from Pacific Marine in Madera, California. They carry cargo and passengers with ease, tackle rough conditions with aplomb, and are powerful enough to thrill. Built as a display vehicle for the company and a boat that's just plain fun, this combo makes a real splash.
Subtle mods mark the Tahoe's white exterior, such as an HD hood, painted bumper, Trenz billet grille, and Escalade door handles - all the work of Steve Martinez. Nevertheless, polished diff covers, stainless brake lines, and regal shocks are what demand attention on this ride - that, and the extra foot of air. Thanks to FTS's 12-inch box kits, the suspension received front upper and lower control arm drops, coil drops, lateral compression struts, torsion bar drops, diff drops, steering drop and hardware, rear two-coil spacers, track bar drop and brace, tubular trailing arms, four trailing arm drop brackets, double-shock hoops. Also, a set of 25-inch King shocks in the front and stock shocks in the rear create the right stance. This package rolls on 20-inch Weld Cheyenne's wrapped by 20-inch TrXus STS meats surrendered by Interco.
As for the boat, its white, dark-blue, and yellow fiberglass, and the 25-foot hull rides on a nicely built and matching triple-axle trailer from Extreme Trailers with chrome fenders, KM Wheels, Avon tires, and LED lights. The boat is the longest of Malibu's luxury Sport-V models, and it's rigged for skiing, wakeboarding, 14 passengers, and good times.
Under the hood of the Tahoe is an '03 5.3L eight-cylinder powerplant and Extreme Flow 2-1/2-inch exhaust, driving a 4.88 Precision Gear ring-and-pinion set, and an Eaton limited-slip diff. An 8.1L Vortec V-8 powers the Malibu's V-drive for a respectable 425 hp that propels the boat at 48 mph - not bad for a burly boat like this. Luckily, the 25 LSV's considerable soundproofing, hydrophonic dampening system, gorilla fins, instantaneous response technology, and other solid features make for a quiet and responsive drive.
They both have kick-butt audio systems for a continuous stream of bass-bumping entertainment for the trip to, at, and from the lake. Hyetronics Sound in Clovis, California, installed a Clarion VRX935VD ProAudio CD/DVD/Sirius-ready head with a flip-out touch screen in the Tahoe that feeds Arc Audio components. A 400-watt amplifier pumps the component speakers, while a 1,500-watt amp powers three 12-inch Arc series subwoofers mounted in a down-firing configuration in a windowed enclosure that uses a relatively narrow footprint in the rear-cargo area.
By comparison to the Tahoe, which has a more-than-functional and certainly worthy system, the Malibu is outfitted like a three-day multimedia Caribbean cruise. Rods Custom Electronics in Fresno, California, crammed three Phoenix Gold 1,200-watt Tantrum amplifiers and four 400-watt Tantrum amps into a starboard storage compartment that powers seven Kicker subwoofers and 22 pairsof MB Quart mids and tweeters, all scattered throughout the vessel. Oh, and let's not forget the Audiovox DVD player and two 6.4-inch monitors, and a Pioneer Premier head unit. It's a good thing this setup wasn't on the Titanic during its dreadful encounter with the iceberg, otherwise passengers would have been so distracted that nobody would have wanted to get out.