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All-new 2007 Nitro
Gets Dodge into the mid-size SUV game

Dodge Nitro midsize SUV - front view.

Grille: body color on Nitro R/T or chrome (photo) on the Nitro and SLT.

APN,
8th February 2006.

With the introduction of its all-new 2007 Nitro around the third quarter of this year (2007 MY), the Dodge brand is expanding its presence a step further, entering the mid-size SUV segment with the promise that its Nitro dynamic performance will match its bold and aggressive styling.

Dodge's expansion is not new. In 1992, the brand launched the head-turning Dodge Viper sports car, in a bid to revive the dynamic image of the whole range. Two years later, the tough-image brand launched its big-rig designed Dodge Ram.

More than that, Dodge is not just widening it product portfolio. Its geographic spread will also cover overseas markets more seriously than before, especially Europe.

For this year, the all-new 2007 Dodge Caliber (common platform with the Jeep Compass and Patriot) compact car should reach Europe (C-segment in Europe) and close to 100 countries from the second quarter of this year, with both right- and left-hand drive models, and even a turbo diesel engine - an essential requirement for success in Europe.

Besides the Caliber, the all-new Nitro should provide another attractive proposals at Dodge showrooms, since the mid-size 5-passenger Nitro fits under Dodge's other SUV, the large 5- or 7-passenger Durango, completing the brand's current lineup of cars, minivans (Caravan / Grand Caravan), trucks and commercial vehicles.

Dodge Nitro midsize SUV - front side view.

The side features a deep-body section and high beltline.

To be built at the Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant alongside the Jeep Liberty, Dodge's Nitro too will be available outside North America in both left- and right-hand drive (mainly for the UK market), by the first quarter of 2007.

Based on the Nitro concept unveiled at the 2005 Chicago Auto Show, the 2007 Dodge Nitro will come with features that aren't typically offered on a mid-size SUV, such as two V-6 engine options, 20-inch tires and chrome-clad aluminium wheels, a performance suspension...

Dodge Nitro midsize SUV - back side view.

Short overhangs pushing the wheels to corners, under bold wheel arches.

Three Nitro models will be available at launch: the Dodge Nitro (base), Dodge Nitro SLT and Dodge Nitro R/T. Both Nitro and Nitro SLT come with a 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 engine, generating 210 hp and 235 lb.-ft. (319 Nm) @ 4,000 rpm. Nitro R/T features a new 4.0-liter V-6 engine that delivers 255 hp and 275 lb.-ft. torque (360 Nm) @ 4,000 rpm. 

Transmission comes either with standard six-speed manual, or 4- or 5-speed automatic. All U.S. models offer 4x2 and 4x4 capability. More on Nitro engines, transmissions, drive, suspensions, brakes, steering....

Dodge Nitro midsize SUV - instrument panel.

Dodge Nitro midsize SUV - front seats.

3-pod, 4-gauge instrument cluster, chunky steering wheel and new seats.

Nitro standard safety features include Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Roll Mitigation and side-curtain air bags.

The optional equipment list includes a DVD-based navigation system with traffic data update, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, AM/FM/6-disc/DVD/MP3 audio with premium speakers with a subwoofer, remote start, UConnectTM , and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Exterior Design - As a typical Dodge, Nitro's bold grille comes in body color on the Dodge Nitro R/T and chrome on the Dodge Nitro and Dodge Nitro SLT.

The side features a deep-body section and high beltline, with chrome vents positioned on each front fender. The short front and rear overhangs contribute to the vehicle's dynamic expression, pushing the wheels to the corners, under bold wheel arches.

The side-view mirrors were developed in the Chrysler Group wind tunnel in Auburn Hills, Mich., in conjunction with the form of the A-pillar, to minimise wind noise, while the door handles have a solid, strong feel and are easy to grip, even with a gloved hand (see next picture down).

The C-pillar black-out (back of the rear doors windows) makes the second-row and rear-windows appear more horizontal, amplifying the vehicle’s sporty nature.

The rear of the vehicle features bevelled tail lamps.

Dodge Nitro midsize SUV - door handle and side mirror.

Dodge Nitro midsize SUV - chrome vents on each front fender.

Dodge Nitro midsize SUV - Load N Go

1 - Door handles: solid feel and easy to grip, even with a gloved hand.
2 - Chrome vents positioned on each front fender.
3 - C-pillar black-out amplifies the vehicle’s sporty nature.
4 - Fold-flat front passenger seat, as well as fold-flat second-row seats.

Interior Design - A three-pod, four-gauge instrument cluster is designed for right- or left-hand drive. The chunky steering wheel gives a perception of a bigger vehicle. Brushed silver accents appear on the door handles, centre console, gear shift and HVAC controls. The Dodge Nitro SLT and Dodge Nitro R/T receive additional chrome detail on the steering wheel, instrument cluster, first-row grab handle and centre console.

In harmony with the bold Dodge image, the gear shifter and control buttons are substantial in size and bold by design. The centre console storage bin is deep and wide enough to house CDs or DVDs and has a tray that sits atop it for additional storage.

The centre console offers three spaces that can accommodate hand-held PDAs, cell phones or coins. The driver- and passenger-side doors each have deep compartments; behind the driver's seat is a wide and easy-to-reach map pocket.

The Dodge Nitro features a new firm and robust seat structure. A choice of vinyl or cloth seats is also available on the Dodge Nitro model. Leather seats are available for the Dodge Nitro R/T and SLT models.

Standard on the Dodge Nitro SLT is the new YES Essentials® cloth seats, and advanced seating upholstery that offers three key benefits: repelling stains, controlling odor and reducing static electricity. The fabric technology promises to withstand endless cleanings — even repeatedly in the same location — without rubbing off or changing the texture or comfort of the seats or surfaces. The upholstery also controls bacteria-based odors inside the vehicle.

Nitro comes with a fold-flat front passenger seat, as well as fold-flat second-row seats. The second-row seats also recline for added passenger comfort.

Standard on the Dodge Nitro SLT and Dodge Nitro R/T is the LOAD 'N GOTM  cargo floor which slides 18 inches rearward for easy and convenient loading and unloading of packages. The LOAD 'N GO cargo floor can hold up to 400 pounds and is made of a heavy-duty plastic for easy cleaning.

Standard on the Dodge Nitro base model is a reversible load floor, while  a compact utility table is optional. The Nitro features two new exterior colors — Sunburst Orange and Electric Blue. Also available will be Inferno Red, Light Khaki, Bright Silver, Black and Stone White.

For more information: Mechanical, Dimensional.

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