Dodge Nitro Concept
Son of Liberty
Photography by DaimlerChrysler
In an effort to round out its sport-utility lineup, Dodge previewed its Nitro concept at the 2005 Chicago Auto Show. Many believe this is a close representation of the rumored Liberty-based SUV coming to Dodge showrooms within the next year. The Nitro shares key components with the Liberty, including its short/long arm front suspension, five-link solid rear axle, and its 3.7L SOHC V-6. However, the 108.3-inch wheelbase of the Nitro is exactly 4 inches longer than the Liberty, and its overall length is 4.4 inches longer than its Jeep kin. Other key measurements are incrementally larger than the Liberty, as well.
In terms of brand positioning, it's clear that Dodge is going after the more "lifestyle"-oriented customer rather than the harder-core off-road clientele of Jeep. The concept vehicle was shod with 20-inch wheels, and although "full-time all-wheel drive" was touted as a key feature, there was no explicit mention of low-range in the initial press materials.
No specific information regarding on-sale dates was given, though the absence of gratuitous billet or carbon fiber pieces suggests this vehicle is close to being given the green light for production.
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