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In Depth: 2007 Dodge Nitro

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In Depth: 2007 Dodge Nitro

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Auburn Hills, Mich., Oct 1, 2006 - To better understand a new product, sometimes it helps to know what it is not. Take the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro, for example.

Nitro is not another mid-size sport-utility vehicle with sleep-inducing styling. Instead, the bold styling and masculine swagger of Dodge (think Viper, Ram, Magnum and Caliber) is hot-wired into Nitro, inside and out.

The Dodge Nitro is not stuck on its handsome good looks. It’s also functional. Nitro’s spacious interior has room for five passengers, innovative cargo features, and the seating and storage flexibility to handle the needs of people and their gear.

The Dodge Nitro is not afraid to get frisky. The R/T model* — with its 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 engine, performance suspension and 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels and performance tires — will have drivers using “sporty” and “SUV” in the same sentence.

With more than 25 safety and security technologies, the Dodge Nitro is no stranger to the importance of safety.

Nitro is not timid about using technology, either. In fact, it’s very intuitive. The Dodge Nitro is well-versed in digital entertainment and communication technologies, including MP3, CD, DVD, USB, VES (for Video Entertainment System), and a new one, MyGIG™ Multimedia Infotainment System*. MyGIG allows customers to use touch screen or voice commands to control all of Nitro’s entertainment and communication technologies, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive where music and photos can be stored.

Finally, Dodge Nitro is not afraid of globe-trotting. It enters overseas markets in the summer of 2007, and will be available with an all-new 2.8-liter common rail diesel engine.

“The 2007 Dodge Nitro is going to heat up the mid-size SUV market by giving consumers a quality vehicle with masculine good looks, exceptional performance, unsurpassed utility and features that will surprise and delight,” said George Murphy, Senior Vice President – Global Marketing, Chrysler Group.

The Dodge Nitro is the first-ever mid-size sport-utility vehicle from Dodge, complementing the brand’s lineup, which now consists of passenger cars, minivans, trucks, commercial vehicles, a full-size SUV and police vehicles. In addition to Dodge Nitro R/T, the two other models offered in the United States are the Dodge Nitro SXT and Dodge Nitro SLT.

Design

The styling of the 2007 Dodge Nitro gives the mid-size SUV market something it hasn’t had since — well — forever: the bold, powerful, street-smart attitude of Dodge.

Dodge Nitro owes its masculine appearance to a number of elements: the signature Dodge crosshair grille with its three-dimensional ram’s head, prominent fender flares, substantial body size and high beltline. Even the exterior mirrors and door handles are brawny. The wheels of the Nitro are pushed to the corners, reinforcing the performance and capability of the vehicle. Those wheels, by the way, can be imposing: 20-inch chrome-clad wheels and tires can be had in the U.S. on the SLT model (optional), and the R/T model (standard).

On the inside, Dodge Nitro has supportive, comfortable and attractive seats. The front passenger seat folds flat, while the reclining rear seats fold 60/40.

Across from Nitro’s beefy four-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel is a three-pod, four-gauge instrument panel. The gauges are black with gray and white graphics and orange pointers, creating a look of technical precision.

Storage is plentiful. The center console has room for hand-held PDAs, cell phones or coins; there are driver- and passenger-side door compartments; and a map pocket behind the driver’s seat. The LOAD ’N GO™ floor is a new innovation. This sliding panel holds up to 400 pounds and is ideal for loading and unloading packages and other items. A reversible molded cargo load floor, durable and washable, is standard on the Dodge Nitro SXT.

Engineering

*The powertrain and chassis options on the 2007 Dodge Nitro are tuned to provide customers with power, performance, controlled braking and handling, and a smooth, car-like ride.

*The performance-oriented, 260 hp, 4.0-liter, single-overhead-cam (SOHC) V-6 is an enhanced version of the 3.5-liter engine used in prior Chrysler Group vehicles. The 4.0-liter engine is standard on the Dodge Nitro R/T model

*The 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 engine, with its 210 hp, provides the 2007 Dodge Nitro with a standard engine that is efficient, durable and smooth. The engine has been refined to enhance low-speed torque while providing a smooth idle and minimal engine noise. Plus, a new exhaust gas recirculation valve helps increase fuel economy. The 3.7-liter V-6 is standard on the Dodge Nitro SXT and Dodge Nitro SLT models

*The Dodge Nitro features a new coil-spring independent front suspension and an all-new five-link, coil-spring rear suspension. Performance-oriented drivers will want the new performance suspension optional on the Nitro SLT models equipped with 20-inch wheels and standard on the Nitro R/T. Dodge Nitro SXT and SLT with 16- and 17-inch wheels feature a sport suspension that delivers responsive handling with a comfortable ride

*Three transmissions are offered on the Dodge Nitro: a six-speed manual transmission on SXT, a four-speed automatic on SXT and SLT and a five-speed automatic on R/T

*Nitro is available in both two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models

The 2007 Dodge Nitro was designed and engineered under the Chrysler Development System (CDS), the comprehensive, coordinated and disciplined product creation process that improves quality and speed-to-market while reducing costs and encouraging practical innovation in new products

Safety

Dodge Nitro has a full range of active and passive safety systems. Among the vehicle’s standard equipment are Electronic Stability Program, Electronic Roll Mitigation, All-speed Traction Control, Brake Assist, Advanced Anti-lock Brakes and Side-curtain Air Bags.

Technology

Dodge Nitro is a rolling platform for some of the latest entertainment and communication technology available in the automotive industry.

Chrysler Group is the only company in the U.S. offering a completely integrated audio, navigation, entertainment and hands-free communication system. The MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System has the capability of downloading photos and music to a hard drive from a CD, DVD or USB memory device. All these functions can be controlled through voice commands and utilizing a touch screen.

Video Entertainment System (VES) enables rear passengers to enjoy movies, music and external audio/video devices. For example, the system will play DVDs, WMAs, MP3s and audio and video CDs.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio provides U.S. customers with 125 channels including 100 percent commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic and weather. And the UConnect® Hands-free Communication System uses Bluetooth® technology to provide wireless communication between the customer’s compatible mobile phone and the vehicle’s on-board receiver.

Manufacturing

The 2007 Dodge Nitro will be built using Chrysler Group’s modern production process, called the Flexible Manufacturing Strategy (FMS). FMS allows the company to produce a higher quality product, faster, for lower cost. At the core of the new manufacturing process is the heavy use of robots at the Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant, where Nitro will be manufactured.

Dodge Brand

With nine new vehicles launched in just two years, Dodge, the Chrysler Group’s best-selling brand, continues its product offensive for the 2007 model year.

With 1.4 million vehicles sold globally in 2005, Dodge is the No. 5 nameplate in the U.S. automotive market. Overall, Dodge has a 7 percent market share in the United States. In the minivan market, Dodge has a 19 percent market share; in the truck market, 16 percent; and 4 percent of the car market.

The Dodge showroom is loaded with new vehicles including Charger, Caliber, Nitro, Ram Mega Cab, Ram 1500, Ram 3500 Chassis Cab, Charger SRT8 and Viper SRT10 Coupe.

Dodge Goes Global

In 2005, Dodge sold 10,722 units outside North America, an increase of 19 percent from 2004.

Dodge continues to expand into international markets for the 2007 model year. More than 90 percent of Chrysler Group dealers in Western Europe will distribute and sell Dodge vehicles.

* Late availability

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Engineering

Since the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro doesn’t look like any other sport-utility vehicle in its class, Chrysler Group engineers knew that the vehicle’s power, performance and handling needed to out-point the competition, too.

“Offering customers a choice of two V-6 engines, a performance suspension and 20-inch chrome-clad wheels wrapped up in bold packaging is what makes the Dodge Nitro stand out in the mid-size SUV segment,” said Craig Love, Vice President – Rear-wheel Drive Product Team, Chrysler Group. “Whether customers are looking for sporty performance or dynamic ride and handling, the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro redefines the mid-size SUV driving experience.”

Two Powerful Engines

4.0-liter SOHC V-6

The performance-oriented, 4.0-liter, single-overhead-cam (SOHC) V-6 engine is designed to provide the power and torque required to make the Dodge Nitro R/T* a leader in the mid-size SUV segment. The engine delivers 260 hp (194 kW) @ 6,000 rpm and 265 lb.-ft. (359 N•m) of torque @ 4,200 rpm and gets an estimated fuel economy of 17 city and 21 highway. It is an enhanced version of the 3.5-liter engine used in prior Chrysler Group vehicles. The 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 engine provides more power and torque than the prior 3.5-liter, with emphasis on low- and mid-range operation to meet the needs of the day-to-day driver.

The 4.0-liter engine is offered on the Dodge Nitro R/T model in the United States.

3.7-liter SOHC V-6

The 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 engine provides the 2007 Dodge Nitro with a standard engine that is efficient, durable and proven. It produces 210 hp (157 kW) @ 5,200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. (319 N•m) of torque @ 4,000 rpm and gets an estimated fuel economy of 18 city and 24 highway (4x2). Refinements in the valve train and combustion chamber, working together as a system, enhance low-speed torque while providing a smooth idle and minimal engine noise. A sophisticated Electronic Throttle Control system tailors throttle response to pedal movement based on operating conditions, and maintains a consistent vehicle speed on rolling grades when cruise control is active. Also new on the 3.7-liter engine for 2007 is an exhaust gas recirculation valve, which helps increase fuel economy.

The 3.7-liter V-6 is standard on the Dodge Nitro SXT and Dodge Nitro SLT models in the U.S. Towing capacity on all models is up to 5,000 lbs. when properly equipped with a weight distributing hitch.

For key diesel markets outside North America, the Dodge Nitro will be offered with an all-new 2.8-liter common rail diesel engine in 2007.

All-New Suspension Systems

The Dodge Nitro features an all-new coil-spring independent front suspension and an all-new five-link, coil-spring rear suspension. The independent front suspension gives the driver an optimum combination of ride, handling and steering, providing a greater sense of control and precision. The solid five-link rear suspension, including upper and lower trailing links and track bar, provides higher lateral stiffness for vehicle responsiveness and outstanding handling. Ample suspension wheel travel is provided to maintain consistent ride quality, especially when the vehicle is loaded or towing a trailer.

Performance-oriented drivers in the U.S. will want the all-new performance suspension* packaged with 20-inch tires and wheels on the Dodge Nitro SLT and standard on the Dodge Nitro R/T. Here the emphasis is on responsive, fun-to-drive handling accompanied by a firm ride. This system features a revised sway bar, springs, shocks and bushings.

Dodge Nitro SXT and SLT feature a sport suspension that delivers responsive handling with a comfortable ride. This tuning offers a strong balance between ride comfort and nimble, confidence-inspiring handling. The sport suspension will appeal to a cross section of U.S. buyers looking for comfort and solid on-road performance.

Effort, feel and response on the Nitro’s rack-and-pinion steering system are tuned for each available suspension and give the driver precise control and positive feedback from the steering force exerted by the tires. The steering linkage design also allows for a tighter turning circle.

Choice of Three Transmissions

Three transmissions are offered on the Dodge Nitro in the U.S.: a six-speed manual transmission, a four-speed automatic and a five-speed automatic.

The six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Dodge Nitro SXT 4x2 and 4x4 models with the 3.7-liter V-6 engine. It provides optimal shift ability, improved quietness and high quality. For smooth operation, first and second gears have triple-cone synchronization, the third and fourth gears double-cone and the fifth and sixth gears single-cone. Hard-finished gears allow for quiet operation. A multi-rail, steel-construction shift system delivers high strength and precision. The two-piece aluminum case with integrated clutch housing assures powertrain stiffness and low weight. The new first-gear ratios combined with six-speed step spread allows optimization of axle ratios for fuel economy and performance.

Transmission ratios for the six-speed manual are:

Gear - Transmission Ratio

1st - 4.46

2nd - 2.61

3rd - 1.72

4th - 1.25

5th - 1.0

6th - 0.84

Reverse - 4.06

The four-speed automatic transmission is optional on the Dodge Nitro SXT and standard on the Dodge Nitro SLT 4x2 and 4x4 models. Line pressure within the transmission is based on demand for improved fuel efficiency.

Transmission ratios for the four-speed automatic are:

Gear - Transmission Ratio

1st - 2.84

2nd - 1.57

3rd - 1.0

4th - 0.69

Reverse - 2.21

The five-speed automatic transmission is mated to the 4.0-liter V-6 engine in the Dodge Nitro R/T. The five-speed transmission features Electronic Range Select (ERS) driver interactive shift control. The shifter provides fully-automated shifting when in the Drive position, or the driver can manually select each gear via Auto Stick by simply moving the shifter left and right from the Drive position. This gives the driver control to precisely match any on-road driving requirement.

Transmission ratios for the five-speed automatic are:

Gear - Transmission Ratio

1st - 3.59

2nd - 2.19

3rd - 1.41

4th - 1.0

5th - 0.83

Reverse - 3.16

Part-Time and Full-Time Four-Wheel-Drive Systems

The Dodge Nitro 4x4 features a part-time and full-time four-wheel-drive system. A full-time four-wheel drive system*, ideal for inclement weather or unpaved roads, will be standard on 4x4 vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions in the U.S. A part-time four-wheel drive system will be standard on 4x4 vehicles equipped with the manual transmission.

Exceptional Braking Capability

Four-wheel-disc, anti-lock brakes (ABS) are standard on the Dodge Nitro. The vehicle’s larger rotors contribute to excellent stopping and handling capability. All-speed Traction Control is standard on the Dodge Nitro and is engineered to transfer torque from one wheel to another on the same axle when wheel slip conditions are detected.

Also standard on the Dodge Nitro is Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which aids the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability in severe maneuvers on any type of surface. Using signals from sensors throughout the vehicle, ESP determines the appropriate brake and throttle adjustments.

Solid Quality

The 2007 Dodge Nitro was designed and engineered under the Chrysler Development System (CDS), the comprehensive, coordinated and disciplined product creation process that improves quality and speed-to-market while reducing costs and encouraging practical innovation in new products.

Emphasized on CDS are the systems engineering, design and up-front planning to avoid time-consuming and costly trial and error or changes during the latter phases of the product development cycle. With CDS, all product and process planning is completed and fully integrated before production tooling begins.

Extensive testing was conducted on Nitro pre-production models with countless hours of wind noise and aerodynamic evaluations, as well as many other related tests in the Chrysler Group’s $37.5-million state-of-the-art aerodynamic and acoustic test facility.

The Dodge Nitro saw the following as part of its quality check list of testing:

*Approximately 7.5 million customer equivalent miles were accumulated on prototype vehicles over the course of the vehicle development program. That testing included durability testing at Chrysler Group’s proving ground facilities, reliability testing for domestic and international markets and development trips and engineering testing on-road

*Corrosion testing at the proving ground facilities in Michigan and Arizona under extreme temperatures. In addition, extreme temperature testing was conducted in the Chrysler Group Scientific Labs’ Thermal Chambers simulating on-road conditions ranging from minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit and to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit

The Dodge Nitro program and its team of dedicated engineers have made the vehicle a strong statement in the company’s goal of being among the best in quality. The Nitro is one in a series of vehicles at the Chrysler Group to meet all 12 levels of the Quality Gates process.

Quality Gates is a process that was adopted as part of the best-practice synergies produced by the DaimlerChrysler merger. Prior to the merger, Chrysler utilized the Chrysler Development System to ensure quality from the vehicle’s sketch stage in Design, through concept and prototypes to testing and ultimately to production at the plant. However, the merger introduced the inclusion of the Quality Gates process, a system that requires a 12-step checks-and-balance review of the project at critical stages of development by senior management.

The 2007 Dodge Nitro will be produced at the Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant.

* Late availability

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Design

When it comes to designing vehicles, Chrysler Group designers are not content to merely push the envelope. They prefer to give it a good shove. Case in point: the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro.

“Nitro is the first mid-size sport-utility vehicle for Dodge,” said Trevor Creed, Vice President – Design, Chrysler Group. “Right away, we knew we had to create a vehicle whose styling was true to the bold persona of Dodge. The Nitro does that with an assertive appearance that exudes confidence, capability and performance.”

Exterior

Nitro’s tough-looking mug announces that the all-new SUV didn’t fall far from the Dodge family tree. Nitro was inspired, in fact, by the Dodge M80 concept vehicle, a compact pickup truck that was revealed at the 2002 North American International Auto Show.

The grille — body color with bright billets on the Dodge Nitro R/T* and chrome on the SXT and SLT models in the United States — is bracketed by prominent headlamps that wrap the corners of the vehicle. A three-dimensional ram’s head is stamped on the middle of the signature Dodge crosshair grille. A new front-end module allows the headlamps and grille to be mounted together, yielding both excellent fit and finish and a premium appearance.

Above the grille, the imposing clamshell hood employs distinctive character lines that complement the front-end features. Large fender flares frame both sides of the Nitro for a wide track stance that conveys stability. Together, all these elements create a bold, fresh set of proportions that is unrivaled in the mid-size SUV market.

On Dodge Nitro SXT, the fender flares and fascias are molded-in-color Dark Slate. On the SLT and R/T models, the fender flares and fascias are body color for an upscale, monochromatic appearance. Optional fog lamps are mounted in the fascia on the SLT and R/T models.

From the side of the vehicle the Dodge Nitro continues to flex its muscles. Crisp lines, a substantial body section and a high beltline give Nitro a brawny character. The wheels are pushed to the corners of the vehicle, reinforcing the performance and capability of Dodge Nitro.

The centerpiece of Nitro’s side styling is the large, dramatic wheel flares that emphasize the available 20-inch chrome-clad wheels and tires (optional on SLT, standard on R/T* in the U.S.). Nitro is the only vehicle in its class with factory-fitted 20-inch wheels and tires.

The windshield pillars and beefy exterior mirrors were developed in the Chrysler Group wind tunnel in Auburn Hills, Mich., to manage wind noise, provide effective water management and reduce drag for aerodynamics.

The door handles — black on all models — have a solid, hefty feel. A deep, horizontal groove runs down the center of each handle. This design cue is echoed inside the Dodge Nitro on the map pocket, door panels and instrument panel.

The roof of the Dodge Nitro has integrated black roof rack side rails that feature a massive and robust section. Optional Mopar crossbars nest between the integrated side rails, completing the functional aspect of the Dodge Nitro.

At the rear of the Dodge Nitro is a simple, one-piece liftgate. The fixed liftgate glass features the same beveled sheet metal details as the side glass. The spare tire is located underneath the vehicle and helps to increase the interior cargo space.

Dodge Nitro SXT has a molded-in-color black light bar, while SLT and R/T include a chrome light bar for value-added appearance.

Available exterior colors are Black Clear Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Inferno Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Light Khaki Metallic Clear Coat, Stone White Clear Coat, and two new colors for Dodge in 2007, Sunburst Orange Pearl Coat* and Electric Blue Pearl Coat*.

Interior

The interior of the 2007 Dodge Nitro is designed to be modern, simple and functional.

The front seats feature wide inserts and heavy bolstering to provide comfort and security. The front passenger seat folds flat, increasing the already cavernous interior space which is perfect for hauling cargo. The reclining 60/40 split-folding rear seats accommodate fold-flat capability, yet still provide occupant comfort. The Dodge SXT is available with cloth seats. The SLT and R/T models are available with leather heated seats. R/T front seats include the R/T logo on the seat backs and accent stitching on front and rear seats for a sporty look. Optional on the R/T are two-tone seats with red inserts.

Standard on the Nitro SLT and R/T is YES Essentials® cloth seats. This advanced fabric repels stains, controls odors and reduces static electricity. The new fabric can withstand endless cleanings (even in the same area) and will not rub off or change the texture or comfort of the seats or surfaces during ownership of the vehicle.

Dodge Nitro has a four-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel that has the heft and feel of larger vehicles. And, its three-pod, four-gauge instrument panel is reminiscent of those found on motorcycles. The gauges are black with gray and white graphics and orange pointers, creating a look of technical precision.

Black is used to accent the center stack and center console of the Dodge Nitro SXT. The door handles, HVAC controls and center stack on the Nitro SLT and R/T models are bright silver.

The center console storage bin, in addition to holding the mandatory CDs and DVDs, also features an additional top-mounted tray. The center console provides space for hand-held PDAs, cell phones or coins. There are bins on the driver- and passenger-side doors, and a map pocket behind the driver’s seat. Both the front and second rows have a pair of cup holders.

The Dodge Nitro features two cargo floors. A reversible cargo floor with a built-in-tray, is standard on the Dodge Nitro SXT. Dual latches on either side of the floor release the panel for access to a 4-inch deep storage bin beneath the lid.

A new innovation is the LOAD ’N GO™ cargo floor. LOAD ’N GO is ideal for loading and unloading packages and other items. The LOAD ’N GO floor travels 18 inches, extending over the rear bumper, and holds up to 400 pounds. Beneath the sliding panel is a four-inch deep storage area that can be used to house jumper cables, a laptop computer or utility items. LOAD ’N GO is standard on the Dodge Nitro SLT and Dodge R/T.

* Late availability

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Safety and Security

The all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro offers a full range of active and passive safety systems. The Nitro also offers customers in the United States a high level of security technology, featuring Sentry Key® engine immobilizer, an available security alarm and HomeLink Universal Home Security System Transceiver.

“The Dodge Nitro offers more than 25 safety and security technologies,” said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development. “Among the standard equipment is Chrysler Group’s advanced electronic chassis controls — Electronic Stability Program, Electronic Roll Mitigation, All-speed Traction Control, Brake Assist and Advanced Anti-lock Brakes are all standard equipment.”

This grouping of standard and available features reinforces Chrysler Group’s commitment to safety and security.

Dodge Nitro Safety and Security Features

*Anti-lock Brake System (ABS): Senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions; advanced ABS modulates the four brakes individually for optimum control and stopping performance

*Advanced Multi-stage Air Bags: Offering enhanced protection for a wider range of occupants, this system is designed to also identify the size of an occupant — using the Occupant Classification System — based primarily on weight of the front passenger seat

*All-speed Traction Control: Senses drive-wheel slip and applies individual brakes to a slipping wheel(s), and reduces excess engine power until traction is regained

*Auto-reverse Sun Roof: Advanced sensing system that automatically engages and reverses the sun roof (to the open position)

*Auto-reverse Windows: Automatically engages and reverses the window (to the down position)

*BeltAlert: Periodically activates a chime and illuminates an icon in the instrument cluster to remind the driver and front passenger to buckle up

*Brake Assist: In a panic brake condition, the system applies maximum braking power, providing the shortest possible stopping distance

*Brake/Park Interlock: Prevents an automatic transmission or transaxle from being shifted out of Park unless the brake pedal is applied

*Child Seat Anchor System: Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) is designed to ease installation of compatible aftermarket child seats

*Child-protection Rear Door Locks: Disables the rear doors’ inside-release handle via a small lever on the door-shut face

*Constant Force Retractors (CFR): Distributes force or load exerted on a seat belt, and then gradually releases the seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner

*Crumple Zones: Designed to compress during an accident to absorb energy from an impact, decreasing transfer of that energy to the occupants

*Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM): An extension of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Uses input from the ESP sensors to anticipate if the vehicle is at risk of entering a potential roll situation, then reacts immediately, applying the brakes individually and modulating throttle position as needed to attempt avoiding the roll situation

*Electronic Stability Program (ESP): Enhances driver control and helps maintain directional stability under all conditions. Provides the greatest benefit in critical driving situations such as turns, and is especially valuable when driving on mixed surface conditions such as snow, ice or gravel. If there’s a discernible difference between what the driver asks through the steering wheel and the vehicle’s path, ESP applies selective braking and throttle input to put the vehicle back onto the driver’s intended path

*Energy-absorbing Steering Column: The manual-adjust steering column utilizes two hydroformed coaxial tubes that can move relative to each other to allow the column to move forward for enhanced energy-absorption during a crash. The power-adjust steering column employs a calibrated bending element that deforms during column stroke for optimal energy management

*Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS): Makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by turning on the interior lighting and unlocking the doors after air-bag deployment. Also shuts off the flow of fuel to the engine

*Height-adjustable Front Seat Belts: Allows the driver and front passenger to raise and lower the shoulder belt. Encourages seat-belt usage by offering a more comfortable fit

*HomeLink Universal Home Security System Transceiver: Stores three separate transmitter radio-frequency codes to operate garage-door openers, security gates, security lighting or other radio-controlled devices

*Interior Head-impact Protection: Interior pillars above the beltline and instrument panel including areas around windshield and rear window headers, roof and side-rail structures, and shoulder-belt turning loops, specifically designed to limit head-impact force

*Knee Bolsters: The lower instrument panel and the glove-box door are designed to properly position the occupant, enabling the air bags to work effectively

*Occupant Classification System (OCS): Measures the conditions for activation or deactivation of the front passenger-side air bag based upon the weight of the occupant. Occupants are advised to always sit properly in their seats with the seat belt fastened. Children 12 years old and younger should always be seated in a back seat correctly using an infant or child restraint system, or have the seat belt positioned correctly for their age and weight

*Remote Keyless Entry: Locks and unlocks doors, and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a vehicle-theft security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system

*Seat-belt Pretensioners: During a collision, the impact sensors initiate the front seat-belt pretensioners to immediately remove slack, thereby reducing the forward movement of the occupants’ heads and torsos

*Sentry Key Engine Immobilizer: Utilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder with a preprogrammed security code to discourage vehicle theft. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the controller sends a random number to the transponder and the engine is allowed to start. If an incorrect key is used, the engine will shut off after only a few seconds

*Side Occupant Protection System: Includes side-curtain air bags with roll detection system that deploy in certain rollover situations and side-impact events. Utilizes information from multiple sensors to determine the severity of the impact

*Supplemental Side-curtain Air Bags: Extends protection to all outboard front- and rear-seat passengers. Each side air bag has its own impact sensor in order to autonomously trigger the air bag on the side where the impact occurs

*Tire-pressure Monitoring (TPM): Pressure-sensor modules within the valve stems of all four road wheels send continuous radio-frequency signals to a receiver and the system informs occupants when the pressure is too low

*UConnect® Hands-free Communication: Uses Bluetooth® technology to provide voice-controlled wireless communication between the occupants’ compatible mobile phones and the vehicle’s on-board receiver. The hands-free option promotes safety, freedom, value and flexibility

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Technology

The all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro offers customers a full range of technology to meet their entertainment and communication desires. All models include audio systems featuring hassle-free MP3 playback and quality sound. Available integrated hands-free communication, easy-to-use navigation and a Video Entertainment System (VES®) will keep everyone happy on both short and long drives.

“The entertainment and communication system available in the 2007 Dodge Nitro is designed to meet the needs and requirements of a tech-savvy generation,” said Tom Loveless, Director – Dodge Marketing and Global Communications, Chrysler Group. “For example, MyGIG™, our newest entertainment, navigation and communication system, lets customers rip their music to the hard drive and download photos using a 2.0 USB port right on the radio face.”

Audio and Navigation Systems

The Dodge Nitro is available in the United States with a variety of audio systems, and it will be the first Dodge-brand vehicle to offer the innovative MyGIG™ Multimedia Infotainment System* that has a built-in navigation, audio, entertainment and communication system. MyGIG allows customers to use touch screen or voice commands to control all of the features, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive where music and photos can be stored. An integrated music jukebox supports Gracenote music-file management to add song, artist and album information to the music files automatically. There’s space reserved on the hard drive for approximately 1,600 songs; that’s over 100 hours of music. There also is a voice-memo recorder feature. MyGIG supports real-time traffic information, available through SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and can provide an alternate drive route based on current traffic.

The voice dialogue system recognizes more than 100,000 words and is capable of learning and growing. The navigation has both 2-D and 3-D bird’s-eye views of roads and multiple route calculation. Maps and guidance are displayed on a motorized, flip-down 6.5-inch thin-film-transistor (TFT) display. The TFT screen uses active matrix for viewing from angles up to 180 degrees — perfect for the center of an instrument panel.

Chrysler Group is the only company in the U.S. market offering completely integrated audio, navigation, entertainment and hands-free communication in one system, controlled through voice commands and utilizing touch screen, with the capability of downloading photos and music to a hard drive from CD, DVD or USB memory device.

All three radio head units available in the Nitro feature a 3.5mm audio input jack for easy connection to an MP3 player. The base audio system offers 276 watts of power and includes six speakers, AM/FM stereo and CD playback. The Infinity Premium Sound system offers a total of nine speakers, which include two, 6.5-inch subwoofers in the rear doors. The head unit in this system features an integrated six-disc CD/DVD changer and can also play back CDs with MP3 and WMA files. Loading the changer with discs full of MP3-formatted music will provide thousands of miles worth of music. It also includes an eight-channel amplifier producing 368 watts of power.

Video Entertainment System (VES)

The VES enables the rear passengers to enjoy movies, music and external audio/video devices such as video games and MP3 players. The system consists of an overhead-mounted DVD player with a 7-inch LCD screen, a battery-powered remote control and two wireless, multichannel headsets. The system will play DVDs, WMAs, MP3s and audio and video CDs. Additionally, there are auxiliary input jacks on the faceplate to show video directly from a video camera, to play games from a video-game console and to listen to music directly from a portable MP3 player. The video screen displays information in a split screen format. The left side of the screen is referred to as channel 1; the right side is referred to as channel 2. All modes except video modes are displayed in split screen format. When a video mode is selected it is displayed on the full screen. The remote control is designed to control either channel by the use of a selector switch on the control. The headphones are designed to allow the user to listen to either channel by use of the selection switch located on the right ear cup. Using the included dual channel wireless headphones, the VES allows rear passengers to listen to two different sources simultaneously. The audio from the VES can be heard through the vehicle’s speaker system, through the wireless headphones or both.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio

SIRIUS provides U.S. customers with 125 channels including 100 percent commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic and weather. SIRIUS also broadcasts live play-by-play games from the NFL, NBA and NHL, and is the official satellite-radio partner of the NFL.

Customers also may stream SIRIUS programming through a high-speed Internet connection at no additional charge.

SIRIUS utilizes its nationwide satellite-radio broadcast capabilities to provide subscribers with updated traffic information displayed on their navigation screen to help select the best available route.

UConnect Hands-free Communication System

UConnect uses Bluetooth® technology to provide wireless communication between the customer’s compatible mobile phone and the vehicle’s on-board receiver. The UConnect control buttons are now integrated into the vehicle’s radio head unit.

UConnect features include:

*Voice dialing — Voice commands may be used to digit-dial the phone or access pre-stored voice tags

*Audio address book — Enables customers to store up to 32 names, four numbers per name, for a total of 128 phone numbers

*Emergency calls and towing assistance — Dials 911 or towing assistance at customer voice command

*Audio-system mute — With a press of the button, the microphone is muted for privacy

*Call transfer — Allows the customer to transfer a call from the vehicle’s system to the mobile phone

*Three language options — English, French and Spanish

*Multiphone recognition — Up to seven phones can be used within one vehicle’s system

Electronic Vehicle Information Control

An interactive digital display located in the instrument panel conveniently displays information and can be controlled by switches mounted on the steering column. The system allows the driver to select from a menu of useful information. Settings can be personalized for various functions, such as having the lights flash and horn honk when locking and unlocking the vehicle using Remote Keyless Entry. There also is the ability to scroll through the compass/outside temperature, average fuel economy, distance to empty, trip elapsed time and tire-pressure displays.

* Late availability

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Variance    0

Manufacturing

There was a time when billion-dollar manufacturing facilities were constructed for the sole purpose of producing a single vehicle.

Fortunately, the all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro is ahead of its time.

Chrysler Group’s modern production process, called the Flexible Manufacturing Strategy (FMS), gives Chrysler Group assembly plants the ability to manufacture multiple products on one assembly line. Additionally, FMS is allowing the Company to bring the Dodge Nitro and other new vehicles to market more quickly.

“Toledo, Ohio, where we have two new modern plants and four products, has become an epicenter of Chrysler Group’s 4x4 manufacturing capabilities,” said Byron Green, Vice President – Truck and Activity Vehicle Assembly. “The innovative manufacturing changes currently taking place at the Toledo North Assembly Plant has allowed that facility to manufacture multiple products on one production line, giving Chrysler Group the ability to quickly adapt vehicle production to meet customer demand. The Dodge Nitro is the most recent product to benefit from this strategy.”

Toledo North Assembly Plant (TNAP) was extensively retooled to manage the complexity of building two different models — Dodge Nitro and Jeep® Liberty (Cherokee outside North America) — on one production line. The total Dodge Nitro program investment of $600 million was partially allocated to TNAP for multiple upgrades improving quality, productivity and worker ergonomics. Over 160,000 square feet was added to the plant floor to enhance body and assembly processes.

FMS allows the Company to produce a higher quality product, faster, for lower cost. FMS is being implemented product by product and plant by plant across the Chrysler Group. New investment is adding state-of-the-art technology into plants allowing the production of more than one vehicle on a production line and rolling launches of new models. Additionally, Chrysler Group’s workforce is becoming more flexible with the implementation of the team concept and an increased emphasis on supporting assembly line operators.

Robotics

At the core of the new manufacturing process is a body shop comprised of 150 new robots instead of the dedicated tooling that was previously used. The door, hood and liftgate closure panel assembly system is new, as well as the side aperture assembly systems. Only the robots’ end effectors, or “hands,” need to change in order to build the different models. That tool change is done automatically, within the time it takes to cycle from one vehicle to the next.

TNAP is flexible enough to vary production mix between two products anywhere from 0 to 100 percent of each model. A third model can also be piloted or test-built concurrently, helping reduce the time needed to make new-model changeovers.

Material Flow

New methods of material flow are being implemented to manage the complexity of two models being built on one assembly line. An inbound part sequencing center is housed in the adjoining Stickney complex and manages more than 950 different parts that are used in the Dodge Nitro. In addition to sequencing, this center provides parts metering, kitting and container management to both Toledo North and Toledo Supplier Park Assembly Plants.

Furthermore, a significant portion of TNAP will be truck-free as dollies will provide materials to production areas, improving both employee safety and productivity measurements.

Smart Manufacturing

A new workplace organizational model, coined Smart Manufacturing, is increasing the flexibility of the TNAP workforce, while fostering greater creativity and innovation from plant employees. This model is being implemented throughout the Chrysler Group’s Manufacturing organization. In addition to extensive training, the new workplace model lets employees design their own work stations. These changes provide a better work environment for employees and give increased support to assembly line team members.

“TNAP is proud to be the home of the all-new Dodge Nitro,” said Luis Rivas, Plant Manager – Toledo North Assembly Plant. “The employees are pleased to be contributing toward the Company’s goal of world-class operational excellence by 2007.”

The 2.1 million-square-foot Toledo North Assembly Plant occupies 200 acres and has more than 2,700 employees working two shifts, with the third shift of approximately 750 employees to begin in the third quarter 2006.

Groundbreaking of Toledo North began in fall 1997.

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Variance    0

Better than the Pathfinder... but that really isn't saying much!

Let's see: it's uglier (a failed Dodge Pathfinder copy), weaker and has a worse interior (design-wise at least) than the Pathfinder. Yet somehow it's better...

Seen the sales?

200402[/snapback]

Most every truck-based SUV has been down in sales as of late. The Pathfinder's no exception but it still sells in decent numbers.

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ocnblu    773
I like it, but I think I'm going to like the new Liberty more. The 4.0L V6 needs to be the new base engine in the LX cars, and it should be in the Dakota as well. I'm sure it will show up in the Grand Cherokee, Commander and Liberty.

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Cory Wolfe    263

The car is very sleek, but the front head lights and grille ruin it. They look very dated.

200545[/snapback]

That's what makes it ugly in my eyes.

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ocnblu    773
When you look at it in a full frontal aspect, it looks like a Forrest Gump-like character, with close-set eyes, a buzzcut, and big floppy ears. Sorry. The rest of it isn't bad.

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RJB    0

I like it, I just wish the 5-speed auto was available in lower models. To me the Nitro looks alot like a Range Rover, of course cheaper.

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The car is very sleek, but the front head lights and grille ruin it. They look very dated.

200545[/snapback]

:lol: :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :lol2:

sleek? are you serious? i bet a solid steel cube has a better drag coefficient than this pile

as ive said many time before... its a pretty decent looking jeep

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Intrepidation    848

As aspected only a few of people like it without insulting comments, and of course BV hates it..and Fly...same old same old. Sciguy likes it...he seems moreopen minded than most of the members sometimes. Me? I like it...base model sucks but it's base so oh well. Gimmie one in black with the 4.0 please.

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Cory Wolfe    263

Dont talk about being open minded. I like vehicles that arent ugly, or that have cheap ass interiors.

Edited by blackviper8891

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FAPTurbo    1,090

Damn... if only that six-speed manual could've been had with the 4L... now that would be blast to drive.

Looks pretty decent from the sides... it's just the front that I can't get over. I do have a feeling my opinion will change once I see one up close though.

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Intrepidation    848

I think this will be pretty successful considering it'll be cheaper and more fuel efficient than the Durango. Plus the Boxy styling is popular these days (like the xB...even though I hate it).

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Intrepidation    848

Damn... if only that six-speed manual could've been had with the 4L... now that would be blast to drive.

Looks pretty decent from the sides... it's just the front that I can't get over. I do have a feeling my opinion will change once I see one up close though.

201127[/snapback]

For the most part I find that's been the case for a lot of DCX cars. For example, I didn't like the Charger at first...but now it's gornw on me a lot. I do like this, the front end is a bit much but looks good in top models

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