Dodge to Ignite Mid-size SUV Market: Introduces All-new 2007 Dodge Nitro

* First mid-size SUV for Dodge
* Distinctive style, sporty performance and cargo flexibility
* Offers full-size capability in a mid-size SUV

Chicago, Feb 5, 2006 –

The Dodge brand — which is no stranger to creating innovative automotive products and features — is spicing up the mid-size SUV segment with the 2007 Dodge Nitro, a new sport-utility vehicle whose bold and aggressive styling matches its dynamic performance.

“The Dodge Nitro’s styling delivers something extra; that little something mid-size buyers are still searching for — attitude,” said George Murphy, Senior Vice President – Global Marketing. “In addition, the Dodge Nitro offers many features that are not typical of a mid-size SUV, such as two V-6 engines, 20-inch tires and chrome-clad aluminum wheels and a performance suspension.”

The 2007 Dodge Nitro is the first mid-size sport-utility vehicle for Dodge and complements the brand’s current lineup of cars, minivans, trucks, commercial vehicles and a full-size SUV.

“Being the first mid-size SUV for the brand, Dodge Nitro had to personify the bold, powerful and street-smart attitude of Dodge,” said Murphy. “In a world of mostly bland SUVs, the 2007 Dodge Nitro has the design, engineering and performance to inspire consumers and ignite the mid-size SUV market.”

Three models are available: Dodge Nitro, Dodge Nitro SLT and Dodge Nitro R/T. Available on the Dodge Nitro and Dodge Nitro SLT is a 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 engine. It produces 210 hp (157 kW) @ 5,200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. (319 N•m) @ 4,000 rpm.
Dodge Nitro R/T
The Dodge Nitro R/T features a new 4.0-liter V-6 engine that delivers 255 hp (190 kW) @ 5,800 rpm and 275 lb.-ft. torque (360 N•m) @ 4,000 rpm. Standard on the Dodge Nitro R/T and optional on the Nitro SLT is a new performance suspension and 20-inch tires and chrome-clad aluminum wheels, providing performance-oriented drivers with fun-to-drive handling and a firm ride.

Three transmissions — one manual and two automatic — will be offered. The Dodge Nitro comes with a standard six-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic. The Dodge Nitro SLT has a standard four-speed automatic. The Dodge Nitro R/T has a standard five-speed automatic. All U.S. models offer 4×2 and 4×4 capability. The new mid-size SUV boasts excellent acceleration, braking, handling and towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. when properly equipped.

Standard on the Dodge Nitro SLT and Dodge Nitro R/T is a new Chrysler Group feature, the LOAD ‘N GO TM cargo floor that slides 18 inches rearward for easy and convenient loading and unloading of packages, and can hold up to 400 pounds. It is made of a heavy-duty plastic for easy cleaning. A compact utility table is an available option on the Dodge Nitro model.

The Dodge Nitro also includes many standard safety features, including Electronic Stability Program, Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Roll Mitigation and side-curtain air bags.

Available options include 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, UConnect TM , and Sirius Satellite Radio.

“With its performance-oriented 4.0-liter engine and LOAD ‘N GO cargo floor, the Dodge Nitro continues the brand’s history of creating new and game-changing products and features,” said Murphy.

There was the 1992 Dodge Viper, for example. The outrageously sculpted and brutishly powerful sports car turned heads, palpitated hearts and became the icon of the brand.

In 1994 the big-rig design of the Dodge Ram pickup truck instantly made every other pickup truck in its class boring.

And the Stow ‘n Go TM seating system, introduced in the 2005 model year Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans, reasserted Chrysler Group’s leadership position in that market.

“Just like those innovations, the 2007 Dodge Nitro will reinvigorate its segment, the mid-size sport-utility market,” said Murphy.

Chrysler Group previously announced that the Dodge brand will expand to Europe and volume markets overseas, and the Dodge Nitro will be part of that expansion. The vehicle will be available in markets outside North America, in both left- and right-hand drive, by the first quarter of 2007.

The 2007 Dodge Nitro will be built at the Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant alongside the Jeep® Liberty. Dodge Nitro will arrive in U.S. dealerships later in 2006 as a 2007 model year vehicle.

With a U.S. market share of 6.9 percent, Dodge is the fifth-largest nameplate in the United States and the eighth-largest nameplate in the automotive industry. In 2004, Dodge sold more than 1.4 million vehicles in the global market. Dodge continues to lead the minivan market segment with a 20 percent market share in the United States. In the truck market, Dodge has an 18 percent market share. In the car market, Dodge has a 4.5 percent market share. The Dodge brand will arrive in Europe and other volume markets outside of North America starting in 2006.

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