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Frankfurt Motor Show: Dodge Nitro

Overheat

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The Nitro is a proposal for Dodge's first "midsize" 4x4; it's a large off-roader by European standards, but significantly smaller than the likes of the massive Ram pick-up. A five-seater with the Chrysler 3.7 V6 petrol engine (210bhp, 235lb ft of torque), it's said to be capable of 0-60mph in 9.6 seconds and a quarter-mile in 16.9 seconds.

Built on a Jeep Cherokee-derived platform, it has full-time four-wheel drive, independent suspension and a trad four-speed auto gearbox, which suggests it's not particularly technically innovative, but it has been designed to create a strong visual impact. With its huge chrome grille, rectangular headlights and bulging bonnet, plus bright "anodized red" paintwork, 20-inch aluminium wheels and chunky bumpers, door handles, roof rails and crossbars, it certainly does that: short of a Hummer, there are few 4x4s which look as in-yer-face.

The chrome, silver and red interior is no less subtle, with black/red leather seats, a seven-inch LED screen in a satin silver centre console, brushed aluminium pedals and silver trim everywhere. It should be reasonably practical, though, with flat-folding rear and front passenger seats, a flat cargo bay with sliding floor for easy loading, storage bins and wipe-clean floor. No announcement has yet been made on whether the Nitro will go into production, but since Dodge aims to offer an extensive line-up of Europe-friendly vehicles when it re-launches this side of the Atlantic next year, it's a safe bet if it goes down well here in Frankfurt.
 
Sorry, but that thing looks ugly. Like a Jeep Liberty rear-ended a Scion xB. :thumbsdown:
 
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