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MiscellaneousJeep Liberty = Dodge Nitro, Chicago Test Track Layout
Posted by mike on 2005/2/10 0:00:00 (940) reads

A photo surfaces of the Dodge Nitro, a variant of the Jeep Liberty

It looks like a long-standing rumor may be coming to fruition - the Jeep Liberty platform may be used for additional, non-Jeep vehicles. TheCarConnection.com has the details:

Today's press conferences at the Chicago auto show will include this new Dodge SUV concept. Dubbed the Nitro, the sport-ute is derived from the Jeep Liberty, a clear signal that it's intended for production. Riding on 20-inch wheels, the Nitro stretches the Liberty's overall length a few inches beyond the rear wheels for a larger cargo area. Under the hood, the Nitro's stocked with the Liberty's 210-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 and four-speed automatic transmission. Inside, a new interior design sports a DVD navi system and metallic trim.

Check out a photo of the Nitro here (you'll need to scroll down the page just a bit).

For those of you planning on attending the Chicago Auto Show that we've been writing about lately, we found a image of the Jeep portion of the layout of "the worlds largest indoor test track".

 Jeep portion of Chicago Auto Show Test Track

Some facts around the track:
  • The half-mile test track is designed around the perimeter of the 156,000-square-foot Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge exhibit. This is equivalent to the size of four football fields.
  • More than two dozen vehicles will operate on the test track at any given time. The test track will include challenges to help showcase the driving capabilities of each brand.
  • Jeep Trail Rated course will demonstrate the Jeep brand's off-road capabilities, including traction, articulation, ground clearance, maneuverability and water fording. Highlights of the course include fording a stream, traveling at a 35-degree angle along boulders, maneuvering over logs and climbing a l5-foot hill.
  • More than 115 semi-trailers of track material, audio-visual equipment, exhibit properties and vehicles will be hauled into the exhibit space at McCormick Place.
  • Over 1,100 cubic yards of topsoil, boulders, gravel, concrete and course timbers used in the creation of the test track.
  • Over 30,000 feet of overhead support trusses will be utilized.
  • The test track and the auto show exhibit will be completed in less than seven days.

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Poster Thread
keyon369
Posted: 2009/2/14 2:20  Updated: 2009/2/14 2:20
Just popping in
Joined: 2009/2/14
From:
Posts: 5
 Re: Jeep Liberty = Dodge Nitro, Chicago Test Track Layout

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Cartman
Sounds like GunnEm has a little sand in HIS vagina... hence the irritability

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: carter
Things are getting a little too personal around here
lately.

Bob, I thought most dealers have wanted Jeep to
expand their lineup because it is hard to sell enough
cars with only 3 models. Is that the case, but you would
rather them expand the model selection without
compromising?

Finally, where is the Commander? First, it didn't show
at Detroit, and now no show in Chicago. What is going
on?

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICONTRAIL.NET
Mike#2, the Jeepster concept could never have been the "ultimate WRC racer" because it featured a V8 engine. A WRC car must have (by WRC regulation) have a 2.0L four-cylinder engine.


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Hah
Mike#2 = GunnEm

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: GunnEM
Hmmm...Let's see here, (read in a condescending tone), Mabye... Jeep could have taken out the 4.7 Liter engine out of the Jeepster, and put in a 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder turbocharged engine for the Jeepster to qualify for a WRC race (because, as everyone knows, thanks to Rubicontrail.net, a WRC car has to have a 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder engine).

I'm sure that the Jeep/DCX engineers would have checked on that before they entered the Jeepster in a WRC race. I mean, I may need to check my sources, but Daimler and Chrysler HAVE done this racing thing before a couple of times in the past.

Once this was done, thanks to Rubicontrail.net's wisdom, foresight, and unmatched knowledge of the WRC rulebook, THEN the Jeepster would have been the Ultimate WRC racer.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Caliber
Wow, the caliber has the same lines as a Matrix/Vibe... I hope they make the Jeep version look considerably different...

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon
Is it just me or does the Nitro look like a beefed up Pontiac Vibe or Mazda whatever from the side? The styling of the Liberty is consistent with the styling of the Wrangler, big tall square windows. I will say that the gangsta look of the the H2, H3 and Chryler 300 with the narrow windows is kind of cool looking but is that what people want on a Jeep? The new GC's window got much narrower and it looks kind of cool but the tall Wrangler like windows is another Jeep design element exclusive to Jeeps like the round headlights and seven-slot grill.
Also, I don't consider the back end of the Nitro to resemble a XJ at all, not with that sharp angle.
I think the new Commander will resemble a XJ more than anything, except with round headlights. This is the direction I would like to see Jeep continue on all there products.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
Carter...Jeep dealers very much want additional Jeep products to sell. But if Jeep shares their platforms with other makes, that is what waters down the "Jeep" brand image. Jeep had to give up trucks, because of Dodge, years ago, but look at all of the SUV's that Dodge now has. And now they are thinking of making a Dodge out of a Jeep platform. What is wrong with that picture? Give us back a truck and an entry level priced Jeep product, and most Jeep dealers would be happy.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OnlyOneJeep
Reaction to "reaction's" comment...That's EXACTLY it.......why SHOULD Jeep have all the bling-bling of the M-series Mercedes???? Jeep DOESN'T need all the stabilizer anti-roll automatic pedal downtune reverberating algarythum inclement weather active rain-sensing puddle avoidance all wheel-drive system!!!!! Dammit DCX just give me the 'ol metal rod thru da floor to shift my 4high/4low/N/2 is it THAT hard anymore?????People that are looking for these baubles are the ones who have made Jeep decide to keep up with the R A V 4 Jones'.....Man's ever-ending desire to have a vehicle fill in for some shortcoming in their psyche or penis size is SERIOUSLY taking the fun outa driving an 'ol fashion ruff n' tuff/hose it out Jeep....Didn't hear John Wayne complaining about his rough-riding MB.....nor Pres. Reagan about his 2 or 3 CJ/WJ's on his ranch..Hell they were DIRTY most of the time...ain't that the WHOLE point of owning an American Icon?

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: doug hetrick

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: YJ Jeeper
I think the styling of the Nitro resembles an H3 more so than it resembles the XJ. The body also has a hint of the Nissan Pathfinder when looked at from the side, and Durango from the back... It does look a little more truckish than the liberty, no matter how much more masculine they tried to make the KJ with the '05 Renegade. Don't like the headlights, grill, interior, or that "sloping down" effect you get from the front end... They did a good job taking the Jeep out of it... Look at GM's Envoy and the Isuzu Ascender for example... identical down to the last screw.

Still, I'd take an '05 Renegade over a Nitro.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: comment
i agree it looks like a baby durango and that's not a good thing...

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: asobehart
Call me paranoid, but this concept scares me. Looking at its lines and thinking in terms of the Dakar, and knowing that we somehow got the Liberty from the Dakar, I think we may be looking at the next platform for the Wrangler, especially the foor door they are said to be planning. It makes perfect sense, axe the Liberty, add the standard Jeep grill, a short wheel base version and you have a very cost effective plan for DC.

Or am I way......off base?

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OnlyOneJeep
You may not be far off on that assumption. But if I may say...Does it Really matter after all? To the thousands and thousands of YJ/TJ owners out there...does it really matter? We already HAVE our Jeeps and at least me; intend on owning mine until it's worn completely out..(rot and all). People who haven't been able to own one yet- or are looking for the NEW Jeep...just like the Cherokee before it..GET IT NOW!! Coulda-shoulda-woulda definately applies here! That assumption in my mind is not too far fetched....I already have mine...who cares what follows......................

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon
Well, if DC is going to start sharing platforms between them then the Jeep Gladiator based on a Dakota platform is making sense. The vehicles are different enough that they won't be stealing from one another. The Nitro is cool but fits more with the Dodge sport image than with the Jeep Liberty off-road image. The Dodge fans will love this vehicle so if anything Dodge will gain customers from other brands, not Jeep. If they make the Gladiator, Jeep has everything to gain and Dodge has nothing to lose. Totally different market. This will bring in new buyers to Jeep that need a off-road capable pickup that might be driving a Nissan right now. I don't consider the Dakota a off-road mid-size truck but more of a "looks like it goes fast" sport truck. Not what a Jeeper is looking for. We would buy a Dakato based Gladiator though.
Cross your fingers!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon
I disagree that Jeep needs to be the leader when it comes to technology. If Jeep is to compete with Land Rover & Mercedes when it come to technology they will cost as much at they do. Most of us would not be in the market for a Grand Cherokee or Commander because we could not afford one. Jeep needs to keep a balance of new technology and basic, proven Trail Rated engineering. I want something that is more advanced than say a 1990 XJ but I am not looking for a 2006 M Class.
I think Jeep is going to maintain it's affordable off-road reputation and is going to leave Hummer behind when that FAD wears off!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: my comment
Bob-

All the SUV's Dodge has now? They have one. The Durango, which is a seven passenger full-size SUV. Their adoption of the Liberty platform will have a minimal impact on Jeep sales, simply because of the vast difference in the brand identity associated with the two companies. I agree that Jeep does need to jump back into the truck market. I disagree, however, that it was because of Dodge that they left it in the first place.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Commander
The Commander is coming to the New York Auto Show.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICONTRAIL.NET
The Jeep version will most likely look quite different than the Caliber. It will share the same architecture but not the same sheet metal.




Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Here is my comment
Holy crap, something just occured to me, is the Jeep Gladiator just a re-skinned version of the Dodge M80 concept???

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: FJ Cruiser Worshiper
Bottom line, Dodge had some awesome looking vehicles a few years ago with the Durango, Dakota Crew Cab, ect, but their current lineup, with the exception of maybe the Ram, the rest of their stuff doesn't look right. Same goes for Nissan, new Xterra is butt ugly.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: WTJ
While I love the rugged simplicity of design employed in the TJ
and its forbearers, I do believe the top-end, flagship Jeep SUVs
(i.e. Grand Cherokee and upcoming Commander) need to be the
most advanced 4X4s in the world. The Wagoneer/Super
Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer was the most advanced, most
desirable, and most luxurious vehicle in its era—not so with the
new Grand Cherokee. It should be the ultimate in Jeep
engineering and technology which transcends all competitors
(Land Rover/Range Rover, Toyota/Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, even
Volkswagen [Touareg] and Porsche [Cayenne])—yet, it does not.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: SOUTH AFRICA
here is my comment: Thank you OnlyOneJeep well said, keep it simple, keep it cheap, keep it Jeep (atleast one of the models please)

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: reaction
I agree with Bob. The Jeep brand does not appear to be the
leader in off-road mastery, anymore. Daimler-Benz (oops!
DaimlerChrysler) is content on using all the advanced
technologies for their own Mercedes brand—not the Jeep brand.
Read below the off-road technologies the new 2006 ML will have
that the new Jeep Grand Cherokee already lacks:

“Off-road performance is now improved by a further
development of the traction system 4ETS, which now features
additional functions such as off-road ABS, Start-Off Assist and
Downhill Speed Regulation as standard. With a combination of
two selectable 100-per-cent differential locks and a two-speed
transfer case with a low-range ratio (optional), the M-Class
forges ahead even on the most difficult terrain. With the
AIRMATIC air suspension system, which is available in a special
off-road configuration, the ground clearance of the M-Class is
increased to 291 millimetres (preceding model: 204 millimetres),
and the fording depth is now approx. 600 millimetres instead of
the previous 500 millimetres.”

To Daimler, I guess the Grand Cherokee is just a cheap
Mercedes.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OnlyOneJeep
Me and many others are just afraid Bob there might be right................

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
Being a Jeep dealer, it is sad to see the Germans from Daimler continue to water down the Jeep brand. Soon the Jeep will only have it's name to itself and nothing else. It will be just another, Plymouth or Oldsmobile!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Here is my comment
Would have looked a lot better with the M80 front end.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICONTRAIL.NET
WTJ, I do NOT believe the Nitro could be "Trail Rated." I believe that it has a single-speed (NO low range) 4WD system. This is the same type of system rumored to be in the Compass and Patriot/Scout and they will not be Trail Rated.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Transpower
There was a story about this on Nightly Business Report. The only disappointing thing about it is that you're driven through it--you don't drive through it!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Mike#2
I read that this Neon replacement (Caliber) is supposed to be the 'spiritual succcessor' to the Neon...

It may be so, if the Caliber will have a 250 HP turbo/6 speed like the Neon S.R.T., but also with AWD.

I wouldn't compare it to a Vibe/Matrix, so much as the Jeep Varsity concapt of a few years back...
The Varsity was XJ based, but I see some similarities in the body style...Does anyone agree?

From the looks of it, I don't see how the upcoming 'Scout" will have ANY off-road capability, other than traversing insane speed-bumps.

Once again, Jeep had the opportunity to build the Jeepster a fey years back. That would have been the ultimate WRC racer, even with a more subtle suspension system...But like the Dakar, the Jeepster was put on the wayside.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jeep fan
Many will agree the Lib is not a viable successor to the XJ. Aesthetics aside, it lacks comparable (useful) interior space, is heavier, slower, and, in general, lacks in comparable off-road ability. Ironically, if DC had shown the wisdom to provide the Lib with a six-speed manual and diesel, as they do in Europe, men would likely hold it in much higher esteem. As it is now, significantly more females purchase the Lib than men in NA. So, DC has managed to get some mileage out of the Lib platform and we now have this potentially more "macho" version.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon
My mistake, I was looking at the Dodge Caliber instead of the Nitro. Yea, it will be interesting to see what the Jeep version does look like. I bet it will have the same overall profile though.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: WTJ
Since the nice-looking Dodge Nitro shares the underpinnings
and much of the major components with the Jeep Liberty, should
we then, too, expect it to be “Trail Rated”? I guess there is no
longer “only one Jeep.”

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICONTRAIL.NET
For what it is worth, Autoblog has photos of the new Dodge Caliber vehicle. This is the prototype of the new SX-based (Neon replacement) vehicle. This will share the same underlying architecture with the forthcoming Jeep Compass and the rumored Jeep Patriot/Scout.

http://www.autoblog.com/entry/1234000957031090/


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon
I can't believe what I am hearing. Some still really have a problem with the front end styling of the Liberty. A seven slot-grill with round headlights.
When the XJ came out in 84 with square headlights and god knows how many slots and then the YJ with its square headlights there were Jeepers that were about to jump off a cliff(some may have). The Liberty looks more like a "true" Jeep than the Grand Cherokee but some are wanting a square box with square headlights. Nitro? What gives??

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Mike
I think it looks better than the Liberty, with better proportions...just add round headlights, and a seven slot grille and voila...You have a Liberty!!!

I wouldn't worry about the Nitro concept being a disguised next-gen Wrangler...If anything, the Nitro is a marketing tool to get better sales out of a ho-hum, so-so platform. Don't get me wrong, I have driven the Liberty, I like it, it's nice...nice like kissing your sister, but not the best that Jeep can do.

If the Liberty could hands-down out-perform the Wrangler in all categories, then I think Jeep fans would be demanding that the next-gen Wrangler be Liberty-based. Since this is not the case, I don't see Jeep branching the Liberty platform out into other Jeep vehicles, namely the Wrangler.

I'm not trying to be a know-it all, but I just don't see the logic in basing the next-gen Wrangler on a platform that is doing o-k at best in sales, and is average at best in capability from the Wrangler.

The Nitro is, however, a step up for Dodge. They don't have a small SUV, and while not top-notch for Jeep, the Liberty does perform better than other vehicles in it's class. So while Liberty may be a (relative) flop among die-hard Jeep fans, It may be a hit among buyers outside of the Jeep realm.

My prediction for the next generation still stays... SWB+LWB 2door=Wrangler+Unlimited...
LWB 4door=Liberator
LWB Pickup=Gladiator or Brute
Liberty will remain awhile to save face, but will slowly be phased into Nitro sales
GC...Status Quo
Commander...coming soon to an auto show near you
Scout...top of the line Scout will equal current gen Wrangler base model capability
Compass..will win WRC world Rally Championship with the Turbo 2.4 SRT 4 cyl engine in 2007





Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Here is my comment

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jeef
Even with the funky grille, I like the looks of it better than the Liberty, probably because it's boxy like my XJ, and the additional room in the back would appeal to me. Where's the spare tire? Could be a good around-town 'ute and would expand Dodge's line. I think anyone interested in a real Jeep wouldn't go for this, so I don't see much conflict of interest. Bet they make it, I just hope Jeep goes ahead with the Gladiator. I'll be in line...

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: DaytonNashMan
Can you spell U-G-L-Y? Thank goodness it's branded a Dodge and not a Jeep. Surely DCX has to give us the Gladiator after they have basterized the Liberty.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jeeper
Lets face it.. The nitro screams for men.. The liberty chrysler might as well chalk up to a chic mobile.. I own a liberty and I am one of a few men who acutally own or drive one around here.

The Nitro does scream xj cherokee from the rear.. I also own a 2001 xj and that's exactly what I think when I see the rear.

When I see the front of the nitro.. I kinda think of the new land rover with the boxyness of it.. It's longer than the liberty as well..
If this is going to have the same underpinnings and four wheel drive system as the liberty... This will take from the liberty sales.. I as a lib owner would move over to this vehicle then.
more muscular looking and looks more like my xj.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon
Durango, yuk! I didn't say I was a Dodge SUV fan.
I am not sure about the styling of most of the new Dodge products except for maybe the Ram and Dakota.
I am still young enough that even if I bought a new Unlimited today by the time I was 60 it would be pretty old so.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
Liberty derivative? i don't see it. looks alot more
like a cross between the current Durango and that
small M-80 pick up idea they dropped last year.
I like it, but not as any Jeep..

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICONTRAIL.NET
I like the Nitro concept. Although, I am not too sure the name befits the style of vehicle. From the rear, the vehicle design screams CHEROKEE.

If produced, the vehicle may cut a little into Liberty sales but manufacturers rarely worry about self-competition. It would also mean that the next generation Liberty will most likely continue to ride on it's current architecture.

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