|First time ever a non-Jeep vehicle will share a Jeep platform.|
DaimlerChrysler is breaking new ground with the Dodge Nitro concept vehicle. It is derived from the Jeep Liberty and is fully expected to become a production vehicle in the next few years. Here's a review from Automobile Magazine:
And so we've seen some of the old rules at DaimlerChrysler fall away. We saw a Mercedes engine in the Chrysler Crossfire and other Mercedes components in the Chrysler 300/Dodge Magnum. Chrysler executives have allowed that some future Jeeps will not have the capability to tackle the Rubicon Trail, previously a Jeep must. The new Dodge Nitro smashes another heretofore sacred tenet: that a Jeep platform can never be shared with another division.
The Nitro, a burly concept that made its de-but at the Chicago auto show, was derived from the Jeep Liberty. This is the first sharing of a Jeep platform with a non-Jeep vehicle. (As for its concept status, make no mistake. The vehicle in these pictures may be a show car, but whether or not it's called Nitro, we fully expect this Dodge SUV to roll into dealerships in 2006.)
Compared with the Liberty, the Nitro's wheelbase has been stretched 4.o inches, and the vehicle is 4.4 inches longer overall. The Dodge is an inch and a half wider, but its roofline is an inch lower. The rejiggered dimensions give the Nitro a stance that is low and squat, whereas the Liberty's is more tall and narrow. This provides an important basis of differentiation even before the completely new styling comes into play. While the Nitro's proportions bring to mind the Hummer H3, its design details owe something to the Land Rover LR3. Sizewise, though, the Nitro is very close to Nissan's new Xterra.
Check out the entire article.
So, is this a good idea for DaimlerChrysler to capitalize on Jeep engineering with non-Jeep models or will this just dilute the Jeep brand further? Let us know by leaving a Reader Reaction.