IL Insider: Hemi-Powered Dodge Nitro Charges in to SEMA
Two hot-rod Dodge Nitros are going to SEMA in Las Vegas. One is this Nitro with a 5.7-liter Hemi and 22-inch wheels and tires. (Photo courtesy of Chrysler Group)
The other is this Nitro Panel Van. The company says it's hoping to "stimulate thinking about the Nitro." This ought to stimulate the SEMA audience. (Photo courtesy of Chrysler Group)
Date posted: 09-22-2006
SAN DIEGO — Dodge is preparing two hot-rod versions of its new Nitro SUV for the annual fall SEMA show in Las Vegas, including a Hemi-powered edition with 22-inch wheels and tires.
A Dodge Challenger Super Sport concept also will be unveiled at SEMA, but Chrysler declined to provide details.
Senior Design Manager Dennis Myles said Dodge will install a modified 5.7-liter Hemi V8 in the first SEMA Nitro, as well as a Tremec five-speed gearbox, Brembo brakes and 22-inch Alcoa wheels.
The idea, Myles said, is to create "an all-out performance" version. "We want to stir up and stimulate thinking about the Nitro," he said.
The Hemi-powered SEMA Nitro will be painted in black-purple metallic, with a two-tone black and slate-gray interior, according to Myles. A lower aero body kit will include new fascias, wheel arches and side sills. The cabin will sport four bucket seats from the Viper
A second Nitro conversion — both are being done in-house — will be a white Mopar-themed panel wagon with special graphics on the sides. The rear seats will be removed and a sliding load floor installed to accommodate surfboards and other large gear.