IL Insider: Hemi-Powered Dodge Nitro Charges in to SEMA
AN 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.
What this means to you: The Nitro Hemi sounds like fun, but we're more interested in the Challenger SS "concept of the concept."