• Oct 28, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of the Dodge Trazo C1.8

Early this year Chrysler and Nissan formed a partnership to share products. The big news at the time was that Nissan would be replacing its Titan pickup with a version of the Dodge Ram. But before that deal went down, the two automakers from different continents had already agreed on a partnership that would see the Nissan Versa sold in some South American markets as a Dodge. Today Dodge unveiled that vehicle at the Sao Paulo Auto Show in Brazil as the Trazo C1.8 sedan. It is a direct port of the Nissan Versa we know in the U.S. and the Tiida sold in Japan, though will only be offered as a sedan in South America and not as a five-door hatchback. As far as we can tell, not a body panel or interior appointment has been changed, save for new Trazo badging and slightly different black plastic grille. We couldn't even find a Dodge logo on the car's exterior. The Trazo's engine also appears to be the same 1.8L four-cylinder used in the Versa that's been made E100 ethanol-capable for South American markets. Reading the press release from Dodge after the jump is a bit trippy, as we've never heard one automaker speak so flowery about another automaker's product. If Chrysler thinks the Trazo is so good, should we buy the Versa instead of the Caliber in the U.S.?


[Source: Dodge]

PRESS RELEASE

New Trazo C1.8 by Dodge Debuts at São Paulo Motor Show

  • Trazo C1.8 by Dodge is the first sedan for the Dodge brand in key Latin American markets
  • Offers exceptional value, fuel economy and dependability for customers new to the Dodge brand
  • Trazo C1.8 is powered by a fuel-efficient, E-100 ethanol-capable 16-valve 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine
  • Exterior and interior designs exemplify elegant simplicity and efficiency
  • Trazo C1.8 gives Chrysler LLC immediate access to new vehicle segments in high-growth markets

São Paulo, Brazil, Oct 28, 2008 - Chrysler LLC launches into a new segment in Latin America with the introduction of the new Trazo C1.8 by Dodge today at the São Paulo Motor Show. Trazo C1.8 will be offered as a four-door sedan with exceptional value and fuel efficiency in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The Trazo C1.8 will be built by Nissan Motor Co., providing Chrysler LLC a high-quality entry into these fast-growing markets.

"The new Trazo C1.8 by Dodge allows us to enter into a segment in which we currently do not compete," said Mike Manley, Executive Vice President – International Sales, Marketing and Business Development, Chrysler LLC. "The Trazo C1.8 offers customers a high-quality vehicle with great value and provides our dealers with further opportunities to expand their business."

The exterior of the Trazo C1.8 provides an athletic, yet modern design that is consistent with the rapidly growing Dodge brand. Trazo C1.8's maximized 102.4-inch (260-centimeter) wheelbase and short front- and rear-overhangs create perfect proportions for city streets, while expressively long rooflines highlight the comfortable and spacious interior.

Trazo C1.8's grille features intricate louvers that create a contemporary look while integrating the new Trazo emblem. Large halogen headlamps wrap around to front fenders and provide a striking appearance while improving illumination. These elements, combined with a sporty, integrated body-color front fascia, reinforce Trazo C1.8's youthful looks.

Trazo C1.8's side profile illustrates aerodynamic efficiency while highlighting generous passenger space within. A raked-back windshield improves Trazo C1.8's drag coefficient to a low 0.31 Cd while offering a higher roof height for passengers seated in the front and rear. Clean and crisp body-side forms provide a look of sophistication and give balance to the large side glass that gives Trazo C1.8 passengers great visibility.

A well-tailored rear end completes the exterior design while hinting at Trazo C1.8's cargo versatility. An efficiently shaped deck lid is sandwiched by large jeweled taillamps and provides a strong, integrated look with the wide C-pillar. The deck lid also sits nicely below the large rear window to avoid blocking the driver's rear view. A large chromed license plate brow and centered Trazo line emblem atop the deck lid ensures the Trazo C1.8 is not a bland, run-of-the-mill four-door.

Space utilization and high-quality interior materials provide Trazo C1.8 with a generously sized interior, rewarding its passenger with comfort and craftsmanship.

Utilizing its longer wheelbase, an interior length of more than two meters front to back makes Trazo C1.8 by Dodge roomy and provides the space needed for an active lifestyle. An up-right seat height position in both front and rear seats allows plenty of leg room. Front-row seats are larger and more comfortable than most C-segment vehicles and deliver comfortable leg room at any position with little compromise to rear-seat passengers. A 60/40 split fold-down rear seat accommodates larger items, while adjustable head rests and a folding arm rest add comfort for up to five passengers on longer road trips.

The instrument panel of the Trazo C1.8 by Dodge duplicates the exterior's elegantly simple design with a horizontal layout and very efficient use of space. The instruments are housed in three chromed ringed pods, nested in clear view through the sporty three-spoke steering wheel. The center stack contains easy-to-reach climate controls and audio system in addition to a covered storage compartment. A center console, with additional storage features and an ergonomically designed shifter location, flows seamlessly from the instrument panel and defines driver and front-passenger seating areas. Metallic accents on the instrument panel, door panels, steering wheel and other touch points finish off Trazo C1.8's modern look.

The Trazo C1.8 by Dodge will be available with a 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder gasoline and E100 ethanol-capable engine with both automatic and manual transmissions. The Variable Valve Timing (VVT) powertrain offers fuel efficiency along with fun-to-drive excitement the Dodge brand is known for.

Quality is a priority for the Trazo C1.8 by Dodge. A three-year, 50,000-kilometer limited warranty is standard on Trazo C1.8, providing ownership confidence.

Chrysler and Nissan's OEM Agreement
In January 2008, Chrysler LLC and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. formed an agreement for Nissan to supply Chrysler with a new car for sale in select Latin American markets. The Trazo C1.8 by Dodge will be supplied to Chrysler by Nissan on an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) basis in mid 2009.

The OEM supply agreement is the second product exchange between Chrysler LLC and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Nissan affiliate JATCO has been supplying Chrysler with transmissions for various front-wheel-drive vehicles since 2004. The two companies have also agreed to maintain an open dialogue to explore further product-sharing opportunities.


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  • 25 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Doesn't surprise me about the badging. Dodge sells the Hyundai Atos in Mexico and does slap a Dodge name on the back, but doesn't bother to switch out the Hyundai emblem up front.
        • 6 Years Ago
        wow. By comparison, the Aveo/G3 twins have very sophisticated badge engineering.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So did Chrysler give up on Chery?
        • 6 Years Ago
        prolly the other way around.
      • 6 Years Ago
      DAAMMMNN!!! THAT SH!T IS SO SICK!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      They uglyfied Versa.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It was fugly from the beginning, so.......
      • 6 Years Ago
      The emblem looks like one of those tamper-proof slotted-head screws, like they use in restroom partitions. Some Nissan designer had diarrhea?
        s13hybrid
        • 6 Years Ago
        To me the emblem looks like someone took a Nissan logo and smeared it around counterclockwise, then wrote Trazo on it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thank you for expressing my thoughts. They didn't even use the proper badge in the badge-job!
      • 6 Years Ago
      i'll hold out for the Trazo SRT thankyouverymuch
      or maybe the Trazo ACR
      it can sit next to my soon-to-purchase dodge ram v-spec.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Instead of even using a Dodge badge, they created a new emblem that is the exact same size and shape as the Nissan badge in order to make a cheap overlay. Pathetic.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To the extent that any partnership creates more badge-engineering, it'll be a failure that'll weaken all of the badge-engineered vehicles.

      There's overcapacity in the auto business and it would be best to let the weaklings fail. Propping up redundant dinosaurs is wasting taxpayer money to save union jobs that will disappear anyway.

      Auto manufacturing is alive and well in the U.S. There are, I think, 16 auto factories in the U.S.--employing American workers, of course-- producing vehicles other than GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

      The truth is that GM, Ford, and Chrysler have been reduced to minimum importance. Take a walk in any American city and count the Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Mazdas, Hyundais, etc. Many--perhaps most--were made in the U.S.

      Would be sad for GM, Ford, and Chrysler to disappear, but no great loss at this point.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't think Obama's proposed redistribution of wealth will EVER work for me;-).

        True that some auto production in the U.S. at foreign companies consists of assembly of parts made elsewhere, but that's what the UAW has encouraged over the years. Outsourcing as much as possible to avoid the greedy unions makes good sense even if it seems mean.

        These kinds of things run in cycles, so there's no indication that all of manufacturing will leave the U.S. Maybe costs will rise in Asian counties to the extent that it'll be cheaper to build entire cars here--it's happened before.

        As for profit "going back to Asia", I don't see it that way. If you own stock in Honda or Toyota, some of that profit will inure to you. Also, money earned here is usually employed here to build more factories as Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai have done in recent years.

        Too bad that some proud old names from domestic car companies will disappear, but I haven't had my life ruined by the demise of Plymouth and Oldsmobile.......at least not yet.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're somewhat correct... they're assembled here in the US. But you fail to mention that the parts content is 85-100% from areas other than North America. Those pre-assembled parts coming from Japan/China/Korea didn't come from one of the hundreds of suppliers in the US, which is where the economy is really getting hit hard. So what if the Toyota plant employs a few hundred Americans... think of the tens-of-thousands of foreign workers you're employing. And not one mention of the final profit going back to Asia and building up their economies... which will eventually lead to the end of the United States. Everything will be outsourced back to Japan/China/Korea and we'll all be lower-class citizens.

        Hopefully Obama's redistribution of wealth will work for you then.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's got that Renault weirdness (think Renault Avantime), especially in the roofline. The dorkiest looking Nissan since the original Stanza, in the early '80s. Kudos for the 6-speed gearbox, though. Unusual in a low-end car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, it *IS* a long wheelbase Renault Clio...

        (And the Sentra is essentially a badge-engineered Renault Megane, now...)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dodge has been doing this for years in South America, mostly with Hyundais (I beleive). This is probably just a way of making Dodge and Nissan with the whole Ram deal and helping Nissan recoupe some of the lost units from the Titan's demise. And that press release is just a bunch of P.R.!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't even understand why they need to rebadge the car. Does Dodge sell that many more units than Nissan in South America? Or do they simply not have Nissan dealerships and don't want to be caught selling Nissan-branded equipment out of a Dodge dealership?
      • 6 Years Ago
      lmao. This isn't what we meant by "That merger would be a good idea"
      • 6 Years Ago
      "We couldn't even find a Dodge logo on the car's exterior."

      On the back of the car there is a badge that says "by DODGE"
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