Chrysler/Nissan partnership bears fruit in South America: the Dodge Trazo C1.8

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.?

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[Source: Dodge]


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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