By Patrick Rall
Nissan and General Motors are doing battle for the ownership
of Chrysler, but the first of the joint venture models between Chrysler and
Nissan debuted at the Sao Paulo Motor Show.
Wearing the ‘Trazo C1.8by Dodge’ name, this rebadged Nissan Versa gives
Dodge new access to the compact sedan market in Latin American markets.
As the name implies, the Trazo is powered by a 1.8L can be
run on gasoline or F-100 ethanol, and the DOHC 16 valve engine, utilizing variable
valve timing, offers excellent fuel economy and 122 horsepower. The Trazo C1.8 by Dodge can be ordered with
either a manual or automatic transmission.
The interior is similar to that found in the US-sold Versa, with chrome
trim around the large three gauge cluster, and high back bucket seats offering
comfort and support.
The Trazo C1.8 by Dodge joins the Avenger, Caliber, Caliber
SRT4, Journey, Nitro and Viper on the list of Dodge models offered outside or
North America, and the C1.8 is the first vehicle made under the recent
agreement between Nissan and Chrysler, with the next generation Nissan quarter
ton truck to be the second vehicle in the partnership, using what is expected
to be a rebadged Ram, right down to the Hemi power.
This has been a bit of a sore spot with Dodge faithful,
seeing both Nissan made Chrysler products, but also the thought of the fabled
Hemi under the hood of a Nissan.