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You spy ’em, we share ’em
Readers capture BMW X5, Dodge Nitro


By BOB GRITZINGER

AutoWeek | Published 06/07/06, 2:25 pm et


AutoWeek reader/shutterbugs have been busy in recent weeks, spotting some of the latest hardware coming from Dodge and BMW.

Reader Dave Thompson was driving the infamous Dragon’s Tail (318 curves in 11.1 miles) on U.S. 129 in western North Carolina when he came upon a group of BMW engineers in this lightly camouflaged second-generation BMW X5. Due later this year as a 2007 model, the new X5 grows in size and gets a third row of seats to better differentiate itself from the X3.


Meanwhile readers across the nation are catching glimpses of Dodge’s upcoming Nitro, based on a stretched Liberty chassis. Bob Knapp recently spied a group of barely camoed Nitros parked in Frisco, Colorado. In preparation for an upcoming October launch meanwhile, Chrysler engineers in the Motor City are running all manner of Nitros on area freeways. We’ve spied several, including a diesel Dodge says was a non-U.S. test model here strictly for evaluation.

The most intriguing example of the Nitro is this one snapped by Byron Marquis on a Detroit freeway. Marquis claims the vehicle was flying along like a “redneck in a snowstorm” in what seemed like a Hemi-powered Nitro. So far, Dodge says the Nitro gets just two V6 powerplants, a 4.0-liter 255-hp engine and a 3.7-liter 210-hp unit, but given Nitro’s market position as the he-man Liberty, the idea of a Hemi-powered SRT Nitro doesn’t sound too far-fetched.
 

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Strongt said:
the new X5 grows in size and gets a third row of seats to better differentiate itself from the X3.
I'm really having trouble seeing where the third row of seats would go. I see rear dears and then a small area behind that and then the back of the vehicle.
 
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