Yes they did… they named it the “Dart.”
If you were wondering where Chrysler Group LLC’s answer for the Ford Fiesta/Focus and Chevrolet Sonic/Cruise was; wonder no longer. Dodge is finally replacing the Caliber (THANK YOU GOD!) with something completely out of left field. This is a highly stylized, affordable machine that should please lovers of good esthetics. The information is very limited, but I can tell you that FIAT plays a big role in this one – especially in the engine and platform department.
I’m guessing that the top of the line model will have FIAT’s 1.4-liter MultiAir with a turbocharger. Judging by the competition, I’m guessing the turbo will put out at least 140 horsepower (which is about what the Chevy Sonic puts out). This is a good thing for Denver and the Rocky Mountains in general as turbocharging truly helps cars at high altitudes.
Check this out: the name for both normally aspirated 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines is “Tigershark.” Yup, that’s their name and I love the macho nomenclature. Sure, it’s not as nostalgic as “Slant-six” but I still like it. Dodge says there will be three transmissions available. I’m guessing a 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic and, perhaps, FIAT’s slick 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The 2013 Dodge Dart will be based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta’s platform – and that’s a good thing. The Giulietta is one of the few cars in Europe that can challenge the excellent Volkswagen Golf. The platform alone will handle several future drivetrain derivatives and it should make the 2013 Dodge Dart instantly competitive.
I know, I know… you want real pictures right? So do I. As it stands, I suspect a few additional photos will be “leaked” from Chrysler Group LLC leading up to the North American International Automobile Show in Detroit, MI this upcoming January. There is a link below that will take you to a photo site – but those photos are just as vague. With any luck, I will be behind the wheel of this machine soon. When I do, I promise to report to you as soon as I can.
Until then, here’s the press release:
Detroit, Michigan on Jan. 9, 2012
· Built on a world-class architecture, Dodge Dart offers three technologically advanced, fuel-efficient and powerful engines including the 1.4L MultiAir® Turbo
· Dodge delivers exceptional craftsmanship with class-leading technology and style
Auburn Hills, Mich. , Dec 6, 2011 – Dodge redefines performance in the compact car segment with an all-new, state-of-the-art four-door sedan delivering class-leading aerodynamics – the 2013 Dodge Dart.
With Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge’s passion for performance at its core, the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart is a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s fuel-efficient, beautifully designed and crafted, agile and brings fun back to driving in the segment.
Similar to the Dodge Dart of the late 1960’s, the 2013 Dart offers a special blend of style, performance and innovation. The Dodge brand leveraged its nearly 100-year history of passion for building high-quality, innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and style, as well as from its partner Fiat’s global compact car expertise, to develop the all-new Dodge Dart.
ALFA ROMEO DNA
The all-new Dart is the first Chrysler Group vehicle based upon a Fiat architecture – adapted from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The Giulietta is renowned for satisfying the most demanding customers in terms of road-holding, agility and safety, with exceptional driving dynamics. The Dart leverages all of these attributes within a lengthened and widened platform delivering segment-leading levels of interior roominess.
The all-new Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) architecture underpinning the Dart is a state-of-the-art architecture with an industry-leading 68 percent of the body composed of high-strength steel, resulting in a very strong and rigid structure. Combined with responsive steering, four-wheel independent suspension, and available 18-inch wheels, the Dart brings fun back to driving in the compact car segment.
The all-new 2013 Dart marks the Dodge brand’s re-entry into the compact sedan segment, hitting the bulls-eye with a modern, unmistakable Dodge design that builds upon its performance heritage while evoking emotion, efficiency and fluidity of movement.
Eye-catching exterior proportions are set off from every angle by dynamic lines and curves, along with advanced technology, to deliver class-leading aerodynamic performance. The personality-packed front view is instantly recognizable as an all-new Dodge with its tailored split-crosshair grille, projector headlamps and fog lamps and accentuated fenders. Signature Dodge full-width LED ‘racetrack’ tail lamps and class-exclusive integrated dual exhaust – both inspired by Dodge Charger – accentuate the athletic and muscular stance of this dynamic and passionate new design.
THREE SOPHISTICATED, FUEL-EFFICIENT & POWERFUL ENGINES
The 2013 Dodge Dart will be powered by three fuel-efficient, powerful, state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines that add to Dart’s fun-to-drive quotient.
Drivers can select from a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.0-liter engine, a 16-valve 1.4-liter MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine, and a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.4-liter MultiAir four cylinder engine. These three engines, combined with three transmission choices, combine to redefine performance by providing the most diverse powertrain lineup in its class.
MultiAir technology delivers optimum combustion at any speed under all driving conditions by allowing direct and dynamic control of air intake and combustion. The result is up to a 15 percent increase in low engine rpm torque, a 7.5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 10 percent reduction in C02 emissions.
THE ALL-NEW DART – BUILT IN AMERICA
The all-new Dodge Dart will be made in America, at Chrysler Group’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill. The Company is in the process of investing $600 million dollars to support the production of future products, including the 2013 Dodge Dart. The investment includes the construction of a 638,000 square-foot body shop, as well as the installation of new machinery, tooling and material handling equipment. Work on the expansion began in the summer of 2010 and will be completed this year.
The all-new Dodge Dart has been engineered with great levels of refinement, craftsmanship and engaging driving dynamics. Consumers can follow www.Dodge.com/Dartfor additional photos and more information about the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart.
This is an exciting time to be a consumer for inexpensive cars – I’m willing to bet that the 2013 Dodge Dart will force the competition to “up” their game.