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Old 01-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
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2013 Dodge Dart Revealed Ahead of Detroit Debut



2013 Dodge Dart
Dodge's new small car arrives—with a heavy Italian accent.


January 2012 BY ALEXANDER STOKLOSA

Update: Full photography has leaked ahead of the Dart’s Detroit show debut. Head into the gallery to see Dodge’s new compact in all its glory.

Dodge has pulled the sheet off of its new Alfa Romeo–based 2013 compact car and announced that it will be called Dart. Set to debut in January at the Detroit auto show, the Dart features three engines and three transmission options and aggressive styling reminiscent of the larger Charger. We’ve only got one question: How do you say “Dart” in Italian? Actually, it’s a three-part question: Wouldn’t you rather say “Demon” in Italian? Or “Hornet”?

Front-Drive, Not a Muscle Car

If the resurrected Dart name had you daydreaming of late-1960s Mopar muscle, we’ll stop you right here. The 2013 Dart rides on a front-wheel-drive platform adapted from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Compared to the Giulietta, the Dart is wider and longer, its new architecture dubbed Compact U.S. Wide. Don’t let all of the air out of the Fun Balloon quite yet; the small Alfa is a fine driver’s car (you can read our drive of a 2010 Giulietta here).

The Dart’s appearance at least fulfills Dodge’s sportiness claims. The company released just two images of an up-level R/T model, but what’s visible is very Charger-like. The front wears a crosshair grille stuffed into a large, blacked-out cutout and flanked by swept-back headlights. The rear is basically a downsized rendition of the Charger’s, complete with a full-width LED taillight treatment and dual exhaust outlets. As opposed to many others in its segment—as well as its Caliber predecessor—the Dart will exist only as a four-door. Dodge has given no indication that a hatchback is in the works. An image of the interior will be released on December 13, according to a mini-site set up for the Dart, but our spy photographers already took a peek inside.



Three’s Company

When it goes on sale sometime in 2012, the Dart will offer three different inline-fours. There will be a 2.0-liter, a turbocharged 1.4-liter Multiair, and a 2.4-liter Multiair. The naturally aspirated 2.0- and 2.4-liters are both members of Chrysler’s new engine family, which it calls—please keep giggling to a minimum—Tigershark. Modernized evolutions of Chrysler’s current global 2.0- and 2.4-liter fours, which make 158 and 173 hp, respectively, both should have direct injection. The turbo is likely the same unit as is found in the U.S.-spec Fiat 500 Abarth. We expect the 2.0-liter to make around 160 hp, the turbo 1.4-liter to produce about 170—but deliver better fuel economy than the 2.0—and the 2.4 to perhaps touch 200 horses.

Dodge also is mum on what transmissions will back the engines, although it says three gearboxes will be offered. A five- or six-speed manual is a given, and while initial reports said that Fiat's dual-clutch automatic wasn't headed to the U.S. any time soon, now Chrysler tells us that the trans is ready for small-car duty. The new ZF nine-speed automatic probably will join the lineup a bit later. We’ll have to wait until the Detroit show for all of the Dart’s details, but it looks as though Dodge has an attractive and modern small car on its hands (sorry, Caliber). We’re just waiting for the SRT4 version—or, wait. Would that be Dart Swinger?

View Photo Gallery

Text Source: Car & Driver



Last edited by warneej; 01-08-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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The interior looks pretty excellent, with the exception of the integration of the Nav screen, reminds me of the 90s and most of 00s GM products where the bezel overlapped the stereo and HVAC controls.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
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Looks like a CRZ from the front and a Cruze from the back.


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Old 01-08-2012, 12:54 PM   #4
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the interior isn't bad and the front end is ok, but I don't like the rear on it. too much plastic for how slim the taillight is. overall not bad, but we shall see. I just hope they do better suspension on this than they put on the 200. i dove one of those as a rental a while back (V6). had plenty of power, but felt like it was gonna roll off the road when you got on it. and god forbid you want to actually take a turn in that thing.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
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For once a Dodge doesn't look bad. And there's manual transmission option!!
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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A very good effort from Dodge, can't wait to see these sexy little compacts on the Dodge lots in place of those very outdated Calibers.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:34 PM   #7
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Posted via FF Mobile I think the biggest deal with this car is the powertrain options. These multiair engines from Fiat are very good and the rumor of an 8 or 9 speed trans is not something seen on many cars, certainly not a compact. T interior is very nice and looks like dodge/chrysler will be getting back into the relm of best in class interiors like they used to have in the 90s. They shouldnt have a problem catching up to Ford. Those seats in the dart look great, nice and thick, I also think the storage in the passanger seat is awesome. Time to step it up GM! Although the new Malibu had a very nice interior when I saw it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:16 PM   #8
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Looks really nice. Just wish it wasn't FWD.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:31 PM   #9
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It looks good, but very much like a re-skinned Neon. Very dated somehow.

Meanwhile, some of the interior closeups reveal what appear to be large swaths of cheap, shiny, Neon-ish plastic...

Hard to imagine this a worthy Focus opponent.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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So evident that some of you guys here just don't want to give Dodge due credit. LOL
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