Dodge’s Dart takes a rare position in the small car marketplace in which it plays – it seeks to win its customer’s hearts rather than their minds. It’d be easy for your head to dismiss the Dart based purely on its on-paper specs – particularly the trim level we’re driving, which is saddled with the smallest-displacement engine in its class (1.4L) and the highest curb weight – nearly 3,300 pounds on our tester. Hardly the combination car guy dreams are made of. Although Dodge couldn’t return the bundle parent company Fiat left on their doorstep – the chassis and turbo powertrain are hand-me-downs from the Alfa Giulietta–they decided to imbue the Dart with enough personality to overcome its spec sheet deficiencies instead.
Tag - Dart
UPDATE: The full 49 image set of the 2013 Dodge Dart has been added.
This week, Chrysler released two teaser images of the upcoming replacement for the underachieving Dodge Caliber. Behold the 2013 Dodge Dart.
Well, behold the 2013 Dodge Dart as it would appear in Forza 4 or Gran Turismo 5, that is. What you’re looking at are screen captures of a computer model, obviously, so take them with a grain or two of salt, but what we see here are some nice contemporary design cues combined with some nice touches from the current Dodge lineup. A glance at the rear end reveals the same LED light pipe style lamps which Chrysler recently revived for the refreshed Charger. Up front, we get headlights reminiscent of newer Volkswagen and GM designs, and the trademark crosshair grille is looking pleasantly svelte compared to the enormous, truck-inspired maws featured on many Dodge vehicles over the last few years. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long for the real thing. The full debut will take place in January at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Underneath, it’s an Alfa — a Giulietta, to be precise. That should be good news from a chassis perspective, as it should mean carry-over IRS and other goodies. The outgoing compact may have been competent transportation appliance on a fundamental level, but even in SRT guise, it was never a dynamic front-runner. Motivation comes from three new engine options. Two are based on the “Tigershark” architecture (which may be the best engineering moniker this side of Ford’s V8 engine programs), one a 2.0L and the other a 2.4L, both naturally aspirated. The third option will be the 1.4L, turbocharged MultiAir engine that will make its U.S. debut in the Fiat 500 Abarth fairly soon here.
There’s not much else to say until we get a chance to drive it. The full press release and 49 image photo gallery is pasted below the break if you want the deets.