AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Thanks to neglect and mismanagement Chrysler was forced to go years without a decent small car in its lineup. The recently departed Caliber was anything but a competent vehicle. It put the “rude” in “crude.” Thankfully, Chrysler got back into the compact-car segment in a big way last year with the Dodge Dart and it’s expanding the lineup this year.
Fuel economy numbers are more important now than ever before, as gas prices continue to rise in North America.
An impressively high number, even a class-leading car like the Hyundai Elantra, which gets 40 mpg highway, only achieves an average of 33 mpg. While the exact fuel economy figures have yet to be released and a 40 mpg highway rating is still in sight, when the Dart (above) goes on sale later this year it most certainly will not get 40 mpg average; not in real world driving and not even on the window sticker.
Dodge wasn’t wrong. They’re not even entirely to blame. If fact, they were just using a different testing method to get their fuel economy numbers. Or to put it more accurately, they weren’t even doing the testing. So why would a different testing method be used? It’s a long and complex story, but the gist of it is that according to a government mandate, in order for Fiat to take control of Chrysler it needed achieve three goals, the final one being building a 40 mpg car on American soil. Being government related, that number is a CAFE number, not an EPA number. What’s the difference? Read on.
Dodge is ramping up its marketing for the upcoming Dart model that will be made available in the second quarter of this year. The newly-launched website has now received a vehicle car configurator where users can customize their Dart even though pricing has yet to be finalized.
The Dart will be available in five trim models: SE, SXT, Rallye, Limited, and R/T. Base models will be powered by a 2.0L, 160-hp four-cylinder engine, while the R/T will sport a 2.4L, 184-hp powerplant. Mid level SXT, Rallye and Limited trims will also be available with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder with either a manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The configurator does give estimated final prices with the SE starting at $17,200 while the SXT is $19,000, Rallye comes in at $20,500 and the Limited is priced at $21,500. As expected, the R/T is the most expensive model with an estimated MSRP of $24,000.
A plethora of color choices are available for the Dart: Citrus Peel, Header Orange, Laguna Blue, Redline, Winter Chill, Blue Streak, Maximum Steel Metallic, True Blue, Bright White, Pitch Black, Bright Silver Metallic, and Tungsten Metallic.
Dodge does warn potential customers on their website with the following message: ”The features and prices for the final 2013 Dodge Dart will become available when the vehicle goes on sale in Q2 of 2012. The information on this site may change frequently, so don’t be surprised if things look different next time you visit.”
GALLERY: Dodge Dart Color Choices
Since its reveal at the Detroit Auto Show, the new 2013 Dodge Dart has received a lot of positive reactions and Dodge intends to make it even better. Based on the Italian Alfa Romeo Giulietta platform, the solid European chassis will be further finessed for sport and performance under the care of Ralph Gilles and the magicians of SRT. The SRT4 is back!
While many of the components are carry-overs from Alfa Romeo, the SRT-4 will likely create an engine that produces no less than the 285-hp and 265 lb.-ft. of torque found in the forerunning Caliber SRT4. A likely powerplant would be a larger displacement, turbocharged and intercooled variant of the Dart’s Tigershark 2.0 liter engine.
Other hardware upgrades include stiffer springs and dampers, larger wheels, and stickier rubber. As for the exterior, think modern day Neon SRT4 as the Dart SRT4 will be stylized with aggressive yet functional vents, scoops, and rear spoiler.
Pricing on the SRT4 should fall near $30,000.
GALLERY: 2013 Dodge Dart
Discuss this story at DartForums.com
The announcement gets our attention since Chrysler and Hyundai recently split from the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) which also involved Japanese automaker, Mitsubishi. As a result from GEMA, the Dart uses similar 2.0L and 2.4L engines that Hyundai also uses. Those two powerplants are the ones that Dodge will outfit with the six-speed automatic transmission.
It appears that Chrysler needed to source a six-speed automatic transmission quickly – mostly for fuel economy figures – and went with Hyundai’s transmission since it easily mated to their two engines. Unfortunately Chrysler won’t confirm the purchase agreement and Hyundai won’t reveal any specifics other than the fact that they are supplying a six-speed automatic transmission.
Discuss this story at Dartforums.com
GALLERY: Dodge Dart
[Source: Car and Driver]
The first Chrysler product to be based on a Fiat architecture, the 2013 Dodge Dart looks sporty, contemporary and honestly, very refreshing to see. Essentially a replacement from the now defunct Caliber, the Dart looks to be in an entirely different league than what it’s replacing. The vehicle itself is based on the Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta platform and once it hits American soil it’ll be available with three different four-cylinder engines.
A 2.0L packs 160-hp while a 2.4L will have 184-hp. A 1.4L turbocharged powerplant that is also seen in the Abarth 500 will feature 160-hp. The front-wheel-drive compact will feature Fiat Group’s six-speed, dual-clutch transmission with a six-speed manual option but ultimately will get an all-new nine-speed transmission that is currently being developed by the ZF Group.
AutoGuide.com will be on hand at the official debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, so stay tuned as we’ll have more photos and details on this new stunner from Dodge.
Check out the video of the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart below and see our complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage here.
GALLERY: 2013 Dodge Dart