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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
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With the recent launch of several big and powerful SRT models, including the Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee, high-performance boss Ralph Gilles is now looking down-market.
In an interview with Automobile Magazine the new head of the SRT division and an avid car-nut, Gilles admitted that while he loved the Dodge Neon SRT4, when it came to the Caliber version, perhaps the brand “over reached.”
However, “I’m a big believer in high-horsepower, small displacement cars,” he admits, “so I’d love to do another.”
Interest alone won’t get a car built though, but having the right tools at your disposal will. “We have some great [small car] platforms finally,” said Gilles, referring to the upcoming Caliber replacement which is expected to debut at the Detroit Auto Show next January.
When pushed further Gilles commented that a high-performance compact car is being investigated. “I definitely think we need an entry-level performance vehicle at some point,” he said.
With the Caliber’s replacement not due until early 2012, look for an SRT version to bow, at the earliest, a year after that.
The high-powered Caliber SRT4 is being cut from the Dodge lineup. The folks over at Car & Driver noticed the absence of the vehicle in Dodge’s 2010 product lineup and have confirmed with Chrysler PR that this is no mix-up. The SRT4 is dead. Sadly, this also means that no model in the company’s new lineup will feature the Caliber’s 285-hp, 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.
Under new ownership by Fiat since the U.S. automaker emerged from bankruptcy protection, Chrysler’s Dodge brand will instead focus on moving more high-volume Caliber models.
The Caliber SRT4 is just the latest high-performance vehicle to become a casualty of the recession, with one of the car’s main competitors, the Chevy Cobalt SS Sedan having been eliminated from GM’s product lineup earlier this year.
[Source: Car & Driver]