The Alfa Romeo Giulietta has added a powerful new 2.0 liter turbodiesel engine, and corporate cousin the Dodge Dart should be in line for a diesel as well. With the success Chrysler is having with the sales of other diesel models, an efficient and torquey diesel compact could give struggling Dart sales a much-needed jolt. It’s a no brainer, but I’m not sure it’ll happen soon enough.
The Giulietta and Dart share the same platform and engines, though the trio of optional motors in the Dart seems redundant and unimpressive to most reviews. However, Chrysler and Fiat are committed to bringing diesel engines to America, and so far sales are mounting at an impressive rate. In the first three days of 2014 Ram 1500 sales, over 8,000 orders for the new EcoDiesel model were placed. A 28 MPG highway rating in a full-size pickup can do that.
From the sounds of it, the new 2.0 liter turbodiesel in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta has everything the Dart needs; 173 horsepower, 258 ft-lbs of torque, and fuel economy over 53 MPG on the European testing cycle. In America it’d work out to more like 45 or 46 MPG, which would put the Dart at the top of the compact heap in terms of fuel efficiency, and it’d also be among the most powerful compact cars as well. Right now the Dart’s most powerful engine is a 1.4 liter MultiAir turbo engine delivering 160 horsepower and 184 ft-lbs of torque, which just doesn’t make for a very fast ride. 0 to 60 MPH in the fastest Dart takes about 8.2 seconds, while the turbodiesel Giulietta manages the same sprint in just 7.8 seconds.
But if Fiat’s plans to bring Alfa back to America after decades of absence goes through, the Dart might be starved out while the Giulietta gets all the good stuff. There’s been no mention of a Dodge Dart SRT, nor of adding a diesel engine under the hood. I mean, it makes sense to me, but what do I know? I’m just one of those people with a bull’s eye on my back that the Dodge Dart marketing can’t seem to hit. And forget anything electric; the only EVs Fiat is building are the ones it has to build.
LED taillights and big touchscreens are nice, no doubt, but I’m one of those rare fools who gives a damn what’s under the hood. The Dart is a good looking car to me, but it lacks the oomph to back up its sporty styling, and there’s an awful lot of overlap between the three optional engines. A torquey, efficient diesel would help the Dart stand out in a crowded segment, and it sounds like the kind of cake I could keep and eat at the same time. Ya dig?
Source: Alfa Romeo