2013 Dodge Dart: Old Name, New Car, Lots Of Tech

As some of you probably already know, I am big into old cars. American muscle has always been my first love, and beyond the cars themselves, I think some of the best names, and most memorable marketing campaigns, came out of this era. And in this regard I think Chrysler had the best names and the best marketing, with cars like the Charger, Barracuda, and Dart. It is that last name, Dart, that Chrysler has decided to resurrect for its new Alfa Romeo-based compact car. Can it bring Chrysler back into compact car competition?

This blogger thinks yes, it can. Riding on the Alfa Romeo Guiletta platform, the new front-drive Dart will offer three kinda-redundant engine choices; a naturally aspirated base “TigerShark” 2.0 liter engine producing 160 horsepower and 148 ft-lbs of torque (more than any other current compact car if I am not mistaken.) Next up is a 2.4 liter four-banger making 184 horsepower and 171 ft-lbs of torque. Finally, there is a 1.4 liter MutliAir turbo engine making 160 horsepower and 184 ft-lbs of torque. With all the engines within less than 30 horsepower and 40 ft-lbs of torque with each other, well, you see what I mean when I say redundant.

However, the Dart will also offer three transmission choices; a standard automatic, a six-speed manual, and a six-speed dual clutch automatic that will deliver over 40 MPG on the CAFE standard, and somewhere in the mid-30’s on the EPA rating. But don’t let the numbers fool you; this is a big compact car, with as much interior room as many midsize cars. The price? $15,995, possibly the most-attractive part of the whole package.

For that price point you might expect a stripped-down car, but Dodge wants to offer premium options otherwise unavailable in this segment like LED taillamps, dual exhaust, and an 8.4-inch touchscreen. Buyers are demanding more content for less money these days, and Dodge hopes to accommodate these buyers with the tech-heavy Dart.

I wasn’t able to corner any executives to talk alternative fuel or hybrid options, but know this; Fiat is currently developing a CNG MutliAir engine for use in Europe. It’s not hard to imagine this engine making its way over to America in the not-too-distant future. And if Dodge decides to offer a CNG, turbocharged Dart down the road…well, it will make my car buying decision much much easier.

Sound off on your thoughts the new Dodge Dart; yay or nay? Like, Dislike, or HATE?

Source: Dodge

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.