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2012 NAIAS: Dodge Dart

January 9th, 2012

2013 Dodge Dart

      Chrysler made its morning press conference a celebration of a resurgent Dodge and rolled out a convincing argument in its quest to conquer the compact market in the form of the Dart. The small sedan is the product of the Fiat acquisition and successfully covers an Alfa Romeo developed platform with tough Dodge styling including a full-width tail light inspired by the Charger.
      Powertrain choices include three engines starting with a new 160 hp 2.0-liter I4, a 184 hp 2.4-liter I4 and a turbocharged 160 hp four borrowed from Fiat. The turbo’s secret weapon is its 184 lb-ft of torque, which should move the Dart around with enough pep to back up the R/T model’s sporty looks. A 6-speed manual, automatic or dual-clutch transmission will launch with the vehicle but engineers promise a 9-speed automatic (that’s not a typo) within a year. Available luxuries like an 8.4-inch navigation screen, 7-inch gauge cluster display and 506-watt stereo make sure you won’t go without just for buying a compact sedan. Dodge plans to offer a variety of customization options including plenty of official Mopar accessories. With a starting price of $15,995 and an expected EPA Highway rating of 40 mpg, the Dart stands a good chance of hitting the compact market bulls-eye when it goes on sale this summer. (You knew that was coming.)

Photos by Jason Muxlow

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