2013 Dodge Dart Preview: 2012 Detroit Auto Show

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2013 Dodge Dart Compact Sedan

2013 Dodge Dart Compact Sedan

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The replacement for Dodge's compact car, most recently the Caliber, is here, and it bears a once-familiar name: Dart. Based on a combination of Alfa Romeo underpinning and Dodge style, the Dart will make its official global debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

Dodge is hyping the car heavily, touting performance, gas mileage, and style. Individually, any of those are high marks for a compact car to hit; together, they seem impossible to do well.

Powered by a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged engine, the Dart could in fact pack a good deal of punch. The MultiAir's fully variable valve system can extract surprising flexibility from an engine, making high efficiency and power output non-mutually-exclusive goals. Add turbocharging to the mix, and there's yet another attractive possibility. If Dodge can keep the weight down. Alternatives to the standard engine include the Tigershark 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the Tigershark 2.4-liter MultiAir. Three transmission choices (not yet disclosed) will be available with the three engines.

Dodge says it's keeping the Dart lean by using advanced materials--sourced from the Alfa DNA in its design. Sixty-eight percent of the body structure is made of high-strength steel, which can be thinner and lighter than standard steel. Unfortunately, there's no talk of aluminum, so the Dart may be light-ish, but it won't likely be shockingly light. It may, however, be very affordable.

Despite its Italian DNA and Fiat's ownership interest, the new Dart will be built in the U.S.A., at the company's Belvidere, Illinois plant. To do so, it will invest about $600 million to update the plant for production of the Dart and other future models.

Look for more details right here at Motor Authority, including live photos and videos fresh from Cobo Hall once the Detroit show gets underway.
2013 Dodge Dart Compact Sedan

2013 Dodge Dart Compact Sedan

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Comments (5)
  1. >Three transmission choices (not yet disclosed

    As it is Fiat based it's pretty much obviously two of the three will be a manual gearbox...

  2. Why would you think there would be two manual gearboxes, when most buyers move to automatics?? That makes no sense. Two automatics are likely to be the additional choices, to test the waters. Supposedly Fiat helped Chrysler develop an additional dual clutch transmission besides the 6 speed TCT, referred to as the TCT-S, which is a 7speed and of course the other is the ZF 9 speed. Dodge also has it's own 6 speed. So there are there four other options that could be appearing before another manual.

  3. BTW, Dodge also announced awhile back that the TCT is out since it wasn't up to par for the US market. The two most likely candidates are the traditional 6 and the ZF9, which from a fuel-saving prospective the 9 will eventually eliminate any other option.

  4. i see all of there car is going with the rear lights taking the entire back now.

  5. As an owner of a 1972 Dodge Dart Swinger, I'm wondering why they decided not to leverage the current buyer love affair with retro styling and instead completely change to a sports car design. In the past, Dodge badged small economy cars with muscle car names (i.e., 80s Dodge Chargers/Daytonas)without great success. Right now new Camaros and Mustangs are outselling the Dodge Challenger/Charger models; seems a smaller, lighter muscle car style would be a good option.

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