2013 Dodge Dart Compact SedanEnlarge Photo
While other automakers brag about building cars capable of achieving up to 40 miles per gallon in highway fuel economy, Chrysler is reporting that its new Dodge Dart sedan has achieved 40 mpg in combined fuel economy testing. As John Voelcker points out on Green Car Reports, 40 mpg combined is higher than any combined rating for a compact or subcompact gasoline vehicle to date--but there may be more to the matter..
To be clear, the car tested was a pre-production vehicle, and Chrysler didn’t specify if the test was the EPA’s combined cycle used to calculate window sticker fuel economy. It's possible that the test vehicle was equipped with the new ZF-built nine-speed transmission, which isn't expected to be available at launch of the Dart. In fact, it has come to our attention that the 40 mpg rating may well be a CAFE rating, indicating a possible EPA combined score of about 32 mpg.
Still, achieving the 40 mpg milestone allowed Fiat to acquire an additional five percent stake in Chrysler, which now raises Fiat’s ownership to 58.5 percent (with the remaining 41.5 percent owned by the UAW VEBA). Hitting 40 mpg with a production vehicle built in the U.S. was the final hurdle set by the federal government for Fiat's takeover of Chrysler.
The 2013 Dodge Dart, which is considered by many to be the most important vehicle in Chrysler’s recent history, will be revealed at next week’s Detroit Auto Show. In Chrysler’s own words, the compact sedan blends Alfa Romeo DNA with Dodge’s passion for performance, yielding redefined performance in the compact segment.
Look for a full write-up on the new Dodge Dart as part of our comprehensive Detroit Auto Show coverage.