Exclusive: 2014 Chrysler Hatchback To Follow 2013 Dodge Dart?

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2013 Dodge Dart

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Will Chrysler soon be getting a hatchback that shares the same underpinnings as the Dodge Dart? If you have some confidence in a persistent Detroit industry rumor about the possibility, as well the reaction of Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, it just might.

"I will not say we won't be making it," Marchionne replied to us with a grin, when we asked whether the Chrysler hatchback was indeed part of the business plan. "That's a good question...let us get out with the car [pointing to Dart] and we'll see."

Marchionne has good reason to be happy about how things are going at Chrysler. The U.S. automaker bolstered Fiat's financial performance this past year, thanks to significant gains in market share. And with the Dart hitting dealerships mid-year, it will likely make significant gains in market share and profitability for the company again in 2012. 

The company also revealed recently that Fiat will sell (and assemble) a version of the Dodge Dart in China.

The 2013 Dart is already built on the architecture of the European-market Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback—stretched about a foot, and slightly wider, which puts the Dart in a market position between compact and mid-size in the U.S. market. And that's part of the company's strategic plan to fully merge the operations of both automakers by 2014.

Fiat and Chrysler plan to introduce eight new models based on compact architecture in 2013 and 2014.

Now that the Dart is out, let the speculation begin. Do you think a compact Chrysler hatchback makes sense?

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Comments (5)
  1. Makes sense to me - Now that hatches are coming to be viewed as more upscale offerings than their notchback stablemates (A7/Fiesta & Focus/Golf) and since Chrysler needs to meet CAFE, a small hatch would be a wise addition to the product portfolio. (Lancia Delta, Anyone?

  2. Makes perfect sense actually, since the Dart will be competing with models that have hatch variants and hatches are selling in America in more volume than they have in the past. I'm just hoping they introduce a performance version soon, since I'm very disappointed in the low power output of the R/T model.

  3. with respect - Philip, which stats (road test, etc.?) are you using that gives you the perception that the Dart is sluggish? the European version of the Dodge Dart is the Alfa Romeo Guilietta. You Tube shows several videos of the Guilietta blowing the doors off a VW Golf GTI. In any circle I know of, If the Dart can handle a GTI... I call that fast!! (It also corners real well!!) I'll bet the Dart R/T will provide some good performance figures - along with outstanding fuel consumption figures..

  4. The new dodge dart is an alfa romeo guilietta ,... a car which regularly runs golf GTI's into the weeds!!! This is a good thing. About Chrysler offering a compact hatchback? The most competitive (and profitable) segment includes the BMW 3series, or a size larger, which includes BMW 5 series and the Mercedes E class. What ever the size,... Chrysler is being "groomed" into an upscale, luxury brand... and it's current success with high performance SRT models matched to "massive" improvements in the cabin... are a winning combination. A smaller hatchback with a Chryslers' name-plate, will be a success as long as the interior is class-leading, and it's equally fast and good on gas. Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari... pick one!!

  5. I saw the (apparently fake) drawings of a Dart hatchback that are floating around. I would definitely consider buying that car, with the 1.4l turbo and six speed double clutch automatic or six speed manual. It's always said Americans aren't "keen" on hatchbacks, but I guess I'm an exception; I find their versatility a big plus.

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