Some of you might be too young to remember this, but back in the 60’s, Dodge had a vehicle called the "Dart." It’s been a while since we saw this nameplate out on the streets, but now, Dodge has officially brought it back with the unveiling of a new compact sedan at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.
The new Dart is currently under development and will be based on a modified version of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback’s platform named Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW). According to Dodge, the new Dart will feature a body that’s made out of high-strength steel and a bevy of powertrain options.
The base engine for the new Dart will be a 1.4-liter MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine. Just ahead of that is a 2.0-liter Tigershark engine, while the most powerful engine will be a 2.4-liter MultiAir Tigershark engine.
UPDATE 04/30/2012: Dodge has unveiled a new promo video for the 2013 Dart Limited. The video presents running footage and beauty shots of the car. Hit the jump to watch the video!
Find out more about the 2013 Dodge Dart after the jump.
“The Dodge Dart was a dream to design.” Those are the words of Joe Dehner, the head of Dodge Design. It’s easy to count that statement as mere hyperbole, but when you look at the Dart for yourself, there are really certain elements about it that stand out.
According to Dodge, the Dart comes with a timeless, stylish, and distinctive exterior design that features an athletic, sculpted, fluid, and aesthetically agile appearance.
In the front, the car’s design comes with the unmistakable Dodge split crosshair grille. A lower radiator close-out panel has been positioned just below the front fascia, contributing to the car’s lower front-end appearance, reducing drag while still allowing for an 8-inch curb clearance. Add that to Charger-inspired ‘racetrack’ taillamps, a new, sleek crosshair grille and piano black accents, and it adds up to a vehicle that smokes and breams of attitude rare for a car in this segment. Other unique features in the front include standard laser-braised roof welds, high-quality metal Daylight Opening (DLO) moldings painted piano black, and standard projector headlamps.
As for the rear, the Dart comes with the same "racetrack" full-width taillamp that comes straight out of the Charger. Packed with 152 indirect glow LEDs, the taillamp strikes a great contrast to the aggressive front profile of the car.
The interior of the Dodge Dart was designed with a focus on creating a modern blend of design and technology that’s more common for expensive vehicle segments. From the ambient interior lighting, to the high-quality soft-touch materials and high-tech features, the 2013 Dodge Dart is loaded with cool amenities and unexpected delights for both drivers and passengers.
In designing the interior, Dodge designers wanted to build a “driver-centric” layout, allowing the driver to be within easy reach of all the controls. Even the seats and the customizable displays are packaged to create a spacious interior layout.
One of the unique features of the Dart’s interior is the centerpiece, which comes with a class-exclusive floating island bezel containing a 7" Thin Film Transistor (TFT) customizable gauge cluster display with light pipe surround. This centerpiece also houses the available class-exclusive Uconnect Touch 8.4" touchscreen Media Center. Lighting was also a critical design element of the Dart. Ambient lighting for the door handles, map pockets, foot wells, glove box, storage bin, and illuminated cup holders, exude a warm atmosphere inside the vehicle while “racetrack” lighting surrounds the floating island bezel.
UPDATE 02/24/2012: Dodge has finally dropped the online configurator for their new Dart sedan. All you have to do is start playing and design the Dart you want! Enjoy!
Dodge is offering three different powertrains for customers to choose from for their Dart. The first option is a 1.4-liter MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine that produces 160 horsepower. Then there’s a 2.0-liter Tigershark 16-valve engine that also develops 160 horsepower. Finally, there’s a 2.4-liter MultiAir Tigershark engine that churns out 184 horsepower. All three engines are mated to three different transmission options - a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic, or six-speed dual dry clutch - each of which provides redefined performance for its class segment.
The Dodge Dart was developed to carry over 60 safety and security features, ensuring that safety of the driver and all the passengers. Among the safety features added to the Dart include 10 standard airbags, a reactive head-restraint system, three-point safety belts in all five seating positions, front driver and passenger dual seat belt pretensioners at the anchor and retractor positions, active load limiters, and available Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection systems.
Additional standard safety features on the 2013 Dodge Dart include:
- Four-wheel, four-channel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution and traction control system on all models
- Brake Assist
- Brake-lock differential
- Ready Alert Braking
- Rainy Brake Support
- Hydraulic boost compensation
- Electronic stability control (four-channel active handling system ESC)
- Electronic Roll Mitigation
- Hill-start Assist
- Trailer-sway Control
- ParkView® rear backup camera
- ParkSense® rear park assist
The base price for the 2013 Dodge Dart is $15,995.
- Dodge Dart SE $15,995
- Dodge Dart SXT $17,995
- Dodge Dart Rallye $18,995
- Dodge Dart Limited $19,995
- Dodge Dart R/T $22,495 (available Q3 2012)
It’s a well-known secret that the Dodge Dart was based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, so it’s only right that we compare the two cars to see which one will give you more bang for your buck.
While we’ve been big fans of the Italian hatchback, the Dart, at least in our opinion, is like a bigger, better, and meaner version of the Giulietta. The design of the Dart is miles ahead of the "mild-mannered" Giulietta and the bigger platform for the Dart creates more space for comfort, something that we all want in a car.
The engine options for the Dart are also better than the Giulietta, particularly because the Alfa Romeo’s powertrain options comes with a peak output of 170 horsepower, as opposed to the 184-horsepower output of the top-spec Dart.
Make no mistake, we love the Giulietta. It’s just that the Dart offers plenty of attractive features that just might be too hard to pass up.
Love the look
Freshly designed interior
Plenty of safety and security features
Engine could have been more powerful
Other options available