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.
When Chrysler first unveiled the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart, it was met by a lot of industry and enthusiast grumbling, as it paid zero homage to its original rendition. As more details come out on the 2013 Dart, we are all starting to come around to this little Italian Dodge. The latest release is that the 2013 Dart will be the first vehicle ever to feature a cell phone charging pad as a factory option.
This 8.27-inch by 9.5-inch by 3.25-inch charging compartment is below the center stack and directly in front of the center console, which puts it in a place that most people would set their cell phone anyways. Basically, you place almost any smartphone in the special case, which comes with the optional charger, and set the case and phone in the charging compartment. Voila, no wires, no plugging things in and your phone starts charging.
This is especially convenient with those Darts with a manual transmission, as nothing puts a kink in your speed shifting like a cell phone charger wire wrapped around the shifter. The question is how much someone would pay for this option. Well, Chrysler has determined that this convenience is worth $199.99, plus dealer installation. The price may seem a little bit steep upon first glance, but think about how many times you have forgotten your car charger at home and desperately needed it or about how many of those universal charges you have bought that broke just a few weeks later. You have likely spent more than the fee for this component replacing broken chargers and buying chargers in desperation.
Let’s just add another positive to the 2013 Dart and Dodge’s 2013 lineup altogether, which is becoming more and more advanced seemingly every day.
With the new SRT Viper GTS-R unveiled at the New York Auto Show last week, Dodge is preparing to return to the legendary American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race. The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron has unveiled a very cool documentary that takes a look back at the history of the Dodge Viper in the American Le Mans Series.
The documentary starts with the race of 1999-2000 when the Viper GTS-R won six straight races and held the fastest lap times. The car was driven to success by Olivier Beretta who took home the Drivers’ Championship title.
The 2013 Viper GTS-R is based on the road-going version Viper also unveiled in New York. It is powered by a 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V10 engine that delivers a total of 640 HP and 600 lb-ft of torque.
Apparently, car wrapping is still a go-to accessory in Germany, so when CCG Automotive got their hands on a new Challenger SRT8, a lime green wrap was the way to go. Not only did they make the Challenger stand out in an electric green way, they also tinkered around underneath the hood so the muscle car could pump out 600 HP.
The Dodge Challenger was separated from its usual 6.1 liter V8 engine and brought together with a new 7.0 liter Stroker HEMI-V8 engine that delivers a total 600 HP and an impressive 470 lb-ft of torque. As a result, the new SRT8 hits a top speed of more than 186 mph. The new engine was then combined with a new exhaust system with two square exhaust-pipe-ends, a new engine hood that allows the space needed for the new engine, and a KW coilover suspension with adjustable rebound damping to increase chassis performance.
The CCG Challenger package also includes a new set of 22" black wheels with Pirelli Scorpion Zero Rollers, 265/35R22 on the steering axle and 295/30R22 on the drive axle. As previously mentioned, the Challenger was covered in a green and white wrap, accentuated with new LSD doors.
The interior was also tweaked with soft Alcantara and smooth leather in anthracite/black, as well as a new MyGIG hard disk audio system with Radio, CD/DVD player, and Touch screen.
All car buffs can appreciate when a new car comes out and pumps out 40 horsepower more than its predecessor and even blows away the old version in looks. What separates the typical car buff from the car nut is if they really care how the car got to that point. So many times I will sit and discuss gear ratios, camshaft lift and duration, compression, and weight with people and all they have to say is “How much horsepower does it have.”
Well, SRT obviously thinks its customer base is full of car nuts, as it released five videos with the engineers and designers of the 2013 SRT Viper discussing various parts of the design process, including: general overview, powertrain, interior design, handling characteristics, and exterior design. All we can say about these videos is “Wow.” SRT went above and beyond in developing this car, then went even further to draw us all into the engineering and design rooms.
All of the videos are great, but one of my favorite parts is how the designer states that the point of the interior is to keep it simple yet refined. That is a huge thing with us, as some cars go way overboard with the high-tech gadgets, to the point that it’s overwhelming. It’s pretty funny that they specifically single out Corvette owners and how they complain about the “video game” feel to the controls.
The engine video is great and the engineer really puts to bed some of the issues that the Viper has had in past years. The biggest issue by far was the uneven cooling of the engine and head gasket issues. Both of which seem taken care of with the revised cooling system.
Our favorite video by far is the “Handling Characteristics” video. First off, you can tell the engineer is a car dude and loves this stuff. But hearing about the adjustable stability control and the nasty launch control feature just made us all warm and fuzzy.
Before we give it all away, check out the videos yourself, they are an awesome lesson in how to design a car correctly.
Anybody that has set his or her sights set on the very first production model of the 2013 SRT Viper will have to pay a whole lot more for the opportunity of owning it.
SRT has announced that the Viper model that was on display at the 2012 New York Auto Show will be auctioned off with the proceeds from the sale going to the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer. The car will be auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson event in Orange County so if you’re interested in making bids on it, be sure to be in attendance and have your checkbook in hand.
According to Jim Osborn, co-founder of the Austin Hatcher Foundation, the first production SRT Viper is not only an absolutely gorgeous car, but the proceeds will go to the many families faced with pediatric cancer. "We are thrilled that SRT has chosen us to be a part of this extraordinary opportunity," he said. "We are tremendously excited to see the 2013 SRT Viper. It is an amazing vehicle. We just can’t thank Mr. Gilles and his team enough."
Just in case you’ve forgotten, the new SRT Viper is powered by a new 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V-10 overhead-valve engine that delivers a total of 640 HP and 600 lb.-ft. of torque – the most torque of any naturally aspirated engine in the world. It is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Many years ago, okay maybe less than two years ago, if you were cruising down the road in your hopped up Mustang GT and came across a Mustang bearing the “Saleen” name on the side, you knew your poor GT had no chance. In 2007, this all started to change, as Steve Saleen left the company. Then in 2011, the performance vehicle side of Saleen shut down altogether. This rendered the once feared custom car builder just a high-performance parts supplier.
Shortly after leaving Saleen, Steve Saleen started SMS Supercars, basically a new version of Saleen. A long legal battle ensued after Saleen’s new ownership group refused to honor warranties for the performance vehicles it manufactured prior to taking ownership and SMS Supercars stepped in to try to help. The legal battle circled around whether or not SMS Supercars had the right to use the “Saleen” name.
After what seems like ages, there is finally a decision. Steve Saleen has been awarded the rights to use the “Saleen” name on all of his vehicles. In addition, all previously manufactured SMS Supercar vehicles will be added to Saleen’s master registry, making them official Saleen vehicles. Plus, Saleen will start producing badges for all of the old SMS Supercar vehicles, which SMS Supercar owners can buy and put in place of the old “SMS” badges.
SMS Supercars essential now becomes one with Saleen, which means Saleen will begin producing super high-performance models of the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevy Camaro.
Saleen lovers of the world rejoice! The days of Saleen being little more than AutoZone on steroids are over. We cannot wait to see the first Saleen branded cars, which should be coming very soon, though there is no official release date.
You can have your Indy cars, NASCAR, and drag racing, but none of those get our hearts thumping and the hair on our necks standing more than a good old rally race. Nothing like seeing a car pushed to extreme levels on loose dirt, muddy water, and tarmac.
Dodge just increased our slowly growing love for the new Dart by releasing a video of Travis Pastrana, the hired lunatic that will swing the Dart through the dirt at break-neck speeds, testing out his new rally machine. We must say, if this video doesn’t raise the hair on your neck and make you lean into the computer screen, you might want to check your pulse.
This is one of the few times that a maker has included music on a “sneak peak” type of video, but turned off the music when the car is moving, so you can actually hear this bad machine working hard. This video is simply awesome and the Dart seems to perform well with no one else on the track with it.
Take a look at the above video and see for yourself how the Dart handles a closed rally-style course. Yeah, some of it is a little dramatized, but overall Dodge did a good job with it and the inside shots are awesome, as you can see the driver feathering the throttle to perfection. Oh, and keep a close eye on the rear of the car at the 2:05 mark, as a large piece of the rear bumper gets torn off.
Now that SRT has finally released their first model - the new generation Viper - it’s time to focus our attention on some of the other models that will be unveiled under the SRT name. As far as we know, the next model scheduled to arrive will be the new Barracuda. The SRT Barracuda will be built as a replacement for the current Dodge Challenger and will arrive in late 2014 as a 2015 model.
The first rumors on the 2015 Barracuda suggest two different possibilities. The first is a shortened large-car platform (LC or E-EVO) and the second is the new Alfa Romeo D-size platform currently under development. As for the engine, we already know that Chrysler is working on a new supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi engine and this will most likely be the engine found in the new Barracuda. Output will be somewhere in the 490-540 HP area, so expect to see great performance numbers.
Check out our rendering of the SRT Barracuda and let us know what you think in the comments section below!
It will take a little bit of time before any of us will be able to get behind the wheel of the new SRT Viper, but there is a way that we can test drive the new generation Viper from the comforts of our home. It’s in Forza Motorsport 4.
Along with its official debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the new Viper also made its gaming debut in Forza 4. The vehicle will more than likely be added via a bonus pack due out this Summer, well ahead of the car’s market launch date set for 2013.
As a reminder, the new Viper is powered by a new 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V-10 overhead-valve engine that delivers a total of 640 HP and 600 lb-ft of torque. The new engine will be mated to an improved Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission. However, performance numbers haven’t been revealed just yet. Not that it will matter all that much in the game.