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Dodge Dart - the Italian connection delivers a 40 mpg Alfa Giulietta rework


January 10, 2012

The 2013 Dodge Dart

The 2013 Dodge Dart

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Though claims by Dodge that its new Dart is a revolutionary car fall somewhere between delusional gibberish and being blatantly purposefully misleading, the Dart is almost certain to be a sales success in America. It's basically a reworked Alfa Romeo Giulietta and has been created specifically to meet the terms of the original Chrysler sale agreement which required a Chrysler based on a Fiat platform getting at least 40 combined mpg to be produced in the U.S. At US$16,000, the Dart is economical, sporty and price-competitive against its Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus competition.

By completing the terms of the "third event" referred to in the original Chrysler sale contract, the move also snares another 5% of Chrysler shares, taking Fiat's interest in Chrysler to 58.5%.

The 2013 Dart will be offered with three different MultiAir engines - a new 160 horsepower Tigershark 16-valve 2.0-liter engine, a 160 horsepower 16-valve 1.4-liter MultiAir® Intercooled Turbo engine and a new 184 horsepower Tigershark 16-valve 2.4-liter MultiAir® four-cylinder engine. In addition to the three engines, the Dart will also offer three transmission choices -- six-speed manual, six-speed automatic or six-speed dual dry clutch (DDCT) transmission.

The high-tech centerpiece of the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart is the class-exclusive floating island bezel, which houses the 7-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) gauge cluster display that is designed to be easily tailored to the driver's taste. Customization choices include different digital and analog "virtual" gauges, navigation turn-by-turn display, eco-meter, fuel economy, audio, phone, compass and temperature read outs.

The concole also houses the Uconnect® Touch 8.4-inch touchscreen Media Center (with built-in radio, navigation, iPod control, climate controls, voice-activated blue tooth, SiriusXM Travel Link and weather updates).

The Dart is the first Dodge to use an active grille shutter system. The system automatically stops airflow through the lower intake at highway speeds when less engine cooling is required and aerodynamic drag is most significant. When closed, the shutter system enhances aerodynamic performance by redirecting airflow around the front of the vehicle and down the sides, rather than through it. The active grille shutter system functions automatically based upon engine coolant temperature and vehicle speed.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon

Congratulations to the marketing. "7-inch Thin Film Transistor" sounds much better than small TFT-Display. The latter one reminds one of all the smartphones that have larger screens and better displays.

10th January, 2012 @ 08:02 am PST

Looks like another ugly dodge...grille shutter system? who cares, just another part to repair when it breaks, and i'm guessing it will break often due to rain, snow, freezing temps, friction, objects, and plastic parts breakin down. they should focus on making the car last longer not on some gimmick.

10th January, 2012 @ 10:34 am PST

"at least 40 combined mpg to be produced in the U.S. At US$16,000"

As usual with the US brands, you can't get any of the fuel saving on the base model. So pleeeease dont put them both in the same sentence.

I bet you won't get 40mpg for under 23k.

Here is what I would love to see:


6 Speed Trans

active grille shutter

You can keep the display, all for under 17k, then maybe they can compete with hyundai/kia.

10th January, 2012 @ 10:37 am PST

Looks like a Hyundai. I bet you get no where near 40 MPG.

10th January, 2012 @ 03:17 pm PST

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta is a work of art. Why re-work it. Just import it.

Jeff Rosati
10th January, 2012 @ 03:43 pm PST

Dodge shill on Public Radio this A.M. "...don't have to sacrifice h.p. for economy." and I thought not about the facts as explained above. But I thought that it was damn cheeky to use the word SACRIFICE in the satement. What exactly is being sacrificed? the ability to clear the intersection in .5 seconds? The ability to do speedlimit+20 in the burbs? I can see the cachet, in times like these when we have already sacrificed our retirements, our saving accounts, our educational prospects, our very jobs...that it might be tempting to refuse further "sacrifice." depends on what the word "sacrifice" means, which is a highly slippery terrain.

P.S. ya get what ya pays for.

Walt Stawicki
11th January, 2012 @ 11:34 am PST

I bought a Caliber because it's a hatchback. So, not impressed.

Captain Obvious
12th January, 2012 @ 07:30 pm PST

Looks like a next gen Neon. That's not a bad thing. I like the Neon. I'd like to see Chrysler get a little more pro-active instead reactive. They did that with the K-car. Not much to look at but it brought sales back. We need substance not flash first. I don't see much reasoning behind two different 160hp engines. Swap out one a give us a diesel so we can get 50mpg.

14th January, 2012 @ 08:23 am PST

The front end is almost agressive like it's sibling. The gages are the nicest feature on the car, but overall it looks very cheap and uncharacteristic of dodge,in a bad way.

31st January, 2012 @ 03:50 pm PST

184hp Tigershark 2.4l multiAir?

Big deal why didn't they stick with the 230hp 1.7l turbo Alfa motor which I understand returns 40mpg on the highway, (30mpg combined). AND there's a 300hp version of that 1.7l engine coming out!

14th February, 2012 @ 08:24 pm PST
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