By on December 6, 2011

Here it is: the Alfa-based new small car to be known as the Dart. There will be three engines, detailed after the jump. For Mopar small-car fans, however, the most important and interesting part isn’t the car itself; it’s where the car will be made.

Chrysler isn’t attempting to hide the Dart’s Alfa origins. What will the car look like? We’ll see it at the 2012 Detroit show, but it’s safe to say that the front and rear fascias seen above will be grafted onto this:

Not bad-looking, really. There’s a strong suggestion of Alfa’s gorgeous early-21st Century sedans in the side surfacing. The three engines will be a two-liter four, the Fiat 1.4 turbo motor, and a “new Tigershark 2.4 MultiAir”. Presumably the last one will be the strongest… at least until the SRT-4 comes out. Four-wheel indepedent suspension should give the guys from Car and Driver something to write about on the airplane ride home. The Dart will feature dual exhaust, because all four-cylinder cars need that.

The home of the Dart will be the former Neon assembly plant in Belvidere, IL. For those of us who carried the small-Mopar torch over the years, it’s nice to see a compact Chrysler come home. Full press release below.

Dodge Hits the Mark With the All-new 2013 Dodge Dart Compact CarDodge Dart Blends Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge’s Passion for Performance, Resulting in a Groundbreaking Car with the Ultimate Blend of Power, Fuel Economy, Handling and Style

The Dodge brand is back in the U.S. compact sedan segment – in a big way – as the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart will make its world debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., on Jan. 9, 2012
Built on a world-class architecture, Dodge Dart offers three technologically advanced, fuel-efficient and powerful engines, including the 1.4L MultiAir® Turbo
Dodge delivers exceptional craftsmanship with class-leading technology and style

December 6, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Dodge redefines performance in the compact car segment with an all-new, state-of-the-art four-door sedan delivering class-leading aerodynamics – the 2013 Dodge Dart.

With Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge’s passion for performance at its core, the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart is a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s fuel-efficient, beautifully designed and crafted, agile and brings fun back to driving in the segment.

Similar to the Dodge Dart of the late 1960s, the 2013 Dart offers a special blend of style, performance and innovation. The Dodge brand leveraged its nearly 100-year history of passion for building high-quality, innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and style, as well as from its partner Fiat’s global compact car expertise, to develop the all-new Dodge Dart.

ALFA ROMEO DNA
The all-new Dart is the first Chrysler Group vehicle based upon a Fiat architecture – adapted from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The Giulietta is renowned for satisfying the most demanding customers in terms of road-holding, agility and safety, with exceptional driving dynamics. The Dart leverages all of these attributes within a lengthened and widened platform delivering segment-leading levels of interior roominess.

The all-new Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) architecture underpinning the Dart is a state-of-the-art architecture with an industry-leading 68 percent of the body composed of high-strength steel, resulting in a very strong and rigid structure. Combined with responsive steering, four-wheel independent suspension, and available 18-inch wheels, the Dart brings fun back to driving in the compact car segment.

UNMISTAKABLE STYLE
The all-new 2013 Dart marks the Dodge brand’s re-entry into the compact sedan segment, hitting the bulls-eye with a modern, unmistakable Dodge design that builds upon its performance heritage while evoking emotion, efficiency and fluidity of movement.

Eye-catching exterior proportions are set off from every angle by dynamic lines and curves, along with advanced technology, to deliver class-leading aerodynamic performance. The personality-packed front view is instantly recognizable as an all-new Dodge with its tailored split-crosshair grille, projector headlamps and fog lamps and accentuated fenders. Signature Dodge full-width LED ‘racetrack’ tail lamps and class-exclusive integrated dual exhaust – both inspired by Dodge Charger – accentuate the athletic and muscular stance of this dynamic and passionate new design.

THREE SOPHISTICATED, FUEL-EFFICIENT & POWERFUL ENGINES
The 2013 Dodge Dart will be powered by three fuel-efficient, powerful, state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines that add to Dart’s fun-to-drive quotient.

Drivers can select from a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.0-liter engine, a 16-valve 1.4-liter MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine, and a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.4-liter MultiAir four cylinder engine. These three engines, combined with three transmission choices, combine to redefine performance by providing the most diverse powertrain lineup in its class.

MultiAir technology delivers optimum combustion at any speed under all driving conditions by allowing direct and dynamic control of air intake and combustion. The result is up to a 15 percent increase in low engine rpm torque, a 7.5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 10 percent reduction in C02 emissions.

THE ALL-NEW DART – BUILT IN AMERICA
The all-new Dodge Dart will be made in America at Chrysler Group’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill. The Company is in the process of investing $600 million dollars to support the production of future products, including the 2013 Dodge Dart. The investment includes the construction of a 638,000-square-foot body shop, as well as the installation of new machinery, tooling and material handling equipment. Work on the expansion began in the summer of 2010 and will be completed this year.

The all-new Dodge Dart has been engineered with great levels of refinement, craftsmanship and engaging driving dynamics. Consumers can follow www.Dodge.com/Dart for additional photos and more information about the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart.

About Dodge Brand
For nearly 100 years, Dodge has defined passionate and innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and in style. Building upon its rich heritage of muscle cars, racing technology and ingenious engineering, Dodge offers a full-line of cars, crossovers, minivans and SUVs built for top performance – from power off the line and handling in the corners, to high-quality vehicles that deliver unmatched versatility and excellent fuel efficiency. Only Dodge offers such innovative functionality combined with class-leading performance, exceptional value and distinctive design. With the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart, the all-new Dodge Charger paired with the ZF eight-speed transmission that achieves a class-leading 31 miles per gallon on the highway, the new Durango and the significantly revamped Grand Caravan – inventor of the minivan – Journey, Avenger and iconic Challenger, Dodge now has one of the youngest dealer showrooms in the United States.

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136 Comments on “Cometh The Hour, Cometh The Dart: Dodge Reveals Its New Small Car...”


  • avatar
    sean362880

    Looks good, decent name. “Dart” certainly isn’t original, but at least they didn’t just label it by some random alphanumeric string. Have to wait and see about everything else.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      “Dart” is original. It was used by Dodge for their compact car name in the 60′s.

    • 0 avatar
      saab_lurker

      Not seeing a lot of Dart DNA in these photos. I wanted Dodge to bring the Dart back, but this is a disappointment. I guess my expectations were high after the Challenger.

      It might be a nice compact car – if you’re into that.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        If the quality is there, it will sell well.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        The Dart was more like a Camry or Corolla back in the day – basic transportation, with a reputation for reliability and durability.

        Although the Dart flexed a bit of V8 muscle from time to time, just as the Camry and Corolla offer “SE” and “XRS” variants these days, that wasn’t its main mission in life, and not what most Dart buyers were interested in.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        Can we jam a “225-Slant Six” under the hood?

      • 0 avatar

        No dart dna there. none. No slant six. Still, it appears that it will be a nice looking car, unlike the Caliber. Harkening back to Michael Karesh’s post on the cursing CEOs, Marchionne had this to say about the Caliber, quoted from an article on the Dart in cnn:

        “To call the Caliber a retail vehicle would be an abomination,” Marchionne said during a meeting with reporters at last year’s Detroit Auto Show.”

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        Stuck in the past, much?

        Comments like “It might be a nice compact car – if you’re into that.” and “not seeing a lot of Dart DNA in these photos” tells me you’re completely lost to reality.

        It IS a compact car, so I sure damn hope you’d be into them considering you’d be BUYING ONE. And having the DNA of a crappy 50 year old car? No thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        What tuffjuff said.

      • 0 avatar
        darex

        “Retro” isn’t a good risk, in general, and especially for Dodge, which was dangerously close to being an anachronism itself. Another retro car is the last thing Dodge needs. Resurrecting the name “Dart” is risky enough, if you ask me.

      • 0 avatar
        ciddyguy

        Darex,

        I don’t think the Dart is trying to be retro in that the car doesn’t look anything like its forebears and the only thing it has in common with them is in the name only.

        Fortunately, it’s not a tainted name as it remained reliable and bulletproof throughout it’s entire run, which isn’t always the case with other models.

        So with that, it has a good rep for itself and there are plenty of us who remember them fondly from back in the day.

        Yes, they were basic transportation and a bit on the stodgy side in their later years but their reputation was not sullied by it thankfully.

      • 0 avatar
        darex

        @Ciddyguy

        I was referring to Saab_Lurker when I spoke of “retro”, since it sounded like that’s what he was hoping for.

        I agree with you comments, and I also remember the Dart. My grandparents had one.

        I know THIS Dart is thoroughly modern, and I’ve seen the Giulietta in person several times, and it’s a very good-looking car. Shame they felt the need to graft a trunk onto it. It looks much better without it, and a hatch is always preferable to any trunk in my book.

        Dodge Dart > Dodge Aspen > Dodge K-Cars

      • 0 avatar
        darex

        Bad pun: Dodge Dart has Alfa DNA. Are they talking about the FIAT/Alfa DNA mode switch, subtly?

    • 0 avatar
      slyall

      Happy to see the Dart name revived, but what is perplexing is the use of “R/T” on the top model, there never was a Dart R/T , the upscale models were always “GT” or “GTS”, Dart R/T just sounds wrong to any Moparphile.

      • 0 avatar

        Slyall,

        Funny that you mentioned the GTS. I came across a ’68 Dart GTS convertible over by the car trailers at the Orphan Car Show. When I posted something about the new Dodge Dart, I used pics of the GTS and other Darts/Valiants to illustrate the story.

        http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=6038

  • avatar
    nearprairie

    A couple of obvious questions:

    1. Estimated prices?
    2. Any pics of the interior?
    3. When will it be available in 2012?
    4. Will an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Front teaser looks good, hope it isn’t spoiled with the meh alpha profile shown in the story.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Baruth wrote: ” . . . but it’s safe to say that the front and rear fascias seen above will be grafted onto this.”

    –But will the Dart come in a hatchback variant?

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      No hatchback, sedan only for Dodge. The Chrysler brand is rumored to get a version of this platform when the new Lancia Delta hits. That will be hatcback only and fill in for the P.T. Cruiser. Sergio does not want any “duplicate” Dodge and Chrysler models in the marketplace going foward. That’s why Dodge Avenger/Grand Caravan being eliminated, only Chysler 200/Town & Country will be offered in their respective sgments. Chrysler was supposed to also get a sedan version of the Dart (Chrysler 100), but that has been scrapped for the new P.T. hatch replacement.

      • 0 avatar
        Brad2971

        Ugh. Sergio would be better off choosing Dodge as the surviving car brand rather than go with this rumored mix-and-match. Especially since the Grand Caravan and the Charger both outsell the Town&Country and the 300.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        Don’t think it’ll make much difference. After all, all Chryslers and Dodge’s are sold out of the same dealerships now. As to just keeping the Dodge name, keep in mind it is called Chrysler Corporation. If anything, should the crunch come down to one car line, trucks and Jeep, I’d expect to see the dealerships labeled Chrysler/Ram/Jeep.

  • avatar
    MarkP

    I hope it lives up to it’s looks. I assume it’s a coupe-look 4-door, with hidden rear door handles.

    • 0 avatar

      It doesn’t look like the rear door handles will be hidden. You can definitely see them in the front shot.

      I like the way it looks so far. It looks like a mini Charger, which is kind of cool, but with a new take on the front end. High hopes that a Dart R/T has some guts under the hood.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    So this is the replacement for the Caliber?

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      I hope so. Unlike the Caliber, this is something I’d actually consider putting in my own driveway, judging from the looks of the thing. Will wait to see what the fuel mileage and reliability stats look like before I render a full verdict on how much I really desire it, however.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    Am I really a little excited about a new Dodge compact? Looking forward to the details.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    This looks promising – and Mopar sorely needs a competitive C class offering.

    If the new Dart has anything like the reliability and durability of its namesake, Dodge might even be able to start rebuilding its battered quality reputation – but of course we won’t know for a few years…

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Yes, My PT is almost 10 yrs old. This could be the replacement. And from nearby Belvidere no less.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Looks very angry. There’s a lot to like here. This is the kind of cars Chrysler needs to compete with Focus, Elantra, etc. Anyway, it won’t come with a slant six, will it?

    • 0 avatar
      cfclark

      You beat me to the Slant 6 line! But generally I like it, and it’s good to see Belvidere used again–I used to pass that plant on every trip from Madison down to Chicago. (I thought it had been shuttered and sold off!)

  • avatar
    threeer

    Gotta say…liking it! And so glad to see them building it at Belvidere. Maybe I need to hold off on my consideration of the 500…this hits two sweet spots for me…a European (influenced) vehicle and built here in America (okay…so calling Chrysler an American company now is slightly stretching things, I know!). Looking forward to seeing more specifics on it.

  • avatar
    Acubra

    I sincerely hope these Italy-sourced engines will forego Alfa’s long and glorious tradition of snapping their timing belts at around 25-30K. And its electronic system will not pretend it is a capricious Italian diva too.

    • 0 avatar
      ciddyguy

      the belts snapping at 25-30K miles are a thing of the past as the new belt used in the 1.4L Multi Air motor in the Fiat 500 is good for 150K miles now.

      Most cars now that use a belt use at least a 90K mile belt, if not longer intervals these days.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Good luck Dodge!

    Now when the Fiat-version-of-the-Alfa shows up at the Fiat booth, which one of these will the pundits dub the “badge engineered” version?

    • 0 avatar
      Brad2971

      Likely, the Dodge version will be the “badge-engineered” version. Bear in mind that the Dart AND the Giulietta all come off the same C-EVO platform that forms the base Fiat Bravo.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Wow! I sure hope this will be on display at our upcoming auto show in February!

  • avatar
    mjz

    If this is priced right (looking at you Fiat 500), I think this car will be a HUGE hit for Dodge. Great use of a historic name. Looking like a real winner so far.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Is anyone else slightly confused why Dodge is resurrecting a name from the V8s-for-all era for a rebodied Alfa sedan carrying a <2.0L 4cyl meant to fight Focii and Cruzezez?

    • 0 avatar
      Brad2971

      What’s so confusing about it? The late ’60s-’70s Dart was Chrysler’s base compact car. It’s a car that’s held together quite well over the decades.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      I think the Dart name is appropriate here – although it comes back to the V8 era, I suspect most Darts were equipped with the (relatively, for the day) fuel efficient and well engineered Slant Six.

      Darts were also known for bulletproof reliability and durability, back in the era when Mopar was known for innovation and engineering excellence – not throwaway cheap vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      No confusion here. The Dart was Dodge’s compact, and was considered a practical and reliable car. Plenty (here I believe it was a majority) of Darts came with the gutless slant-six. My father’s 74 Dart came with the 318 v-8, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was slower than the slowest of the new Darts.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The Dart was long gone by the time I was born, so my only experience with Darts is the ones that had Mopar 440s shoved in them for drag racing. Basically, when I think of a classic Mustang, I don’t think of anything smaller than a 289 cu.in V8 because those “lesser” classic Mustangs didn’t carry the name through to the 80s, 90s, and 00s. Similar thing with the Dart. Just considering that the compact car class usually targets Gen Y, it didn’t make a lot of sense. JMHO.

      • 0 avatar

        If you go to a Mopar meet, you’ll find plenty of Slant Six powered cars. Yes, there are 318/340 versions, but most compact Chryslers came with the six. As for “Mopar 440s shoved in them for drag racing, I don’t believe that the Dart/Valiant could accept the big block engines without substantial work.. The E body cars like the Cuda and Challenger could, because they had the midsize cars’ front frame rails grafted onto the Dart platform from the cowl back. That was the advantage of the Cuda and Challenger over the Mustang and Camaro, or at least the Mustang for sure. To take the big engines, they had to rework the Mustang’s engine compartment. To take the very wide 429s, Kar Kraft gave the Boss 429 (and Cougar equivalent) new shock towers, new front suspension mounts and other mods to take the big motor. The Dart, though, didn’t have the same space under the hood and between the frame rails that the E bodies did.

      • 0 avatar
        BobAsh

        Ronnie, A-bodies could accept a B or RB big block engine, and they were even made that way in the factory – you could have a ‘Cuda (the old, A-body one) or Dart with 383, you just couldn’t order power steering, as it didn’t fit. And there were even factory built 440 and even Hemi A-bodies, although these were meant solely for drag racing, although street legal.

        And E-body has nothing in common with A-body, it’s just a shortened B-body (basically the same way as today’s Challenger is a shortened Charger/300C).

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        I thought you could get the big blocks in A body’s, but no power brakes… the headers wouldn’t allow enough room to route them properly…

      • 0 avatar

        Bob, thanks for the corrections. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 440 powered Dart, or even a 383, even at a Mopar show. Plenty of 340s.

        Here are some 340 Dusters that were at the WCP Club Great Lakes Region’s all-Mopar show earlier this year.

        http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=4760

      • 0 avatar
        Dimwit

        Believe it or not there are two documented cases of 426 hemis in a 4 door Dart factory build. One was to an old fart who wanted “towing power”.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    It’s a much-needed addition to the dodge line. Since it is made in Belvidere, I think we should call it the Dodge Brocktoon in honor of the Beacon of Bliss himself.

    http://snltranscripts.jt.org/91/91sbelvedere.phtml

  • avatar

    I eagerly await the “Swinger” version.

  • avatar
    ehsteve

    Just logged in to post about the Swinger – I’ll take one, too!

  • avatar
    V572625694

    Hooray for auto-journos who just say, “Here’s the press release,” instead of re-jiggering a few lines and passing it off as their own work!

  • avatar
    ajla

    Demon SRT version please?

  • avatar
    340-4

    Dear Dodge,

    Win.

    B5 blue, please, with a stick. In R/T form.

    300hp turbo SRT AWD next.

    Epic win!

  • avatar
    bd2

    Looks promising!

  • avatar
    Marko

    Nice improvement over the Caliber. Have any shots of the interior surfaced?

    Hopefully the reliability will hold up – we will find out over time.

    I generally like the styling, except for those “flap” rear door handles. I hate it when car companies try to make four-door cars look like two-doors – it’s obviously four-door, so you may as well put proper door handles in! Plus, a normal door handle would likely hold up better (I’ve heard “flap” handles have mostly gone away because they are prone to breakage, especially in cold weather, and are not well suited for those with arthritis).

    (/rant, I like the looks of this car otherwise)

    • 0 avatar
      MikeD1Be

      Allpar.com has an interior spy shot. Their Dart site is coming up with “bandwidth exceeded” right now so I can’t find the link. Also, where do you see flap rear handles? The side shot is of the Alfa, not the Dodge, in the Dodge teaser picture it looks like it clearly has a real rear handle.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      Edit – I was looking at the wrong car!

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    With the two venerable names of Chrysler and Fiat, with all their quality reputations, how can it go wrong?
    @sarcasm.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    allpar.com has set up a microsite with some more images of pre-production Dart interior & exterior.
    http://www.dart-mouth.com/
    Me likes.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    It’s time for the B&B Dodge brand Eulogy writers to stick their foot in their mouth. Even when it seemed caught in the crosshairs, Dodge dodged the bullet again (Guilty pleasure. Remove jokes here) and will attempt at winning the American sales race utilizing a rebadged Italian Fiat platform for its victory running side by side with its German Mercedes sourced platforms Charger & Challenger. You can’t make this stuff up.
    While at it Fiat-Mopar can go ahead and place the proud Dodge name back on the RAM. Nobody will even notice. Look at Chevy. The Bow-Tie fits everything (-Corvette) from a pint sized eco car to a full size moving truck.

    • 0 avatar
      windswords

      Charger and Challenger (and the 300 and the Jeep GC too) are not, repeat, not sourced from any Mercedes platform. Unless you think a steering column = platform. The Caliber/Patriot is a heavily re-worked Mitsubishi platform that Daimler ordered Chrysler to do. We see how well that worked out.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    We saw spy photos of the 2011 Dodge Charger as far back as 2008, and they turned out to be pretty accurate.

    Similarly, if you look here at this spy photo of the new Dart sedan – that’s probably what we’re getting.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/09/23/dodge-calibers-alfa-romeo-based-replacement-spotted-wearing-cro/

  • avatar

    The advantage of going back to the Dart name is that Chrysler killed off that model before the depths of the malaise era, so Darts were no longer being made when quality got really bad in the late ’70s and ’80s. People remember the Dart and Valiant as economical, reliable (you don’t get more reliable than the Slant Six) and comfortable (torsion bars). I also thought that the small Mopars were about the best handling US cars made at the time. Of course, that’s a relative assessment.

    The Dart brand, along with the Slant Six, is the automotive equivalent to comfort food.

    They could have revived the Neon brand as well. I think most people who had Neons were happy with the car. Jack certainly liked his.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      I’m hoping they’ll apply the neon name to a b-car now. Neon was always cheerful, but scrappy– it’d be styled more like a Fiat, I’d think it would bolster Fiat’s effort to market a b-car in the US. It could be a perfect line-up, and mutually-beneficial.

      Dodge would then have: neon/Fiat b-car, Dart/Alfa, Charger, Journey/Avenger/Caravan replacement– Challenger and Viper.

      Chrysler will have: a compact Lancia/100, 200, 300 and Town & Country.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    You guys see Alfa?

    I see Impreza.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      On the allpar.com supplied photos, I see Focus. Previous generation Focus.

      The car will have Alfa underpinnings, but styled to look like a North American Dodge.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I would call it a Neon. But otherwise, it looks promising (assuming that it’s reliable.)

  • avatar

    A Fiat and Alfa Romeo platform-based car is destined to fail in the US market as it has before. It has nothing to do with quality, but an unwritten rule that has been repeated time and again.

    Prediction
    20,000 Darts first year.

    Remember, the failure of the Opel based Saturn Astra. History always finds a way to repeat itself. This new Dart will be no where near as successful as the Neon was. You heard it here first.

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      The Dart’s use of Alfa’s platform is in no way analogous to what GM did in bringing the Astra to the US. The Saturn Astra was just flat out imported from Belgium and brought along all of the quirks inherent with the market it was designed for (not the US).

      Chrysler is using the Alfa’s platform and tweaking it for its’ intended role. It’s also getting a range of motors rather than the anemic 1.8L that the Astra showed up with.

      It may not be as successful as the Neon was, but it will almost definitely (barring some colossal screwup) do better than the Caliber. I’ll wait till it comes out to cast my final judgement but I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss it out of hand.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      akear: Don’t bother to try out for the Psychic Hotline Network, your prediction that Dodge will only sell 20,000 Darts per year is completely ridiculous. This new baby has all the makings of “best in class” in many categories. Dodge will sell AT LEAST 10,000 Darts per month. You heard THAT here first.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Dodge will sell 10,000 of these per month? In one of the most hotly contested categories, inhabited by several vehicles that are virtually household names, made by manufacturers with far superior reputations? I highly doubt it.

        It will take another generation of the Dart to really make Dodge a player again in this segment – assuming, of course, that this one doesn’t display foibles that will give away its Italian heritage.

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        geeber: If VW can sell 13,000 Jettas in a month, Dodge can easily sell over 10,000 Darts.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        VW has a better reputation than Dodge, plus the Jetta was a known quantity before the latest version. VW wasn’t essentially starting from scratch when it rolled out the new Jetta.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Dodge will sell 10,000 of these per month?

        That may be a bit ambitious, but it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility. Fleet sales of 40,000 units per year would not be difficult. Even if it is a retail flop, they should be able to retail 30,000-40,000 units or so. That gets you more than half of the way there.

        It may not make much money, though. My guess is that they’ll have to compete on price, so the margins might be thin. Chrysler’s ability to amortize the development costs across a global platform could help them, regardless; it should be easier for Fiat to hit breakeven on their R&D than it was prior to the acquisition.

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        geeber: I stand corrected, VW does have a better reputation for building unreliable cars and poor dealer treatment with snotty attitudes and big $$$ service.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Pch101: The styling looks good (both Chrysler and the Italians know how to make an attractive car), so I can see it attracting favorable initial attention. I’m sure that platform sharing with Fiat will help with costs. I just hope they do a better job of promoting it than they have done with the Fiat 500.

        mjz: Yes, VW has a bad reputation, but Dodge’s was, at best, just as bad. More importantly, Dodge doesn’t have a credible entry in this segment right now. VW wasn’t starting from sratch with the new Jetta. Plus, I wonder how many Jetta sales were stolen from the old Passat.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Remember, the failure of the Opel based Saturn Astra.

      No comparison. GM just dabbled with the US-market Astra, importing a few of them to see if they would catch on. In contrast, this is going to be Chrysler’s primary small car in the US, whether it succeeds or not.

      There will be plenty of them on the road. If the car is a failure, then most of those will be rentals.

  • avatar
    threeer

    So correct me if I’m wrong, as I got very worked up over the potential of the new Dart being closely styled to the Giulietta…this thing is going to be a sedan? Rats…guess I’m still back to considering the Abarth early next year.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Guess I’m the only one who doesn’t care for its looks as shown above. Maybe it’ll seem better in person.

  • avatar
    Mr. Spacely

    I like what I see so far. ChryCo’s churning out some of the nicer interiors right now, in my opinion. And the new Dodge rear-end that debuted on the Charger is great.

    If this comes with a manual tranny *and* the 2.4, I’ll be quite happy, and definitely test drive one.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    “Dart” is a really good choice. It doesn’t have any baggage (sorry folks, “Neon” isn’t going to appeal to anyone who thought the old car was crap), it avoids any bad alphanumeric trends and it’s simply a good, solid name. The media buzz over “bringing back” the Dart doesn’t hurt, either.

    Based on the spy shots and teasers, this could actually be a sharp-looking little car. Alfa underpinnings don’t hurt, either.

    Chrysler continues to surprise and impress me.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      sorry folks, “Neon” isn’t going to appeal to anyone who thought the old car was crap

      I thought that the Neon was crap. But I would still call this car a Neon.

      Detroit needs to get out of the habit of changing car nameplates. All that does is confuse the market.

      The Neon was a strong seller for a time. Calling it a Neon would quickly communicate to a lot of buyers that this is a small car. It’s then up to Chrysler to prove that this particular small car is worth buying.

      A lot of the population is too young to know what a Dart is. That means that Chrysler will have to educate the small car buyers among them that a Dart is one of their choices. That adds an unnecessary extra step to the marketing process, when the time would be better spent showing small car buyers why this particular small car should be purchased.

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    What this car needs is an updated version of the Leaning Tower of Power.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Released today specially for the pent-up and something else…

    Won’t this make the Corolla look itsy-witsy more drab and will Dart old fart Toyota’s 4-speed automatic & drums?

  • avatar
    Les

    So… Front wheel drive?

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      Are you seriously asking this or just being facetious?

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        I’m assuming it will be, which makes me sad. I think rear-wheel drive compacts are due for a renaissance.

      • 0 avatar
        Bancho

        Look what it’s taking for Toyota/Subaru to bring a new RWD car to market. As cool as it would be, I don’t think we’ll ever see a renaissance of basic compacts returning to RWD. Optional AWD is as much as you’ll likely see.

    • 0 avatar
      ciddyguy

      Les,

      I tend to disagree on the C segment car ever going back to RWD, the only exception will be the 2 seater sports car, such as the Miata.

      The reason is space. Look at a typical RWD car and you’ll notice the back seats tend to be even worse than they are now and add in a large hump down the middle and shallow trunks, thanks to a rear axle/diff needed to drive the rear wheels and you’ll see that it sucks away from both passenger and cargo space.

      A well designed FWD car can utilize up to 80% of the car’s interior space to passenger/cargo, that’s why FWD is here to stay.

      Other than drifting and a few other situations, I don’t see how RWD is that much superior to their FWD counterparts, having driven both and I’ve had FWD cars that were as much if not more fun than my RWS sedans (true, older American C class cars like the Fairmont and the Nova from the 70′s but they were the antitheses of fun, the 83 Honda Civic outclassed them all in a sheer fun to drive capability).

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    “Omni” would a much more fitting name to this than “Dart”, leaves room for a new GLH!.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    “the guys from Car and Driver something to write about on the airplane ride home.”

    From the Detroit show, to their offices in AA?

    I don’t thinks so.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    If it ACTUALLY gets 40mpg and starts around $15k, I think Detroit just (maybe) won me back. Give it AWD for under $17k and I might actually buy one.

    Nice looking, cool old-school Mopar name, Alfa Romeo technology (although I hope in the translation it gains a little reliability), hell, this might just save Dodge brand’s a$$.

  • avatar
    Mr. Spacely

    Looking closer… Surprised to see it still sports the crosshairs grill. Could swear I read Ralph Gilles saying something about ditching the crosshairs.

  • avatar

    Awesome, the Dart’s 1.4 motor is basically the same engine in the US-spec Fiat 500 Abarth.

    They’re halfway there for the performance model. All they need to do is crank up the boost, give it a sporty bodykit and interior, and put the SRT-4 badge on it.

    Don’t know if it needs AWD, though. The Neon SRT-4 was fine with FWD.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    Looks nice indeed (and the car being teased being red isn’t hurting things either) but sadly, another sedan, which I’m not so all about.

    I wished Americans and the US big three (and others too) would get over the love for the sedan and concentrate more on hatchbacks or CUV like wagons for a change.

    I find the sedan over rated and have since the late 1970′s, early 1980′s bemoaned how the US big 4 at that time refused to update their paradigm of what a car should be and held onto the bench seat and column shifter for MUCH too long IMO.

    But so far it looks like they are on the right footing with this one.

  • avatar

    I wonder if they’ll have a sedan version. I think the hatchback style is growing in the US market, but outside of the coasts, it seems like a sedan is still needed in order to make real volume sales. I like the baby-charger styling, and the front teaser headlamps reminds me a bit of the Scirocco. I never thought I’d say this, but if I had a to choose a mass market brand with the most *attractive* looking vehicles, I have to choose Dodge.

    • 0 avatar
      mjz

      Class, let’s go over this again. The Dodge Dart will be sedan only, no hatchback. The next Lancia Delta (which will be based on this platform), will be a Chrysler hatchback only, think PT Cruiser replacement. When the next Alfa Romeo Giulietta finally arrives here in 2014, it will probably be hatchback only. The Dodge and Chrysler models will be mass market entries, the Alfa an upscale BMW market competitor. Mr. Baruth has done a very bad thing by showing the current Giulietta hatch and saying the Dart will be that car with a different grille and taillight treatment. Not so, Dodge Dart is a SEDAN with all-new sheetmetal over a widened and legthened Giulietta platform. Class dismissed.

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    I love it! The Alfa, that is.

    What a shame that the UAW is going to destroy a beautiful Italian car with that dirty Dodge front and rear end. *sigh*

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Will it come in a “Sport Conver-Triple” Model?

    (If any of the B&B know what I’m talking about, you win the “Obscurity of the Day” award….

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Hint:

    “An economy wagon
    Sunroof-convertible
    5-seat coupe
    You can fill it with sun
    Or load it with fun
    Or carry a group
    For the three you’s in you
    This car is second to none….
    Dart Sport Conver-Triple
    Is three cars in one!”

  • avatar
    mjz

    Hope Dodge does a coupe and a convertible version of the Dart too.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    Over one hundred comments, and the majority seem to be positive. Not so long ago, any Mopar post would bring out the haters in droves – it looks like the sentiment around here has changed.

    Let’s hope that the new Dart can live up to its namesake in the reliability and durability department, and capitalize on all the newfound good will.

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    Why won’t they use the Alfa body? I saw this car up close in person when I was in Switzerland, and I thought it to be a beautiful car. Why ruin a beautiful Italian work of art with Dodge awfulness/

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Its the whole screwy “brand face” thing where every company has the same generic noses on their cars, like VW and Mazda.

      Its supposed to make brands easier to identify but it really just cheapens the image of their fancier cars.

      For the Dart Chrysler just hastily put on a pre-Lancer face-lift Dodge Charger nose and back end, which will probably look very stupid on what is a very European styled car. Reminds me of the last Ford Pintos where they looked like Datsuns.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    “The home of the Dart will be the former Neon assembly plant in Belvidere, IL.”

    Great… That’ll be a well built car (snicker).

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Well many years ago they did build Monacos and stuff like that, than they went to Omnis and ditched build quality consistency.

      Of course, it won’t help that the Alfa was designed in Italy, a place known for great looking cars but low reliability.

  • avatar
    turbobrick

    While this Dart is a mere shadow of it’s (by today’s standards) magnum-sized predecessor, in spirit it’s still the same.


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