What Would a Mazda3-based Dodge Dart Successor Look Like?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
what would a mazda3 based dodge dart successor look like

Last week, our own Tim Cain broke down exactly why the Dart was destined for the dustbin. Steph asked in April if the Dart would outlast the Obama administration, a question answered last week with a resounding “no” from Auburn Hills. And before that, I asked you what company could build a replacement for the Dart, while offering up my own guesses. One car kept rising to the top of the suggestion list: the Mazda3.

But, what would a Mazda3-based Dodge Dart replacement look like? We wanted to know. And since none of us at TTAC are particularly gifted when it comes to pixel manipulation, we commissioned a pair of renders from the talented Theophilus Chin of Chris Doane Automotive to find out.

Why the Mazda3?

Ever since FCA said it would let the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 run their respective courses, the writers at TTAC have discussed which company could contract build a Dodge Dart replacement. We keep coming back to Mazda for three reasons: the Mazda3 is a great product, Mazda needs to sell more Mazda3s, and the Japanese automaker already has a partnership with FCA in the Miata-based 124 Spider.

Unlike Mitsubishi, which could build a vehicle in partnership with FCA but would do so outside the NAFTA region, the Mexican-build, NAFTA-friendly Mazda3 is an engineered product already plodding American roads. For its part, FCA would only need to pay to design some lighting and body panels. That’s a helluva lot easier than engaging an old partner that’s now tied up with the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Visual Comparison

Our artist dispatched the Mazda3’s happy face in favor of Dodge’s trademark crosshair grille. The large, lower faux airdam is separated from the upper, functional grille in our render, which is bookended by headlights inspired by the Dodge Charger.

Surprising, our artist’s changes at the rear are not a distant visual departure from the original Dart. The racetrack taillights are sharper toward the ends, but a short rear deck and Hoffmeister kink in the rear window tie in our Mazda3-based render with its Dart predecessor. It does look like a Mazda3-based replacement could lose a fair amount of rear overhang and trunk space, however.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

[Image: © 2016 Theophilus Chin/Chris Doane Automotive for The Truth About Cars]

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  • Manta9527 Manta9527 on Jul 26, 2016

    What they should do is base the Dodge Dart on the same platform that Alfa Romeo is using for the new Giulia sedan and have it powered by a turbo version of the Pentastar V-6 engine.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jul 27, 2016

    Would it be at all possible to apply some rouge and a bit of lipstick to a Corolla and sell that? As long as it's decently thinly veiled Dodge might sell them by the quiverful to the Toyota-automatically-better crowd. Think of all the children. I personally don't see much difference between this and the actual car. Not that tits a bad thing as I like its looks, but it is visually very bulky.

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