Dodge Dart compact sedan to debut for 2013

Dodge Dart compact sedan to debut for 2013

Chrysler’s revival has led to a complete overhaul of all their brands. Most vehicles they are churning just seem to get better by the day. Dodge, their raw performance “muscle” brand, has now finally decided to re-enter the compact segment with a bang. After the renewed success of new Durango, and a heavily revised Charger, out comes the Dodge Dart. Don’t look surprised at the name. It’s not a revival of the Dodge “muscular” Dart from the 1960s. Rather, its an off-spring from the Chrysler-Fiat stables.

Based largely on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Dart will use the same yet stretched platform featuring a longer and wider body. Highly reminiscent of its big brother Charger, the smaller Dodge uses a very similar full-width LED taillight. The rear features a dual exhaust outlet. The front fascia incorporates Dodge’s trademark crosshair grille.

Talking about the platform, the car will feature front-wheel-drive, as it will be replacing the useless Caliber. The Dart is all set to release as a sedan, while a hatchback may come in the future.

The interior photographs will be released next week, as part of their publicity build-up for the Detroit Motor Show, but expect something similar to the Charger.

Three engines will be available when it goes on sale in early 2012. First two options come from Chrysler’s new engine family codenamed Tigershark. One of them is a 160 hp 2.0-litre, while the other being a 2.4-litre MultiAir generating around 200 hp. Both of them will feature direct injection. Finally the third option, lifted straight from Fiat will be the 170 hp 1.4TB MultiAir (used in the Fiat 500 Abarth and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta), offering more power and fuel economy than the naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre version.

Transmission details are not available, but there is talk that it will be a 5-speed automatic or a CVT (don’t groan yet! read on!), which will eventually be replaced by the long-awaited “ZF 9-speed” automatic for front-wheel-drives. As we speak, that transmission is only reaching the final stages before production.

More details will be available over the coming days. Expect a possible debut in GCC markets by next year, minus the turbo option.

What do you think?



  1. wow a 9 speed automatic nice 🙂

    • 9 speed?!? how on earth will I go through all those gear ratios, if I wanted to hold the gears using them manual mode shifter??
      I wonder how the gear ratios on the 6,7,8 & 9 gears are.. Probably in city driving you wont see anything beyond the 6th gear..

    • @ROJ: yes! unless you are racing in the crowded streets, or doing over 70-80kmph, gears 7,8,9 won’t kick-in. They are basically overdrive gears meant for the highway. I doubt even if the 6th gear gets engaged at 60-70kmph.

      There will be a manual mode application, which will basically be controlled by paddles. I don’t expect a 9-speed to be controlled only by gearbox shifts like on most CVTs and since there is a minimum torque of 205 lb of torque, I have my doubts whether it will come on cheaper compacts, unless in a turbo application.

    • minimum requirement* of 205 lb of torque

  2. 7 speed will just do fine,the 9 gears thingy is just uterlly stupid

  3. Well, I hope to answer to some your queries. The 9-speed automatic, in this application is made by ZF for front wheel-drives, to cars with a maximum of 350 pounds of torque. Chrysler – Fiat are one of the first vehicles to use them.

    This transmission is supposed to give u almost a 15% more fuel efficiency compared to a 6-speed which many car markers are implementing today. So for those still running on 4-speed,5-speed and even 6-speed, should see improved gains.

    Now for gear ratios. For those who have used CVTs, they would complain about the droning noise and a rubbery feeling when accelerating, but supposedly better fuel economy. Well, this is a conventional transmission, so you get a smooth shift, and extremely good economy. The biggest highlight of this transmission is that since the gear-ratio is 9.84, its gear-ratios are basically tightly packed together, thereby always putting you in the almost best part of the engine’s power band. So hardly power loss, no jerky kicks and fast acceleration.

    • Sounds good. But I still wouldn’t think of it without hearing its reliability part.

    • Thats one thing… But driving this in manual mode… Its going to take alot of paddle shifting if you are taking the car for a spirited drive..

      I think this gearbox will be more complex than a Porsche Tiptronic or PDK.

    • Try riding a dodge charger 2012 or chrysler 300 c 2012 with an 8 speed and ull c wt I’m talking about. It’s quite easy to drive. My frnd in states gt 1 and he is quite crazy abt it. Charger 2012 cming to uae next week with 8 speed tranny

    • I feel if the ratios are well arranged 6 speed itself will make things fine.

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